When you have collected the blood, livers and fat of so many lovely game birds over a few day's time - specifically, six ducks, three pheasants, a goose, ten quail and a few chickens all collected into salted red wine and vinegar - it is surely time to make a gourmet blood sausage. I used a French style recipe calling for farm fresh eggs, heavy cream, breadcrumbs and onions, and seasoned it with aniseed, fennel, dried orange peel, pink peppercorns, cinnamon, fennel, nutmeg, star anise powder, garlic and unsweetened cocoa. The goat and sheep blood I processed as coarse loaves with quite a bit of solid organ meat in the mix, but these game birds demanded a more delicate treatment.

Casing blood sausage is never fun and always messy, but I'm very pleased with the results despite a few links bursting when I poached them. Too full to do more than taste though, as I just had a pan-seared Muscovy duck breast with blackberry-shallot sauce for an early dinner. The rest of the carcass is slow roasting in the oven for later. Some braised fennel would have been a fine accompaniment, but I've been too busy with sausage and cheese making to shop for vegetables. Also, the fridge is a bit crammed.

I'm currently roasting some coffee as a thank-you to a nice fellow from Craigslist who was giving away some retired layers for stewing hens. The flavor on fat old retired layer hens is *amazing*, and they just need some extra moisture in slow cooking to reach their full potential. Licking my lips with glee and preparing to pick up the birds after the concert for processing tonight and tomorrow. I love it when people dump their retired hens on CL, and I like to show my appreciation and gratitude. He also wants an education on how to process them, which I don't have time to give him tonight, but I'll be happy to do some other time.