This is one of those recipes that I would say I can’t remember when I started eating it. I do recall my grandfather really enjoying it so my mother would sometimes make it for him as part of a Father’s Day or Christmas gift.
Probably my best memory related to this summer sausage happened a few years ago. My sister, nephew, and I have started working our way through the Midwest for our annual vacations. In 2010, we decided to go to Oklahoma City. We had never been but I once went on a date with a traveling comedian who said OKC and Omaha were some of the fast growing Midwestern cities with lots of things to do.
I asked everyone I knew who had once lived or visited OKC for advice on where to go. We got lots of great suggestions. We went to Pops – this really cool store/restaurant with over 500 different types of soda pop. Of course, this was Brock’s favorite. Stephanie loved the American Banjo Museum. Not sure if it was because she is a music teacher or because my Great-Grandpa Fletcher used to play a banjo in a band. I had the best plain steak ever at Cattleman’s Steakhouse. We got a filet, baked potato, dinner roll, and salad for around $18. This place is so good you have to wait for a table at 3PM on Saturday afternoon in the middle of summer. And of course, we were so moved by the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. We spent the better part of a day and half at the museum. While in the exhibit where you hear a recording of when the bomb hit, the power went out. And it wasn’t for dramatic effect either. The power didn’t come back on so we were evacuated and returned the following day. It’s truly an amazing museum both inside and out that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime.
As a way to save money on our trip, I suggested we bring some food with us for the trip. Our Marriott hotel room had a fridge so why not use it, right? On the way down, we stopped for gas and had a picnic lunch on the green space outside the Kansas Visitor’s Center. We all had summer sausage sandwiches, a bag of baked chips, fresh fruit, and a bottle of water. It was actually pretty fun and way healthier than eating fast food.
May this recipe bring you happy memories with friends and family.
Homemade Summer Sausage by Kathy Bourek
2 lbs. ground beef
½ tsp. coarse ground pepper
½ tsp. mustard seed
1 c. water
½ tsp. garlic powder
2 ½ T. Tender Quick Salt
1 ½ tsp. liquid smoke
Mix all ingredients together. Lump into two logs on foil. (Make sure the shinny side is toward the meat.) Refrigerate for 24 hours. Next day, place foil logs in a 13 x 9 plan. Add ½ c. of water to pan. Poke several holes in the foil. Bake for 90 minutes at 325 degrees. Remove from foil using gloves and tongs so you don’t burn yourself. Place on a cookie rack to cool slightly. Re-wrap in new foil and refrigerate until use. Slice on a cutting board with a sharp knife.
Note: This sausage is good alone, on crackers, or with Miracle Whip in a sandwich.