Last Saturday marked our 6th time appearance at the New Taste Marketplace. Quite a milestone considering that the NTM is a monthly market, meaning that we’ve been at this for over half a year now. Hard to believe but it feels like we’re practically old pros at this. We’ve been lucky to try out many different concepts and ideas at the NTM, serving BLTs, pastrami, and pulled pork sandwiches and offering various meats for sale by the pound. This time around we wanted to bring something new and exciting to the market and after some discussion with the market organizer, we decided that sausage making demos would make for a fun and educational afternoon for market attendees.
Our setup for this market was much bigger than previous markets. We used two 6′ tables and set up the demo on one side and a temporary Jablow’s Meats ‘shop’ on the other side. This was the first NTM where we didn’t offer sandwiches but we did bring a ton of tasty meaty treats for sale including bacon, pastrami, corned beef and of course, the subject of our demo, sweet Italian sausage.
A little diagram I used during the demo to show everyone where the ‘butt’ comes from (hint: it’s not where you think).
Also for the first time we took on additional help in the form of our good friend Liz, who was kind enough to volunteer her services in return for a full afternoon of sausage-making themed jokes.
Here I am holding court during the first of our two demos. People were genuinely excited to be in the audience – I heard many ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ throughout the 30 minute sessions, especially when it came time to actually stuff the sausage into casings.
Sausage stuffing 101 – it’s a lot easier to stuff the sausage all at once, then form individual links (as opposed to forming links as you stuff).
For having never led a sausage making demo in front of a group of 30 strangers, twice during the day, I’d say that everything went amazingly well. There was only one minor snafu to report – between the two demos, I cleaned all the grinder parts in the kitchen. By mistake I left the grinder blade in the sink and didn’t realize it until it was time to grind the meat during the 2nd demo. Luckily the blade was right where I left it – no harm done – though I did feel a little silly when I realized that the most important part of the grinder had gone missing right when I needed it the most.