When we were in San Francisco for Thanksgiving my son, Chris, and I decided to try our hand at sausage making. Many years ago I had frequently made sausage with my mom using her hand-cranked grinder (which I still have and use), but I had little remembrance of the actual task. I have no idea where she got the casings we used (perhaps from a local farmer) but Chris got his at the Golden Gate Meat Company ( http://www.goldengatemeatcompany.com) at the Ferry Plaza where we also picked up the chicken and pork we were going to use as the sausage base.
First we tried our hand at a chicken-apple mix. We sautéed a large sweet onion with just a clove or two of garlic and some minced thyme and sage. Chris neatly cut a couple of apples into a fine dice. We ground the chicken and then mixed the cooled cooked onion mix and apples into it and seasoned it well with salt and pepper. The apple dice was a little bit too big, but we managed to force it into the casing (which we had soaked in lukewarm water for about an hour) through the tube on the Kitchenaid attachment. From the grimaces on our faces, you’d think we were mining coal. Didn’t quite have the technique down, but we had some laughs and the sausage tasted pretty darned good. Good enough that we went on to make a pork sausage seasoned with roasted peppers and basil.