As promised I am about to blog about the annual salami making weekend. I hereby warn anyone who is a vegetarian or dislikes raw meat to disregard this entry as I am going to post pictures of the pig being cut up (after being dressed by the butcher).We headed home on Friday night in miserable weather. It is hard to appreciate such rain when you have the windscreen wipers on full and you still can’t see out the window. We made it home – obviously – and both the little ones were superb all the way… 3 whole hours of peace spoilt by fear every time a huge truck roared past at 110km. The rain was so hard that we couldn’t even hear the Cats win over Essendon. However, it was worth the effort. Home was lovely and warm, full of love and good food!

On Saturday Pete and his Dad set up the shed for the event and went and bought the pig carcass at lunch time from the local butcher. In the old days everyone grew there own pig, slaughtered it, prepared it and then made the salami. I consider us to be very lucky. I think I could grow a pig knowing I was going to eat it – I feel that if I couldn’t do this part I shouldn’t eat meat – but I don’t think I could kill it. Pete’s cousin’s did the whole thing from scratch this year and, while they don’t like killing the pig, they find it a satisfying process. Sunday morning was icy cold and every one rugged up as much as they could, it was so cold that Mount Buffalo had ice on it…

Mount Buffalo from the back yard

Anyway, we started the Sunday with a five legged pig… one whole pig plus a leg (obviously).

The Legs

This year was Jasmin’s first year so the boys showed her what to do (after being reminded how to proceed by all of “The Experience” in the shed) and she held her own amongst all the testosterone.

Beginners Class

Some pick things up quicker than others!!

There was a vast array of experience in the shed, mostly with slightly different views on the way to make the actual salami, who helped the learners make a very tasty batch of mild and not so mild salami.



The Experience

Smoko is always great

Sophie in her hand-me-down snow suit

They spent the first part of the morning cutting all the meat from the bones and slicing as much fat as possible from the meat. Once the meat was ready it was weighed and then dumped in the BIG wooden dish. In the dish the meat combined with salt and then minced. This was one point of difference between all The Experience in the shed – some mince the meat and then put in the salt and some add the salt before mincing as we did.

Pete playing with the mincer

Lean pork mince

The BIG wooden dish

Once the meat is minced they add in the peppers and sauce which is mixed in by hand. Once it is all combined it’s formed into balls to make it easier to fill the sausage maker.

Ready to fill the skins

They fill the cylinder with the meat and put the synthetic skin over the nozzle making sure no air gets in – apparently this part can be tricky as the skins are slippery. This year The Experience did that part but next year Pete is going to do it. The result was about 40 lovely looking salamis ready to hang for a few months to dry and be smoked. They shrivel quite a bit in the drying process and develop a lovely rich red colour (also dependent on the amount of sauce you add in).

Ready for drying and smoking

Towards the end of the session, once it had warmed up a bit, I brought Sam out to supervise – Sophie was a part of it last year when she was just a few months old so I couldn’t let Sam miss out.

Sam loves a cuddle

We all shared a yummy pot of pasta for lunch and then the boys cleaned up the shed.  It was a great day full of family and fun and I am looking forward to getting my hands dirty next year…