Jim and I have been working on our sausage making for quite some time. Amidst all the chaos that comes with the doldrums of every day life, private events and a one-year old who likes to wake up at 5:30AM, it has surely been a work in progress. Sometimes our thoughts at the end of the day mean more than they do when we wake up. Today was one of those days. We awoke early with Lucca and padded into the kitchen, warm with the scent of pre-programmed Stumptown drip coffee . A few scratchy rubs of our half-opened eyes that were still trying hard to shut and continue dreaming of the night before and we thought, “what’s for dinner?”. It was decided by 5:42AM, sausage.
I must mention at this point that there is a story behind this, a very old story that became truth for us in 2009. I had spent about 2 years researching Jim’s genealogy and long story short, we took a family trip to Sicily to visit where he had come from. This may involve another story on its own to be revisted but for now, this is the short of it. One of Jim’s ancestry lines are of the Ferraro family living near and in Savoca, Sicily. By trade they have been butchers since the beginning of time. We had the pleasure of meeting the one current owner and descendant, a family member with a trail too far to reach but so close in nature.
Hence the sausage. We decided when we returned home that it is really important to continue the tradition in our own right. It’s not perfect and our abilities have really only produced dinner here and there, but the love is the same, and we feel grateful to be honoring those that came before us and perfected such a craft. Part of why I love researching our genealogy is because I feel like it validates the lives of people whom we have never had the pleasure of knowing or of being able to sit next to 100 years later and say “thank you”.
Part of “what’s for dinner” is also “what shall we drink?”. This question is never easy coming from people who cherish the dinner ritual and often spend an hour chatting at the table after we have enjoyed our meal, sipping a glass of wine, a local beer, or an artisanal small-batch bourbon. The answer was clear to both of us after we finished our second cup of coffee and fed Lucca his favorite breakfast: roasted butternut squash with poached apples, cinnamon and a local grass fed yogurt ( Maple Hill Creamery)…we would open the wine that our dear friends Jon Wu and Jane D’Arensbourg gave us for our son’s first birthday. The friendship that we have with Jon and Jane is nothing short of incredible. Jon, Jim and I have grown through the years, working at restaurants together (Blue Hill, Per Se). When we met Jane we fell in love. We have spent weekends on our boat together, days in nyc being silly and then (!) at just about the same time, we had babies.
When our son was born quite early, Jon and Jane were a foundation of sorts for us. I now know that in certain times of stress not everyone deals in the same way. Some friends shied away, some gave us space, others dove in head first and either called every single day or sent notes of encouragement and love. The latter was Jon and Jane. Jane is an incredibly talented artist who continues to blow us away ever time we see her donning a different piece of her hand-made jewelry…amongst other insanely gorgeous pieces. Jon is one of the most talented chefs we have had the privelege of growing with. I crave his home-made fava bean curd.
The wine that they brought us is called Omaggio (Seghesio Family Vineyard), from a family-run vineyard that has been in business since 1895. The name translates to “Hommage”. Tonight Jim and I enjoyed a delicious meal of home-made sausage and red wine. We paid tribute to the Ferraro butchers of the past centuries, and to our dear friends of the current one. The circle has been completed, clink clink.