Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sausage

There ain't nobody that made sausage like my ancestors did. (period) All sides of my ancestral family were sausage makers. All the sausage that I ate as a kid was like they talk about heirloom tomatoes. The kids today don’t know what a good tomato is, nor do they know what good sausage is.

Charlie Two Crows has become a commenter on this blog, and has contributed greatly to my knowledge of my little world. The other day I asked him a rather pointed question, that he didn’t feel comfortable talking about, so he picked up the phone and called me. He said “I don’t know the whole true stories, but I know where the bodies are buried” I had to laugh, because that is and old expression that I use to say that I don’t know the whole truth, but I know where to find it. He went on to try to explain the expression. I had to stop him and tell him that he was preaching to the choir, and that I fully understood the expression and the meaning. But, some of the stories that I know about local history, that can never be shared, has some real bodies.

It is purely coincidence that his ancestral name is “Two Crows“, and my ancestral name, in Welsh, is “Crows Valley” (Bran’s Coomb). So it seems that we are birds of a feather in some ways. This time he has given me a big tip in finding information on my mothers family, “the Rathjens”. And I was able to find a photo of an old wall plaque from the @1920-30’s for sale on E-Bay. Unfortunately it had already been sold or I probably would have bought it.

My dad used to love to season, stuff, and smoke sausage, he had many recipes for smoked meats floating around in his head. He was valley wide famous for his thanksgiving smoked turkeys. My grandmother Ruby made the best bacon ham and sausage that you ever ate. I always asked her for her recipes she would reply that “there aren’t any recipes. If you want to know how to make something you’ll just have to come work with me and learn to make things like everybody else in the family did”. She would go on with her lecture that “people shouldn’t use recipes, because you just have to make things that taste good, and the flavor of anything changes by the weather and the season. You make an apple pie from early fall apples different that you make a pie out of late fall apples, and even different with winter apples. You just have to know how to make a good pie. There isn’t a recipe”. I’m sure that she was right, because she made the best food that you ever ate. One of my favorite meals was ranch raised fried chicken, mashed garden potatoes, specklety gravy, fresh picked cob on the cob with cows butter on it. And soda biscuits.

I guess that if I ever want to eat any good smoked pork link sausage for breakfast, I’m going to have to make it myself, because I know that a good tomato nor a good sausage comes out of a store.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ernie likes the sausage

Ernie Branscomb said...

Innuendo Anon.

kymkemp.com said...

“people shouldn’t use recipes, because you just have to make things that taste good, and the flavor of anything changes by the weather and the season. You make an apple pie from early fall apples different that you make a pie out of late fall apples, and even different with winter apples. You just have to know how to make a good pie. There isn’t a recipe”

Your grandma's comments are so true and not only about food but about life.

suzy blah blah said...

ew! I love tomatoes but sausage is horrible! Just the sight and smell of it is enough to make me puke. I never will understand why anyone would put something so gross into their mouth, no matter who made it. Suzy's never tried any and I never will -yuk! Just the thought eating such a disgusting kind of food turns my stomach. But I have nothing against those who partake of it, I know some good folks who actually relish it. To each their own.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Suzy said: “…such a disgusting kind of food turns my stomach. But I have nothing against those who partake of it.”

Well… I’m glad that we can still be friends then. I’m probably the most judgmental person alive, so I understand what Suzy means. But, being careful not to put words in her mouth, which she also finds particularly unpalatable, I find myself biting my tongue a LOT in Southern Humboldt. I just can’t understand why people do the things that they do… I would do them so differently, or not do them at all. But, for the most part I find that I like most people, even if I don’t like some of the things that they do.

While I love ALL of nature, I realize that at some point, if I am to live, something has to die for the food that I eat, plant or animal, we all kill something to survive. All of nature is sacred to me, similarly to the way that the Indian people thought. Personally, I was raised valuing the food that we had on the table, but knowing that something had to die. We were raised honoring the animals that we ate, and the garden that we used. Something has to die for us to live. I don’t hunt anymore, because I don’t have to, and I don’t enjoy looking an animal in the face while dropping the hammer on them. I know that I have in the past, and I can if I need to. So, I understand where vegetarians are coming from.

Suzy, if I may be so bold to ask, are you a vegetarian?

omr said...

No canned green beans at that favorite meal?

Ernie Branscomb said...

No canned anything in the summer. Those mason jars full of fresh garden were fer winter eatin'.

Anonymous said...

I only eat Jimmy Dean Sausage and that is because I don't know how to prepare it and Ernie never sends me any. I have, in days gone by ate my uncle's smoked turkey, salmon and sausage. Even his cured, smoked deer heart. That guy was amazing. Ernie is a true chip off the ol' block.

Oregon

Johnathan Wilson said...

Question for you Ernie, I was reading the book "touring the old redwood highway" and in the Laytonville section there was a service station that was owned by a Rathjen, I think her name might have been Marie, or May, i dont remeber. Do you have any relation?

Anonymous said...

To Johnathan Wilson,---In reply to your comment, yes Ernie is related to the Rathjens that had the Service Station north of Laytonville at the Rancho El Primero, William (Bill) Rathjens and his wife Augusta Maria Rathjens were Ernie's Grandparents from his Mother's side of the family. I am Ernie's Mother Elsie Rathjens Branscomb