≡ THE “HITCHIN’ POST” ………………Talk About Anything ≡

≡ THE “HITCHIN’ POST” ………………Talk About Anything ≡

Keep it clean, folks! (…more or less.) sausage making

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by Frank L. Visco
My several years in the word game have learnt me several rules:
  1. Avoid alliteration. Always.
  2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  3. Avoid clichés like the plague.(They’re old hat.)
  4. Employ the vernacular.
  5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
  7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  8. Contractions aren’t necessary.
  9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
  10. One should never generalize.
  11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what YOU know.”
  12. Comparisons are as bad as clichés.
  13. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
  14. Profanity sucks.
  15. Be more or less specific.
  16. Understatement is always best.
  17. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
  19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  20. The passive voice is to be avoided.
  21. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
  22. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  23. Who needs rhetorical questions?
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661 thoughts on “≡ THE “HITCHIN’ POST” ………………Talk About Anything ≡

  1. Great to hear that Ray.
    I bet your pasta is awesome!
    I am looking at my first attempt at fermented sausages (snack sticks) after Easter.
    Am a bit nervous, but can’t actually see too much going wrong with the method I found on another website. They will be stuffed in lamb casing, fermented and dried….

  2. I finally found a recipe for soft burger buns! My usual bun effort leads to a rather heavy finished product. I followed this recipe to a T and was rewarded with what I’ve been looking for, a perfect compliment to CW’s famous Hipshot Burgers. Give it a try! RAY

    450 g (16 oz) strong white flour
    200 ml (7 fl oz) lukewarm water
    50 g (2 oz) sugar
    25 g (1 oz) butter, melted
    2 eggs
    2 tsp dried yeast
    1 tsp salt

    Put the sugar and yeast into the water, mix well and leave for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
    Break one egg into a bowl. Separate the second egg into yolk and white. Add the yolk to the first egg and add 4 tbsp of water to the egg white. Beat both items separately.
    Sift the flour into a bowl, add the salt and mix. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast/water, the melted butter and the (egg+egg yolk). Mix to a soft and slightly sticky dough.
    Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Knead well for 10 minutes, sprinkling the surface with flour from time to time if the dough starts to stick.
    Make the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and place in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.
    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured suface. Knock the dough back and cut into 8 pieces.
    Flour your hands and shape each piece into a ball. Take a ball of dough and flatten it into a three inch disc. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough.
    Place the dough rolls on a lightly-greased baking sheet about ½” (1 cm) apart. Cover and leave in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough has puffed up and the rolls are just touching.
    Brush the tops of the rolls lightly with the egg white/water mixture.
    Bake at 175°C/350°F fan oven, 190°C/375°F normal oven for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Place on a wire rack to cool.


  3. Here’s a link to my new English springer spaniel puppy, Bob. I made a ten hour drive up to Idaho a couple months back and picked him out in ten seconds, then made the ten hour drive back home with Bob the next morning. At 4&1/2 months Bob now weighs 32 lbs. and is looking like he’ll be ready for pheasants in October. Puppies are a bit more work than I remember, but they sure are fun! RAY

  4. Thank you Badjak! Bob is the third springer of my adult life, the first two lasted 13 years each, both little girls. Boy howdy, to say boys are different would be a huge understatement, Bob’s got a real mind of his own. He doesn’t seem to mind barking at me when he feels unduly scolded for something he chewed up and wrecked, he’s doing a real number digging up the back lawn. I’ve never been one to break a dogs spirit, they get the hang of just about everything within three years. RAY

  5. Cajun Seafood Gumbo with Andouille Sausage
    (printable recipe at http://sausageswest.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Cajun-Seafood-Gumbo.pdf)
    This time of year, we always rent a place at the beach for a family-filled week. Traditionally, I make seafood gumbo to show off my homemade andouille sausage.

    My secret ingredient…? Thanks for asking. It’s best to use an iron pot and a whisk or wooden spoon, but usually the rental place has only plastic spoons. While making the roux, the spoon gradually melts into the oil, adding a certain body to the dish. …but not to worry- – four out of five chemical companies swear that their plastic is non-toxic. Hey! It’s never hurt me, and I’m as normal as… well… Do the family a favor, and stop on the way and buy a wooden spoon or whisk, just in case, okay?

