Nowadays many of us are living and bringing up children in very densely populated urban environments, like apartment blocks, but are somehow trapped in what I call the ‘neighbour paradox’ which sees us living closer to more and more people and yet somehow creating greater and greater distances from the people that we live near.
When I grew up it was a matter of motherly pride that we knew not only the name of every single person that lived in our neighbourhood but that we also knew when they were celebrating or mourning. A family gathering was a huge thing because of the fact that you always invited your neighbours, their neighbours and then other key members of the community. When cooking for that many people you are NOT going to do a roast, you go down the road to the local butcher and buy sausages. A lot of sausages.
The sausage was cheap(ish) and could be surrounded by bread, smothered with sauce and distributed en mass to kids and old folk alike – job done. The sausage sizzle for me signified celebration on a grand scale.
This humble smallgood used exotic seasonings like ‘salt’ and was kept juicy by using ‘fat’. It was a well-made mixture that was forced into an animal casing and there was not a butcher that would not truly believe their sausage was the best in town! Once upon a time the sausage was made with a sense of pride and determination.
Now days we eat plastic tubes filled with horror designed by marketing companies to give the illusion of being nice… I believe this is directly linked to the sad state we live in, in which the people who live above, beside, next to you are phantom faces you glide by silently in the corridor.
So it is with these thoughts in mind that when I was asked to cook for the launch of ‘Art and About’ for the City Of Sydney it HAD to be a sausage sizzle! I could not think of better way to celebrate community and good times other than a bloody bonza sausage sizzle using the brilliantly simple sausages made by Feather and Bone, who are craftsmen in their own right.
Let the simple sausage rise again to be a thing of subtle and beautiful importance!
Words: Jared Ingersoll