Flashback: My first memory of Italian Sausage was eating it as a child. As far as someone making it, it was my father. One day he walked into the kitchen with these stringy things that looked like rubber bands.
He pulled out this machine and began to hook it up to the counter, not plug in but crank like the pasta machine.
He then proceeded to take a package of meat that he must have purchased from our local butcher Huppy and Leo's. I watched as he seasoned the meat with garlic and some other stuff. Suddenly it start smelling like Italian Sausage. The aroma of the fennel and garlic gave it away!
He then took these rubber band looking things and placed one end over the spigot of the faucet and let water run through them. They began looking like those balloons they twisted at the carnival to make a poodle! Then I realized he used these to hold the sausage filling.
He cranked and ground the meat, seasoned it, tasted it raw (what is that wrong?), then adjusted seasoning. He then slipped on the balloon things on a horn which was now on the grinder. He then cranked out these big long snakes of sausage, I remember thinking how cool it looked!
That Saturday my father cooked his homemade Italian Sausage on the grill in front of our restaurant "Jim's Snack Shop" for the Fiesta Days Celebration in McHenry Illinois.
The memory of the aroma of charcoal briquettes with the fat of the sausage flaring on the grill to this day is still in my mind. Combined with fresh roasted sweet bell peppers and some giardinara and of course crusty yet soft in the center Italian bread and you were in Heaven!
Which brings us to this post.....