After yesterday’s somewhat-of-a-downer post, I thought we’d go light today and talk about something that makes just about everyone happy–except vegetarians and Charlotte’s Web afficianados–sausage!
When I started work at my current, and soon to be former, place of employment, we were blessed with catered lunches everyday. These were not cheapo, fast food in a box type lunches either. These were good lunches. Really good. Places with names like Cafe Europe and Johnny Garlics. Sometimes we’d get pizza, sometimes we’d get Chinese, sometimes Mexican. Food, that is. Not people. But Fridays were the best. Friday was BBQ day. Some weeks we’d get the standard burger and dog fare, but usually it was something like tri-tip or ham or turkey. But the best was sausage day. I lived for those days. Besides the lunches we also had bottomless tubs full of junk food, a frig full of enough soda to quench the thirst of a small sports arena, and freezers full of Its-Its and Choco Taco’s. Every new employee immediatley put on 15 pounds in the first three days. Except me, I got violently ill my first week. But that’s a story for another day.
As the heady start-up days of 1999-2000 gave way to the bubble burst, our lavish lunches began to be scaled back. First it was restaurant catered Tuesday and Thursday, make your own deli sandwhich Monday and Wednesday, BBQ on Friday. Then the catered went away and it was make your own deli sandwhich Monday and Wednesday, BBQ on Friday. Then just BBQ’s every Friday. Then every two weeks and now once a month. Still, I can’t really complain.
The meats to be Q’d rotate, mostly between burger and dogs and tri-tip. But our grill master does rotate in some chicken, ham, and turkey occasionally, and about four times a year we get the blessed links. And these are not your Farmer John variety sausages. They aren’t even a fancy pre-packaged sort like an Adelle’s. No, these are honest to goodness, fresh from the extruder, from an actual butcher shop sausages. I’m in hearty agreement with Otto von Bismarck that no one should ever watch sausage being made, but man are they good.
When I know sausage day is coming I get excited. I actually do. The last sausage day, before today, I woke up feeling pretty crappy. Sore throat, stuffy head, possible fever. Bad enough that I would have stayed home, and I almost did. Until I remembered it was sausage day. I willed myself out of bed and into the shower and dragged my sickly carcus through the days work, all for the sweet taste of pork fat. It was well worth it.
There are a myriad of varieties of sasuage, and we usually get the same three:
- Chicken and apple, which has become a mainstream gourmet sausage. Its good despite the substitution of poultry for pork and the presence of fruit.
- Standard bratwurst. Not exotic, but always a crowd pleaser. It’s like an old pair of jeans, comfortable and familiar.
- Hawiian Portugese. A very fine choice, with the perfect blend of sweet and spice.
Sadly, this is most likely my last sausage day. I just received word today that that background check for my new job has passed, and I’ll soon be leaving. But I’ll remember those days fondly.