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