You’ve all heard that expression, right? A Sausage Party? Well, just in case you haven’t, it’s a party that has more male than female guests. Get it? Guys tend to use the expression and I know this because I’ve been the only chick in many many social groups throughout my life. I like hanging out with dudes. As a matter of fact, I’ve probably got a little too much male energy in my soul if I were to weigh out the male/female ratio but it’s who I am. I’m a tomboy I suppose. That’s an easy to explain terminology so I’ll go with that. I never learned how to be girly and flirty. I’m not sure if you actually “learn” that or not. Maybe it comes naturally to some people but certainly not to me. I’m stuck in that grade 4 mentality of the crush. The ol’ oh-I-kinda-like-him-and-think-he’s-cute-so-I-will-totally-ignore-him kinda deal. I don’t recommend using that method because it doesn’t work at all when you’re a grown up. And it’s really the biggest reason that I’m single. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. Why am I talking about all of this now? Not sure but I’m thinking the obvious phallic imagery in my mind because of this post has pushed me in that direction. And maybe because one of my exes is a beef farmer so he was at the top of my mind when Short signed us up for this class? Whatever the reason, Short and I attended a Sausage Party last week!
Stock In Trade is a local butcher (and local to me for real!) located on the Danforth that opened up just about a year ago. The owner, Jason Becker, grew up on a farm, became a chef and then kicked around a bunch of different restaurants for years. He became disillusioned with that industry, decided to branch out and opened Stock In Trade. It’s a great little place that you wouldn’t really notice walking or driving by. As a matter of fact, they should really think about getting a larger sign. I’m not kidding. They’ve got great sandwiches, lunches, prepared meats and butchered meats. Jason also decided to teach classes and offer up a supper club. Short and I noticed a menu for an up and coming dinner and decided that we would definitely be back for that. But let the Sausage Party begin…
There were 9 students in total and they separated us into two groups so that there would be more hands on time. Our group started off with the crepinette. I had never even heard of that type of sausage before so I was intrigued. It’s more like a sausage patty that is wrapped in something called caul fat. I’d never heard of that either. It’s kind of beautiful and horrifying at the same time. Lacy stomach lining. Ew.
We were given little pieces of caul fat and then tossed the Thai pork filling around from hand to hand until it was just the right consistency. (Its ready when you can turn your hand upside down and it doesn’t fall to the counter.) Jason told us about fat ratio and warned us not to use a KitchenAid for sausage making (gets too hot) and a whole bunch of other interesting meaty tidbits. Stock In Trade gets all of their meat from very small farms and they know these farmers personally. Kinda awesome. When I make sausages again (which I think I will), I’ll buy the stuffing already mixed from them and add my own spices. They know what they’re doing and I don’t. I think for beginner’s that probably the best idea. Buying all of the equipment is a little costly so why not see if you keep it up (see what I did there? I’ve been trying to hold off on the sausage humour and it hasn’t been easy) for a while before you invest. No one needs another sad lonely bread maker sitting in their dark cupboard, do they? While Jason talked, we formed our patties by stretching the caul fat over the stuffing and then flipping them over.
Then we switched tables to make traditional sausages. Loved the girl that helped us out there but unfortunately I didn’t get her name. She was funny and sarcastic which is just what I like in a chick. Here we got to slip a casing on the tube of the meat press which was just as much like putting a condom on a dong as you would imagine. Well, it’s been a while but I’m pretty sure that’s what it felt like.
Then we cranked the handle and helped the meat into the casing by supporting and pulling it along. Okay, I can’t help it. Yes, it was kinda like giving a guy a handy. There I said it. Aaaaaanyway, after that, you just sort of separate out a sausage length’s worth of meat and then flip it around and around until its nice and tight. There is no sexual comparison here. It would be weird and upsetting if there were.
We got to taste some of the sausages that Stock In Trade had cooked up for us and man, they were delicious. The maple was my favourite by far!
I went to visit some friends in London (Ontario not England) a few days later and brought the sausages for dinner. I’ve known Laurie since college and she is one of my bestest friends in the whole world. She’s real, honest, down to earth and a lovely fun person. I don’t see her enough but when I do, we talk our faces off and it seems as if no time has passed. It’s pretty fantastic. I’ve known Andrew for a real long time as well. He’s funny, talented, opinionated (as am I so it makes for great debates which Laurie can’t stand) and he’s a superb chef. Outta this world. I mean he teaches it. That’s how good he is. It was an honour to have him cook up my sausages.
Their son Jack (whom I’ve know for 7 years now which is as long as he’s been alive) is a charming, smart happy little guy who’s favourite food is … sausages. According to Jack, these were some of the best sausages he’s ever had.
He even asked if I’d come and teach a sausage making class at his school. That may be jumping the gun a little but I do think Jason Becker would have been proud. I certainly was.