Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Treat

Summer sausage is a Christmas staple, just like turkey fitting tightly with Thanksgiving.  Summer sausage is more impressive than turkey, though, as it is not refrigerated and can be purchased on an end rack at virtually any store.
Wikipedia tells me this is an air-dried, salt-preserved roll of animal organs...namely organs from cows, pigs and even deer.  This is the sort of stuff that goes to waste, unless it finds its way into dog food or slimes together with other animal organs and lots of salt to produce the Christmas delicacy we know and love.  

But that sounds sick. 
Fortunately, I have determined its origin, one that is contrary to the all encompassing knowledge of Wikipedia.

Unfortunately, knowing the origin doesn't make you feel any better about eating it. 
I was amazed to find on the buffet table - a table covered with various entree, vegetable, fruit and dessert casseroles (yes, everything was in casserole and constructed with lots of cream-ofs) - not just a couple varieties of summer sausage, but four different types.  Each neatly cut and lying next to cheese and crackers.
Impelled by the goodness, I tried all of them and eventually fell into a salty stupor. 

In this state of unconsciousness, I had a vision, true insight into the origin of the meat. 

Surrounded by my four uncles (the four responsible for the variety of summer sausages on the table, the four who will save up vacation days for hunting season, the four who construct full-size buildings out of a few pieces of scrap wood, the four who can kill an animal, skin it in their kitchen sinks and fry it up in less than an hour - I'm sure you know those types of people), I found myself in the middle of a snow-laden woods.

We were on all fours, eyes focused on the ground in front of us, laying in wait.  Just ahead of us, the leafy bed of the forest floor began to be displaced by a slight tremble and roll.  It was a sausage coming to the surface in search of grubs. 

Whack-a-mole instantly became valuable. 

As the meat's mysterious path turned toward us, Uncle Duane sprung forward and, with the only weapon he had, drove the heal of his boot deep into the moving earth.  

He stunned the summer sausage.

Eagerly anticipating the feast, we surrounded the divot and tore at the ground with our hands, unearthing the creature and sticking it in a brown bag (if you've ever purchased summer sausage from a local shop, you know they always put it in an unmarked, brown bag).

A deep satisfaction was coming over me, when suddenly, I came to.

Back at the Christmas party, I looked over at the counter - just beyond the casserole table - lined with four brown bags.


...something felt as if it were still alive inside of me.


  1. Other than "That's gross," I really have nothing else to say.

  2. Brad, I'm glad your Uncle Duane slayed the sausage beast. What a great name.