3 weekends ago, Cayetano invited to his house for an authentic sausage (chorizo, morcilla, salchichón, etc.) making session and it was AWESOME!!!! The weather was fantastic, blue skies and sunshine all weekend long.
Saturday morning, Cayetano was a drill sargeant, bashing on our doors at 9 am, saying “WAKE UP! WAKE UP!” Uff! Would not have said “Uff” if I knew of the spectacular treat that was awaiting - homemade churros (a fried dough breadstick that is the Spanish equivalent of you cha kway) with homemade olive oil, homemade jam, homemade tomato sauce, YUM! Was amazed at how lovely it was to be living in a self-sufficient farm. For example:
Said Cayetano’s mum during breakfast: ”Do you want some orange juice?”
Us: “Yes please!”
Cayetano’s mum: “OK!” (Goes outside her house to pluck oranges off tres to make them)
After breakfast, we headed over to the humungous warehouse that is Cayetano’s dad’s playpen to start making sausages! Cayetano’s dad is an industralist and his hobby is playing with food machines, kind of like a Spanish Willy Wonka, specialising in food rather than candy exploration. He stores in his warehouse machines that churn out fried sugared almonds, olive oil and wine corking gigantic iron production systems and a huge pantry of homemade heavenly goods (re: What we ate for breakfast). He gave us a thorough tour of the premises before we started getting down to business.
The traditional sausage making process actually begins with ”La Matanza”, which is the actual slaughering of a pig at dawn, something which I have heard is extremely brutal, graphic and best avoided altogether. Fortunately for us, we skipped that part because you need a proper license to kill the pig for higiene reasons. As such, when we began, the meat was already neatly minced and marinated, ready for the stuffing! I learnt how to tie knots required to string the sausage up while it cures and poke holes in the skin of the sausage to ensure that no air remains, which could contaminate the whole preservation process, We were well fed as we went along, snacking on fried chorizo, cheese and offal, which were fried on a big bonfire that was in a tiny corner of the warehouse. Chinese and Spanish have pork in common that’s for sure. My grandmother used to make me liver dishes all the time when I was a kid.
After a morning of kinky sausage references, we stopped for a filling lunch of lentejas (beans) and bread, during which the boys drunk copious amounts of chupitos and ended up semi-drunk by 7 pm in the evening. Needless to say, bellies filled and tummies happy, we all took heavy afternoon naps and skipped dinner for that day.
It was the sort of day I knew Jeffrey Steingarten would appreciate and I thought to myself, that fellow sure leads a charmed life. The weekend after, Cayetano brought 3 big boxes of produce to Madrid for Jorge and me. Am so excited to eat them all!
Oh! The full richness of life that is the countryside!!!!