December 13, 1851


Sat Dec 13th  Have tried my lard cleaned hogs head

and fat and the meat ready choped & seasoned 

for filling  Have been to work all day on them

together with Jane & Mary.  Have 78 lbs meat

Mr Ames & Augustus have been to Boston.

Augustus got me some worsteds for hood

Frank & Oakes chopped my meat & Sarahs, she

had 28 lbs.

Sarah Witherell and Evelina Ames, sisters-in-law bent on taking care of some pork fresh from the slaughter of a few Ames hogs, had 106 pounds of pork between them to be turned into sausage. In addition to the capable hands of servants Jane McHanna and Mary, they had help from Evelina’s sons Oakes Angier and Frank Morton, who chopped the meat, and probably the fat, too,  into manageable chunks. Together with other ingredients – see below – the meat was forced into a grinder like the one pictured above.

Most likely, the women didn’t need to follow a recipe to make the sausage, having made it countless times before.  But if they did, they could have turned to Sarah Josepha Hale’s instructions in The Good Housekeeper.  They would have had to multiply the recipe times thirty or so:

“TO MAKE SAUSAGE MEAT. — Chop two pounds of lean with one of fat pork very fine – mix with this meat five teaspoonfuls of sale, severn of powdered sage, two of black pepper, and one of cloves.  You can add a little rosemary, if you like it”*

And sausage wasn’t the only product from the pork that Evelina, Sarah, Jane and Mary worked on.  They made lard and dressed a hog’s head. It was a most productive day in the Ames kitchen.

*Sarah Josepha Hale, The Good Housekeeper, Boston, 1841

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