Kibworth & Smeeton WI – October 2023

We welcomed Jill Vickers to our September meeting to talk to us about ‘Sausage Making with Bridge 67 Butchers. Jill and her husband John opened their shop in the centre of Kibworth in 2020. Its name derives from one of the canal bridges situated on their farmland. Bridge 67’s beef and lamb comes from their farm in Smeeton Westerby, where the Debdale valley provides excellent grazing.

Their animals are slaughtered locally, so customers are assured of the quality and care for the animals and the whole process. Pork comes from Jill’s sister’s farm, also in Leicestershire and eggs come from another family member. The shop also sells chicken, hamburgers, quality breads, cheeses, pies, sausage rolls and ready meals. 

Sausage Demonstration

Andy, one of the shop’s expert butchers, demonstrated sausage making to us. He used quality skins produced from the intestines of sheep, ensuring that their sausages are natural. He explained that he usually uses a larger electric machine, rather than the portable one he used to demonstrate.

Andy makes up about 200kg of sausages a week. At six per kilo, that’s about 1,200 sausages. When the skin was filled with sausage meat, he twisted the skin and linked three sausages together at a time. He explained that the long chains of finished sausages would be hung in their fridges, hopefully to be sold the following day.

They also produce gluten free sausages, which contain a small quantity of rice flour instead of rusk to bind the meat together. Andy recommends pan frying sausages rather than using the grill or the oven so that the skin doesn’t harden or the sausage dry out. 

Andy made the process look so easy! Then it was time for him to invite any willing ladies to have a go! The first brave volunteer was Beverley, our President, followed by Gail Holland. Both of them made a good fist of it with Andy’s help, but Jacki Shorley was the champion! 

This was an informative and fun talk and demonstration, culminating with members being given samples of cooked sausages to taste at their tables. Jill also brought some cheeses for members to sample and buy. We ended the evening with social time and delicious refreshments. 

While continuing with our charity knitting and crochet projects, we are also preparing some additions to our annual Remembrance Day poppy displays in the church and the library garden. October 17 will see us playing our first skittles match of the County Federation competition at Broughton Astley. 

At our 12 October meeting we had a talk about ‘Life On Board Royal Yacht Britannia’. Our Annual Meeting will take place on 9 November at 7.30pm In Kibworth Grammar School Hall.

 Pat Sharman