On occasion I try to adopt an “attitude of gratitude.” Recently, I found myself counting my blessings about my life in general, and more specifically, the fact that I live in a great small town, tucked away in America’s Deep South. As I ran through the many advantages to my lifestyle, inevitably my thoughts turned to food. Those of you who know me will not be shocked at that revelation.
Not only are we blessed with great places to eat, but our part of the country has many unique culinary styles and high quality, locally produced products. On a recent trip to Mobile to scrounge for antiques, we stopped in the little town of Evergreen, Alabama to gas up. As we exited Interstate 65, we noticed a large sign with an arrow pointing to The Conecuh Sausage Company.
I could not believe my eyes. For an Alabamian to stumble upon the place that makes Conecuh Smoked Sausage is like Imelda Marcos waking up in “Shoes-a-Million.” I was first introduced to the Conecuh brand of smoked sausage when I lived in Birmingham in 1963. I can remember that we loved it then, but soon we moved away, not to return to the state until 2005.
Shortly after we returned, my daughter and her new husband invited us over for steaks. My son-in-law, who was serving as grill-master for the evening, offered us a sample his favorite appetizer, Conecuh sausage wrapped in bacon, grilled slowly over a charcoal fire. One bite, and the gates of Heaven opened and the Angels started to sing. This is the only evening in a long love affair with grilled steaks when an Hors d’oeuvres upstaged a porterhouse.
When I inquired about how he came up with this wonderful combination, he replied that it was a staple of hunting camps, family reunions and dinners-on-the-grounds all across South Alabama. He offered me his recipe on the spot.
It was simple and to the point: Buy a couple of pounds of the narrow link Conecuh sausage, cut it into inch and a half segments, wrap the sausage with a half slice of good country bacon, preferably Conecuh’s, and stick a toothpick through the whole business. Sprinkle it with almost any seasoning salt, and grill over in-direct charcoal heat. Believe me, this is what is served in heaven when the saints have a party.
Conecuh has a very limited range of products, and when we visited the gift store at the factory, we indulged in most of them. There are two types of sausage, thin and thick. I have been grilling the thin and frying the thick for breakfast for the past couple of years. Both are available in original recipe, hot and spicy and Cajun. We bought a case of each, along with a couple of pounds of their thick sliced bacon, which is hard to find even in Alabama.
Since we returned home with our sausage stash, we have tried all of the products and each is better than the last. I realize that most people do not live within driving range of Evergreen, but there is good news. You can order these products by contacting the company as follows:
Conecuh Sausage Co., Inc.
PO Box 327
200 Industrial Park
Evergreen, AL 36401