So, it's back to the future here at Rettland Farm.
No, I'm not talking about a visit by Ol' Doc or Marty McFly, or the arrival of Flux Capacitors by UPS or Stainless Steel Doloreans in the barnyard.
I'm talking about the latest addition to the Rettland Farm Original Sausage line, called "Autumn Splendor." This apparent new kid on the block is actually the grandaddy of them all. A little over a year ago, when I started exploring the idea of producing original sausages using our own meats as a way of showcasing the "taste" of Rettland Farm, I knew that the sausages had to be unique in concept and flavor. So, I started to experiment with different ingredients that were unique to the season at the time, which happened to be autumn.
The result of hours (and I mean hours) of messing around in the kitchen more than a year ago, before I ever produced a sausage for retail sale, yielded the basic recipe for the sausage we rolled out today, affectionately called "Autumn Splendor." But poor little Autumn Splendor had to wait a whole year, while the rest of the RF line hit the streets.
So why wait a whole year to release this sausage for public enjoyment? Well, for a couple of reasons, the first being seasonality. The ingredients are very much FALL ingredients. I wanted to use fresh fruit in season, not fruit from cold storage and ABSOLUTELY not fruit imported from some foreign country, essentially driving another nail in the coffin of American fruitgrowers. In Adams County, PA, fruit is harvested in the fall.
In addition, the sausage has a sort of FALL taste to it--it's just not something you'd want to eat watching fireworks on July 4th, or something you'd whip up for your sweetie on Valentine's Day. It's just...autumnal.
What are these magical FALL ingredients? Besides the ever present, ever reliable Rettland Farm Pork, I used some pretty awesome Adams County Bosc Pears, the kind that have rich mahogany colored skins, so fresh that a few of them still have a leaf or two attached to the stems. Next comes dried cranberries, which obviously didn't come from Adams County, but I happen to like them very much, and what they added to the sausage overcame any pangs of guilt I felt for not using super local ingredients.
After that, we've got a few spices thrown in that will remind you of apple pies, and the smells around grandma's house on Thanksgiving.
One other thing--this sausage is packaged and labelled as a "Breakfast" sausage. It's been stuffed into smaller diameter casings, making it possible to cook the sausage in less time. But, Autumn Splendor will work in lots of different scenarios, so don't be afraid to try. And as usual, if you come up with a really cool way to use the sausage, I'd love to hear about it in the comment section.
Autumn Splendor is available exclusively at the Carriage House Market, 117 Frederick St. Rear, Hanover, PA. Please make plans now to stop in and get some, because it will only be available for a limited time, for reasons you probably understand by now.