We have friends coming down to visit with us theis weekend – which means I’ve been busy planning meals.  Yes, I always do think in terms of food.  It’s a blessing and a curse.

My first thoughts were pretty grandiose – and rather silly.   Cooking is a lot of fun, but I really don’t need to be spending every minute they’re here in the kitchen!  So we scaled back – a bit.  Except for Sunday.

Victor is going to cook “Sunday Dinner”.

Sunday Dinner is the old gathering of the entire family and having pasta and meatballs and sausages and brasiole and salad and garlic bread and antipasto platters and all that stuff.  The nice thing is most of it can be prepared in advance, so no one will be spending the entire day in the kitchen!

With a couple of ideas in mind, I was off to the grocery store today to see what was freshest and bestest.  I knew I wanted to pick up some Italian sausage, but when I was in the butcher area, I noticed sausage casings!  And then I noticed pork shoulders for 89¢ a pound!  I decided to make Italian sausage!

Almost 10 pounds of pork for $8.78.  Time to break out the grinder!

The spices were pretty basic – fennel, garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, paprika, and salt and pepper.  I don’t really have quantities, because I added some, then cooked up a bit to see how it was, tweaked them a bit, added a bit more…

When stuffing the casings, I did two stupid things; I overstuffed them, and used the wrong stuffer attachment.  I used the small tube and I should have used the large. If I had used the right tube in the first place, I doubt they would have been overstuffed.  Oh well.

When I opened the box with the sausage attachment, there was only the one tube there, and I really didn’t think anything about it.  But when I was stuffing them, it was really a lot more work that I remembered from the last time I did it.  I was pressing more, it was taking longer…

When I was finally done and cleaning up, the proverbial light bulb went off and I looked at the tube and knew it was wrong.  I did a drawer search and found the right one with the baking supplies.  Too late for this batch, but it’s back in the correct box for the next time.

And the sausages are are going to be vacuum-packed in just a few moments.

It’s going to be a fun dinner!