June Flori Remembers Saturday Nights

The sausage maker with a secret recipe …   

Every Saturday night, my Aunt Kay and Uncle Ray would come for dinner. The menu would always be homemade sausage, homemade baked beans, vegetables and pizza. My mother would make the sausage mixture which consisted of ground pork and many seasonings.

It was my job to make the sausage. We had an appliance that screwed onto the end of a table. It consisted of an opening that was just the right size to fit the sausage casing over, a deep well in which to put the mixture and a handle that turned to push the meat into the casing forming the sausage.

Old Sausage Maker

I would drop in the meat, turn the handle and make each sausage about six inches long. Then it would be time to put on another casing and continue the process until two or three pounds of sausage were made. The casings came in a jar and looked like tiny- transparent stockings only open at both ends. I didn’t know it then but found out later that they are really pigs’ intestines. I think most sausage made today may still use them.

And the Pizza …

My mother made two kinds of pizza … tomato, and egg and cheese. There was no such thing as thin crust pizza in those days, and not all the toppings they use today. Her pizza was at least three inches thick, and topped with tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. The egg and cheese pizza consisted of beaten egg, grated Romano cheese and parsley. About five minutes before it was done, she placed pieces of Mozzarella cheese on the top. This was a delicious recipe handed down from her family. It sounds easy, but there is a certain way to prepare it to come out right.

That is MY secret.

June Flori’s stories can be found in her wonderful book My Italian Family. Life in the Past Lane.

© 2018

By | 2018-08-12T18:51:49+00:00 August 20th, 2018|Family, Recipes, Stories of the 1940's and 1950's|8 Comments


  1. Peter Voccio JR. August 20, 2018 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    Tonight! A grilled sausage on a crispy Italian roll with a cold brew in a frosted glass. The family photo is almost a carbon copy of my wife Ann’s family photo sitting in our dining room.

    • Ed August 20, 2018 at 2:22 pm - Reply

      Peter, I am sure many could superimpose their family fotos on June’s. And I’ll bet the food was not far off, notwithstanding her secret pizza recipe.

  2. Peter Voccio JR. August 20, 2018 at 3:31 pm - Reply



  3. Marlaine Keenan August 20, 2018 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    Enjoyed reading

  4. Larry Goldberg August 20, 2018 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    I remember that contraption when I was growing up. My mother and grandmother both had one. As I recall, it was a dull grey metal grinding machine that you could tighten to the underside of the table. It had an opening at the top and the side, while the opposite side had a handle you could crank. My mother and my grandmother didn’t make sausages, but chopped chicken liver that would be an appetizer at home or brought to other family homes for weddings, funerals, birthdays, etc. Something made by hand always tasted better and nourished the soul more than store-bought goods. Thanks for rekindling a childhood experience.

    • Ed August 20, 2018 at 7:52 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Larry. You describe it quite well. The model pictured is my brother in law, Franks. Now in the possession of his nephew, it has been in his family for generations. Still working. Still making the finest sausage anywhere.

  5. Natalie L McKenna August 21, 2018 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    I used to love to watch our local butcher make the sausages at the neighborhood grocery store, but his was electric. They had wonderful tasting sausages. It was Vera’s store and also was the place where all the news of the neighborhood was passed around! Thanks June, just the mention of Italian made sausage brings back that memory to me. Love this blog!

    • Ed August 21, 2018 at 3:19 pm - Reply

      Sausage has a special place in many hearts

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