As my sweetheart prepares to hit the big 5-0 in a couple weeks, I decided to surprise him a bit early with a birthday present (we like making birthdays last as long as humanly possible) and gave him a meat grinder with sausage stuffer, something he as a meat fanatic had been dying to have. He was STOKED! It was not the fanciest model but it had great reviews and so while it’s a bit slow going (just under an hour to stuff 4 lbs of sustainably-raised Carlton Farms Boston butt mixed with fatback), it works like a charm. These photos are a bit of a montage of his first attempt at making sausage – a basic Italian sausage that is DAMN tasty – from heading over to Gartner’s so he could see what one of Portland’s biggest and coolest meat markets looks like (no shade to his natural grocer employer, just cool to go to a real meat market that’s been around for almost 60 years). You can also see his top shelf in his “meat room” (our 3rd bedroom in the basement where he keeps all his supplies, AKA the Rock n Roll Room where our old music posters from the past 25 years cover the walls) with some of his main seasonings for curing and sausage making, from bacon cure to pink salt to pink peppercorns to the herbes de provence mix I made, and a charcuterie plate I put together to help him celebrate. I’m also super excited to announce that he has finally made the lateral move, being offered a position as a full time Meat Cutter at his store, getting out of the deli and focusing full time on meat, learning from the best.