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The fat that was not clear went into the sausage pails, along with all the other scraps, no matter how small. The shoulders were trimmed up too. Later on we learned that these were sold in stores as Calli Hams, and the top end offered as a Boston Butt. We called 'em what they were: shoulders, and Dad trimmed them close, for he wanted that sweet shoulder meat to go into the sausage.
When all the trimming was done, the fire under the lard kettle was stirred up and the fatty portions were started cooking. The sausage grinder was brought out and laid between two chairs. This was an over-grown food chopper that was powered by a long crank that a 10-year old boy could barely turn.
But spin it I did, and that lean scrappy pork was pushed through a set of knives and dropped into a clean wash tub. Good sausage must contain some fat, and the proper amount of the fatty parts of the hog to grind with the sausage is learned only by trial and error.
After the trimmings were run through the grinder, the tub was set up on the washtub rack, and the "technical" part of the job began: the seasoning. Dad liked a certain amount of sage with his sausage and would roll up his sleeves, add a handful of MaMa's dried sage, mix in some salt, and sprinkle a full half-pound of McNees brand pepper that he always bought from Oliver Petty. Dad took no stock in fancy sausage seasonings and swore by McNees, claiming he could tell if a sausage had been "doped-up" with some "off brand" pepper.
Now came the best part: the sampling. A couple of patties of the fresh sausage were fried out in the big cast iron skillet, cut into bite-size pieces, and passed around for approval. If Dad was not satisfied, regardless of the other judges' decisions, he added more pepper or salt or sage as he saw fit. Then the sampling was repeated until he was pleased.
While this was being done, MaMa and Aunt Esther took small intestines that Dad had collected from the pigs, and laid them out on a wet board. Using the back of a case knife, they would scrape the linings and other materials from them so they came out as long, clear, clean tubes. The cleaned casings were then stored in a milk pail of cold north well water until they were stuffed with the fresh sausage.