    The following recipe was based on one by the late Paul Prudhomme. Over the years, our family has subjected it to a number of revisions. You can make this in a gluten-free, probably historic way by using yellow corn meal (fine ground, like masa, is best) instead of the usual wheat flour. Watch it carefully- – the color change while cooking is a bit more subtle. Don’t over-cook it.

    Cajun Seafood Gumbo with Andouille Sausage
    (feeds 10 as a main dish, 20 as an appetizer)
    • Cajun “Holy Trinity”:
    o 2 cups chopped onions
    o 1-1/2 cups chopped green bell peppers
    o 1 cup chopped celery
    • Seasoning Mix: Use 2 Tbsp store-bought Cajun gumbo spices or, better, the following:
    o 2 bay leaves
    o 2 tsp salt
    o ½ tsp white pepper
    o ¼ to ½ tsp cayenne pepper
    o ½ tsp black pepper
    o ½ tsp dried thyme leaves
    o ¼ tsp dried oregano leaves
    • Roux:
    o ¾ cup vegetable oil (high smoke point oil, such as peanut or safflower is best, butter is worst)
    o ¾ cup fine-ground yellow corn masa harina (or wheat flour)
    • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
    • 5-1/2 cups seafood stock (make it with shrimp hulls, fish heads, or whatever) In a pinch, you can substitute chicken stock.
    • 1 lb andouille sausage (see our SausagesWest.com recipes), sliced thick
    • 1 lb medium peeled shrimp (or 1-1/2 lbs shell-on shrimp)
    • (optional) 1 dozen oysters with liquor
    • (optional) ¾ lb crabmeat
    • 1 lb fish fillets, cubed (your choice, firm-flesh white meat)
    • (optional) 1 # cut okra
    • Cooked rice

    Chop up the “Holy Trinity” ingredients and set aside. Mix up the seasoning and set aside.

    Heat the oil in preferably a large iron skillet. When it begins to smoke, gradually sprinkle in the cornmeal or flour, stirring/whisking and scraping the pan constantly. Continue cooking and stirring, five minutes or so, until the roux (a.k.a. Cajun napalm) darkens. (If black flakes form, you’ll need to start over. You didn’t scrape the pan enough.)

    Add half the “Trinity,” stirring for a minute. Then add the remaining “Trinity” and stir for another two minutes or so. Stir in the seasoning and stir for another couple of minutes. Add the garlic, stir for a minute, then cut off the heat.

    Bring the seafood stock to a boil. Add the roux mixture slowly, stirring and dissolving as you go. Return to a boil, then add the andouille and the okra. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Return to boiling, then add the seafood. As soon as it boils, cut off the heat. Skim any excess oil.

    Serve immediately, giving each person ¼ cup cooked rice in a soup bowl, adding a cup of gumbo on top. Many cooks like to thicken the mixture with a bit of gumbo file (powdered sassafras leaves) before dishing out. Most people like to add their own Louisiana hot sauce to taste.

  6. There’s a new “Privacy Policy” statement which is now mandated by our friends in the European Economic Community. Its link is on the drop-down menu below “Home Page.” What it says is, we don’t collect info on you, aside from what your sign-up sheet contained, and we don’t give out any info unless required by law, which so far has not happened. For a good snooze, look it over. Rest easy, and keep on makin’ them sausages, folks.

  7. Just been in Europe and came back with a number of goodies.
    Decided to buy some sheep casing there, in the hope it is slightly easier to work with than the ones I have.
    Also brough back some spice mixes and as always a lot of books.
    And a Uuni pizza oven….
    Yes, it did fit in my luggage 😉

    One suitcase didn’t arrive, but it has been located and I should have it shortly.
    Going to have some fun in the next couple of weeks/months….

  8. Whoa, a pizza oven that fits in a suitcase! Must have been pretty heavy. I’ve been tossing around getting a small 5lb hand crank stuffer to work on sheep casings. I’m afraid the small casings will put a lot of strain on the gears in my 20lb stuffer. Welcome home! RAY

  9. Thanks Ray,
    It’s just a small thing, does one pizza at the time and works on wood pellets.
    Total weight inclusive stone is about 13 kg.
    Luckily I had a 2 x 23 kg luggage allowance 😉

    Good luck with the stuffer. I only have a 5 pound stuffer and it works ok with sheep casing (except that sheep casing is a pain to work with)

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