Today we have two National Days to celebrate. The first is New Hampshire Day. New Hampshire was the 9th state to join the Union yet the first to establish an independent government. For over 100 years, the first votes cast in a presidential election are cast here.
But did you know . . .
That world’s longest candy counter can be found in Littleton, New Hampshire? Cutters Candy Store boasts a counter that is 112-foot long and holds over 500 jars of candy.
New Hampshire is commonly known as the Granite State. Another popular nickname is the Switzerland of America. One winter in New Hampshire and you’ll understand why.
New Hampshire is home to both the oldest and longest covered bridge remaining in the country. First build in 1866 at a cost of $9,000 dollar, the Cornish-Windsor Bridge is 449 feet long. It crosses the Connecticut River, connecting Cornish, New Hampshire with Windsor, Vermont.
This bridge makes up for New Hampshire’s other claim to fame. New Hampshire may have the longest bridge, but its coastline is the shortest in the country. At just 18 miles long, the coastline is the equivalent to one trip around the island of Bora Bora.
Of all the weird laws in New Hampshire, the one I would struggle with the most is that you may not tap your feet, nod your head, or in any way keep time to the music in a tavern or café. Although there is no mention of dancing – so I guess it’s “dancing” while sitting down that is a problem. Such a restriction seems in direct opposition to the state motto “Live Free or Die”.
Today is also National Salami Day. The day was created by the Salami Appreciation Society of Henrico, Virginia in 2006. The salamis most familiar to the American consumer are Genoa and Hard Salami. Genoa salami ages in red wine with peppercorns and garlic. It is softer for a variety of reasons than Hard Salami. Hard Salami is dry-cured and often smoked, resulting in a salami that is hard (hence the name) and easy to slice thin.
I thought for National Salami Day it might be fun to learn how to make our own salami. It seems recipes for homemade salami are only salami in spirit. In reality, we are making a summer sausage. True salami is aged anywhere from 30 to 90 days. With the exception of homemade spirits, most of us cannot wait that long. A summer sausage can be cured in 24 hours, then cooked before consuming. So while the recipe here isn’t a true salami, it is in the spirit of salami. Like salami, it can be used in a sandwich, added to a cheese board, or just nice to nibble on.
Beef Summer Sausage
2 lbs Ground Beef
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Mustard Seed
2 tablespoons Morton Tender Quick Curing Mixture
1 tablespoon Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoon liquid Mesquite Smoke
In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard seed, curing salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and liquid smoke. Divide mixture in half. Roll each half into a 2-inch diameter log. Wrap sausage rolls tightly in aluminum foil. Place in the refrigerator to cure for 24 hours.
Note: Curing longer than 24 hours could result in a salami that is far too briny. Timing is everything to property develop flavor.
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Make a few slits in the bottom of each roll to allow the fat to drain when cooking. Place the rolls on the top portion of a broiler pan. Fill the bottom part of the pan with about 1 inch of water to keep the salami moist.
Bake in the heated oven for 90 minutes. Remove from oven. Allow salami to cool completely before unwrapping.
Slice and eat as lunch meat, or serve on a tray with crackers and cheese.