Home Farm Herbery

  (Munfordville, Kentucky)
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Ho w to make Good Chemical-Free Sausage

How to Make Good Healthy Chemical-Free Sausage©

For those of us who love good sausage or all kinds of sausage we take it for granted.  It just seems to be there.  However, when one enters the world of sausage do we stop and think of the chemicals that may be there or the conditions in which they are made. Do we really stop and think about what we eat? 

Making sausage today, in this busy world we live in seems like a lot of work.  But it need not be.

Basically it just takes a meat grinder and usually one can find them in yard sales, on eBay or many other sites for a nominal fee of $15.00 or less.  The Romans used a basic hand funnel to push the processed meat through and into the casings.   Of course one may want to invest in a 3 pound “pump handle” push stuffer which can be purchased for under $50.00.  Or you can simply make your finished product into patties. 

Sausage can be frozen, smoked, dried or used fresh.  It can be made by anyone and it is a great way to preserve meat.  Sausage has been made for over 2000 years!

When it comes to meat most sausage lovers will say sausages have to be made with pork.  However, here at Home Farm Herbery where we grow, dry and create some really great sausage seasonings we feel it is o.k. to create sausage using beef, goat, venison, moose, lamb, turkey or chicken.  Just remember that whatever you use must be 80% meat and 20% fat or the sausage will crumble and taste like cardboard.  Also feel free to use the cheaper cuts which work just as well.

 For those who want the traditional link sausage you will need casings and don’t scrimp on buying them or you will be patching up ruptures all day long.  We avoid fibrous or collagen casing and we urge you to buy genuine sheep or hog casing which either come “hanked” looking like a large skein or yarn or the “tubed” kind which come either dry-packed in salt or wet packed.  We prefer the dry-packed casings which seem to be the easiest to use.

We also recommend a good sharp knife to cut your chosen meat up into chunks which can go through your grinder.

We like to mix our sausage in a very large plastic container once the meat and fat are ground and into that we add whatever Home Farm Herbery sausage seasoning we are using on that day.

As a gardener at Home Farm I started a Mediterranean Herb Garden 12 years ago which has grown from a small hobby to a satisfying small business with a mission statement. 

Over those 12 years I have created, to date, 22 sausage seasoning blends that each come with a tried and true recipe that will allow you to make from as little as 2.5 pounds of sausage to 7 pounds of sausage.  Our culinary blends range from Andouille Sausage, Bratwurst, Breakfast Maple Sausage, Cajun Boudin Blanc Sausage, Chorizo, Country Sausage, English Bangers, Garlic and Pepper Sausage, Habanero Sausage, Hot Chorizo, Hot Italian Sausage, Hungarian Sausage, Irish Sausage, Linguica, Mild Chorizo, Pepperoni, Polish Sausage, Smoked Garlic Cheese Sausage, Summer Sausage, Sun-dried Tomato Sausage to Sweet Italian Sausage.  We know none of them have MSG in them.  We know many of them are diabetic friendly and we sell our Home Farm Herbery Sausage Seasonings on our website (learn-america.com) where all our net proceeds go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

It is truly satisfying to create not only the blends which are created from our own culinary herbs that are grown here at Home Farm Herbery and which are often mixed with certified organic spices that come from our supplier, but it is truly satisfying to know that everything we put into our sausage is chemical free.  We try to buy our meat from certified organic local meat producers or when we use wild game we have it processed by an approved meat processing plant.

I like the fact that I can control everything that goes into the sausage we make for home consumption.  I know there are no added chemicals that are used to increase the shelf life. I know the sanitary conditions under which our sausage is made.

Though we sell our Gourmet Culinary Sausage Seasonings, we do not sell our finished sausage product.  We just enjoy it for our own table or give it away as very satisfying and welcomed holiday gifts. 

So why would anyone one want to take the time to make their own sausage?  The main reason for us was we wanted to know what was in it and we knew we could make it cheaper by about half than buying it.  However, there are other reasons such as making sausage can become an art and an extremely great and satisfying hobby.  It can become a fun family affair and it certainly is a lost art that can be taught to children.  Over the years we discovered that our 5 kids enjoyed eating what they created.

If you are looking to try something satisfying and meaningful then try sausage making and give your family a wholesome, healthy treat.

May the Creative Force be with you,

Arlene Wright-Correll

How to Temper Chocolate©

How to Temper Chocolate©

By Arlene Wright-Correll

Chocolate seems like a mystery to most people. A wonderful mystery that simply tastes good, no not good, great!

At Home Farm Herbery I make handmade European Chocolates when the weather is not hot and one of the professional secrets is to temper the chocolate. When chocolate is tempered is has a shiny finish, it is smooth and it has a satisfying snap.

For those who are planning on making dipped chocolates or molded chocolates, tempering the chocolate is a must so that it behaves properly and produces candies that are both tasty and beautiful.

If the chocolate you are using does not come in pieces but is in block or bar form then you will need to chop your chocolate into pieces. Never use chocolate chips as they have an additive that allows them to retain their shape at higher temperatures, and so they will not temper properly.  I find it best to use 1 pound of chocolate at a time.

You will need a large pan for boiling water and I use a wok type pan or a skillet that resembles the same thing.  You will need a large metal bowl that will fit over that pan comfortably.  You will need a candy thermometer, a rubber spatula for stirring (not a wooden spoon or a metal spoon), another bowl with ice water into which you can set the melted chocolate pan.

Step one is to prepare your chocolate and put two thirds of it into your metal bowl.

Step two is to bring your water pan to a boil and then shut off the heat.

Step three is to set your metal bowl containing the chocolate onto the pan of hot water and start stirring.  Make sure your chocolate bowl is not sitting in the water.

Using your candy thermometer bring the chocolate to 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 C) for dark chocolate or 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 C) for milk or white chocolate as you keep stirring until your chocolate is melted. 

Once you have reached the correct temperature, remove it from the heat, wipe the bottom of the bowl, and set it on a heat-proof surface.

Step four is to add the remaining chunks of chocolate and stir gently to incorporate. The warm chocolate will melt the chopped chocolate, and the newly added chocolate will bring down the temperature of the warm chocolate.

As you cool the chocolate watch the thermometer until it is just below 84 degrees F (29 C).  If you still have some chunks of unmelted chocolate just remove them as they can be cooled, wrapped in plastic wrap, and saved for another use.

Step five is to reheat the chocolate briefly by placing the chocolate bowl over the warm water in the double boiler for 5-10 seconds, remove it and stir, and repeat, until the temperature reaches 88-89 degrees F (31 C), or 87 F (30 C) for milk and white chocolate. Do not leave the chocolate over the hot water, or allow it to exceed 91 degrees or you will have to just discard it.

With these five easy steps you have learned how to temper chocolate and to make sure it has been done properly, do a spot test by spreading a spoonful thinly over an area of waxed paper and allow it to cool. If the chocolate is shiny and smooth, it is properly tempered. If it is dull or streaky, it has not been tempered correctly.

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