At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


Several years ago friend and coworker the Werewolf mentioned a lovely home movie that his family had shot on the farm. It involved bullets, a bucket, and a frightened little boy with a long wooden stick.
No, there was no plot - as a four year old the Werewolf was drafted to help at a family boucherie.

[The Werewolf is not his real name, but it is an apt description. He is an excessively hirsute man, of French ancestry, from some small community up near the Quebec border. Think 'pelt'. Imagine speckles of robust black follicle shading his cheeks by ten in the morning, and dense dark wires growing on his arms....... imagine that same man being sent to Hong Kong, where they think all white people are furry cavemen anyhow...... ]

A boucherie is a pig butchering. It happens in Autumn, usually, when the animal is nice and fully formed, dense with fatty goodness. It's very traditional among the Québécois and Cajuns.
The reason why a plural of bullets is mentioned is because the first bullet miraculously didn't down the beast. It ran around squealing furiously, and they needed several more shots to finish the job.
Finally they clubbed it to death with a hoe.

All of this chaos lovingly caught on camera.
Let's just say that they have interesting shared memories in that family.

The long wooden stick? That was for stirring the blood in a bucket, so that they could make boudin noir - blood sausage.

Blood sausage, while not exceedingly popular in the United States, is nevertheless traditional white-folks food. Farming communities all over Northern Europe make it in autumn. You used to be able to buy it at the local butchers, but nowadays health codes forbid it in most places.

In the Kempen and the Peel regions we had our own version.
My mother would not allow it in the house.
Don't know why.

Two cups stock from cooking meat.
Two cups fresh hog blood.
Eight slices of stale bread.
Half a pound heart.
Half a pound bacon or fatback.

1½ TBS salt.
2 Tsp. ground coriander.
1 Tsp. mace.
1 Tsp. ground pepper.
½ Tsp. ground cloves.
½ Tsp. ground nutmeg.
½ Tsp. ground cinnamon.
½ Tsp. dry ginger.

Large sausage casing.

Bring stock to boil. Add the bread and meats, all finely ground. Add the spices.

After a brief boil, let it cool down and mix in the blood.
Fill the casing, not too firmly, and coil the sausage in a large pan of water with a plate on the bottom. The plate will assist in distributing the heat evenly, as will the heat-absorbing pad which you will also use.
Simmer below boiling till the sausage has stiffened, at which point the blood has congealed - this will take slightly over an hour.

Hang to dry in a cold wind for two days.

Be especially careful not to have the heat under the pan too high, as the sausage might rupture.
You don't want that.
By the same token, do not allow women into the kitchen while simmering, as the sausage might rupture.
You don't want that.

Thick slices of blood sausage may be pan-fried on both sides, and put on bread with a sprinkling of sugar or a dab of hot sauce. Or even some nice sliced apple.

I would finish this post with a hearty 'bon appetit', except that I suspect many of my readers will be slightly green at this point. Sorry.
Please note that I waited till after lunch to post this. I am a considerate blogger.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:

All correspondence will be kept in confidence.



  • At 10:49 AM, Blogger Tzipporah said…

    okay, ok, I put up a new post. I was going to comment on yours, but I could only get as far as "ick"


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