My husband John is always teasing me about how competitive I am. He likes to say that it’s an American characteristic and lets me know when I get too invested in winning. I have two words for him when that happens, ‘ American Revolution! ‘
Saturday night I might have shown more of my American side than usual while participating in what Helen, our party organizer kept reminding us was meant to be fun. I need to say that even though I was the only American there, there seemed to be quite a few Brits thinking and talking about how the trophy below might look on their shelf.
Helen, the woman I mentioned above for her peace keeping, party planning skills, also makes a great trophy. Last year it was the Pasty Making trophy I wanted to win and this year it was all about the sausage. Sadly, the picture I took while holding the 2011 Best Sausage trophy was the closest I got to bringing it home.
While my entry, Hot As A Rocket Turkey Sausage Blues, did not win or even place, my super spicy turkey with blue cheese was very tasty and there was nothing left on the plate when the night was over.
With only one sausage maker between about 20 or so contestants, we talked and tasted each other’s entries as they came out of the oven while waiting to stuff our skins with the secret mixtures we made at home.
We made eight each with four to going to the judges and four to the table above for peer-to-peer judging.
There were some interesting names and some crazy mixtures. The Chicken Delight was not too wild, but it was tasty.
I’m afraid I had to skip the Fish Pie sausage because I’m not a big fan of fish, but John really liked it.
Now this one was interesting. It looked a bit like something that you would try not to step in if out for walk, but it was actually a Christmas Pudding sausage.
These guys were two of the courageous judges and I have to say, I would rather cook it than eat as much as they had to that night.
Anne moved to the village from London about a year ago and her sausage (I think it was pork) came in first place. That’s the third judge standing behind her. He’s a professional sausage maker.
Ian and Irene tied for second and no, they did not drink all those empties alone. This is Ian’s second year coming in second place. I’m going to have to really watch out for them next year.
If you look closely at this photo you can see John’s head way in the back of the room in front of the woman in orange. John was responsible for the baked beans along with two other men, Steve and Mike, who made mashed potatoes and onion gravy to go with the sausage feast.
Gill tied for second place with Ian and Irene and she had a fabulous Chicken sausage with sun-dried tomato and feta cheese.
Way back in the top middle of this photograph is Rebecca, the winner from last year. She’s the laughing woman in green and purple. She made a venison sausage with pickled walnuts and I think she called it, Pickled Bambi. (Click to enlarge)
Craig doesn’t live in the village, but likes to come by every so often to party with the locals like Mandy who always has something funny to say. She made me put away my knitting and act like it was Saturday night.
After our evening of sausage making, eating, drinking, judging, and being judged, most of us ended up at the village pub where we shouted over a great band, had a few drinks, and took a turn on a dance floor barely big enough to turn on.
I’m hoping we will do desserts next January because I have more than a few killer recipe’s, not that I’m feeling competitive, well, not yet anyway.
I like sausage, but usually it’s just a patty of Jimmy Dean’s! These folks are serious about their sausage. Thanks for a unique glimpse into English life. LOL
Actually, Helen’s trophy is the real star – she cut it from a single piece of wood !
My former editor has created a dish he calls “bacon grenades.” It involves hot sausage stuffed with peanut butter and wrapped with bacon. There may be another ingredient I’m forgetting.
He plans to run the recipe in the food section of the newspaper. I can post it later. And I will, too, if you’re not nice to me. 😉
I got a chuckle just reading the title of this post!
Sorry you didn’t win. I would have voted for your entry because it sounds fantastic. Looks like such a great time you all had. Here’s to the next competition.
“Not that I’m competitive…” I burst out laughing. Readers should know that I don’t know you well enough to say if you’re competitive or not, but when you get to these food competition posts it’s clearly a case of ‘(oven) gloves off, and devil take the hindmost’, woman!! Hysterical.
The trophies certainly are fantastic prizes…artisan made, one of a kind…this is fantastically (sp?) fun Elizabeth. You make me long to live in an English village with the community competition, pub life, and interesting local characters…guess I will just have to enjoy it via you. happy writing!
I would like to say to Jenny N .. not all villages in the UK are like Elizabeth and John’s… they definetely live in a wonderful friendly village ..
My husband would say the best sausage one .. A Pork sausage .. 🙂 .. .. 🙂
Okay, the recipe ran in the paper:
1 pound Italian, spicy or reindeer patty sausage
1/4 cup Jif creamy peanut butter
1 pound peppered bacon
Louisiana Seasoned Fish Fry (or other breading mix)
2 cups Crisco vegetable oil (for frying)
Put the sausage between two sheets of wax paper and flatten with a rolling pin. Take off the top sheet of wax paper. Sprinkle the oregano, basil and chili onto the sausage, unless using Italian or spicy meat. Add the peanut butter dropping it in several different spots. Fold over, put the wax paper back on and roll it flat again. Repeat a time or two and finally flatten it into a sheet about half and inch thick. (If you have an easier way to mix sausage and peanut butter, feel free to try it.)
Set the sausage/peanut butter mix outside to cool. When it’s easy to handle, slice into uniform strips from which you can quickly form into small meat balls, no more than 1 inch in diameter.
Roll the balls in the barbecue powder. Wrap each in 1/2 slice of bacon. Hold the bacon in place with a toothpick “pin.” Roll the bacon-wrapped ball in the breading and fry in oil at 350 to 375 degrees. If you don’t have a deep-fryer use a cast iron Dutch oven. Because of the small size of each grenade, this part will only take a few minutes — although preparation is certainly time consuming. Check the internal temperature of one of the grenades to make sure it reaches 170 degrees.
These can be made in advance and reheated in a microwave to eat during the game. Serve with your choice of dipping sauces, like barbecue, salsa or ranch. Pull the toothpick “pin” and let it explode in your mouth!
Read more: http://www.adn.com/2011/02/01/1679466/crab-claws-and-reindeer-grenades.html#ixzz1CqQo2JN1