Grati-Tuesday: The Grinder

5 aluminum pans of different shapes sitting on patio stones outside. One is full of pork, cut off the bone; three are full of ground meat; and the last is full of a lengthy coil of completed sausage.
Cut, grind, season, stuff, coil.

Over the Christmas gauntlet, whilst sitting at one of several gatherings of La Famiglia, we decided that we haven’t made sausage in a while, and that’s something we should do. We should gather again. We should make sausage. It was my job to watch the flyers for when pork legs were on sale. And of course, they immediately went on sale – for 99c a pound. Game on.

Well, game kind of on, because we (where we is mostly my dad) decided that we should wait until after “the holidays”. So when pork legs continued to be on sale for another week, and it as technically after the holidays, we (where we is mostly my gentleman associate and I, and my cousins) spooled up the machine. We were equal to the task. Game on for realsies. My dad would have preferred to wait a bit longer into the year, but we (mostly my cousin) were chomping at the bit, and who doesn’t like homemade sausage, from the recipe and process handed down and refined over 5 generations?

So this past weekend, armed with 6 pig legs (read: just shy of 200 pounds of pig), we gathered in my parents’ kitchen and skinned, cut, ground, seasoned and stuffed 180 pounds of sausage. We each got 60 pounds and 2 big hocks and the skin from 2 legs for spaghetti sauce (or crackling, on the latter). We all felt tired and elated and we did our ancestors proud. It’s very soul-filling to do the things that your family has done for ages. I’m certainly glad that we didn’t have to use the hand crank to grind it (which my cousin and his brother used to do when they were children and my grandparents and uncles were making the sausage), and my uncles would be scandalized that my gentleman associate made 20 pounds of honey garlic along with the 40 pounds of regular Italian . But the gathering of family to tackle a big task was a marvelous way to spend a day.

Where else does my gratitude land?
As much as I like the spangle and flourish of holiday and Christmas decor, I also feel grateful when it’s all packed away for another year and I get to enjoy my space more plainly adorned. Semi-related, I’m glad my vacuum is up to the task of sucking up the sparkle dust that is spread out in a thin layer… everywhere.

The word HOPE displayed as a large light display. The word sits on top of a brick pedestal in the middle of a market square. There is snow on the ground around the light, with many footprints and stroller wheel tracks leading to the front of the lights.
The Hope lights in Statford’s Market Square

Last week marked the end of my son’s break from his studies at the Royal Military College. He wanted to have a special meal with his young lady friend, so I said that his dad and I would make ourselves scarce so they could cook and have dinner together. Except that the province shut down all restaurants and theatres and everywhere else we could go and while away an evening. Undaunted, we drove to Stratford to see the Lights on Stratford display. It was bloody cold out, but the lights around the downtown and in Shakespeare’s Garden were lovely. After (almost) 25 years of marriage, we can still find fun ways to spend a cheap date night together.

I have a new goal coach after having worked with a different coach for a little over a year. Even though New Coach could read my file, she asked me to tell her about my journey. It gave me a chance to distill out a good highlight reel for her, and it helped me see the things that still chap my ass, the successes I have, and the places that I maybe just need a fresh set of eyes to look for a solution to some crunchy obstacles. And right out of the gates, she suggested that perhaps I’m a little magnesium deficient, and that’s what’s disturbing my sleep. I take a supplement when my legs cramp, but once we’re over that hurdle, I stop. I’ve been taking the magnesium supplement for a steady few weeks now, and that seems to be helpful. In any case, a small win that made the transition smoother.

Before Christmas, I asked my gentleman associate to get me some ground walnuts from the bulk store so that I could make my Polish Grandma’s shortbread cookies. What the store sold him were not ground walnuts. They were small pieces of walnuts, to be sure, but definitely not ground. So I made cinnamon mandelbrot instead, and they might just be the best biscotti I’ve made in a long time – and make some very respectable biscotti every year. Today, I ate the last of those mandelbrot, and I thought about how I wouldn’t be enjoying them had my G.A brought me what I wanted in the first place. Serendipity for sure.

It’s new planner time! I love the start of the year, with my new planner and it’s blank pages, waiting for goals and lists and guiding principles and holidays and celebrations. And, because I’m still a 10 year old girl at heart, I’ve already added stickers to the inside cover, like I do very year, all year.

Have a splendid week, friends.

One thought on “Grati-Tuesday: The Grinder

  1. That sausage sounds wonderful. In recent years I ditched the planner, and have been just using Google calendar. You make it sound fun, though! I am grateful this week for modern dentistry. ( I will elaborate in a future post.) Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

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