Challenge: Write something (prose or poetry; fiction, nonfiction, or essay) about teamwork. It can deal with a child or an adult; it can be set in school, the business world, the military, or whatever else you can come up with. The teamwork can result in something wonderful happening, or in a major disaster.
Longganisa, pronounced "LONG-ga-NEE-sa", is the kind of sausage that you can find in any region in the Philippines. The beauty of this meat product is that each region of the Philippines has its own variety. My family is from the northern part of the Philippines and the most popular longganisa in those parts is the Vigan longganisa. But my family doesn't make that. My parents are from Bangued, Abra and we make it a little differently, and most importantly, it's a family affair.
More than once have we had family come over to the house and make longganisa. My mother drops by her sister's house to give her the money to buy the pork and the casing with. My uncle makes these little hoops out of wire to make passing all that meat through the casing easy.
My mother and her sisters can usually make longganisa on their own but it takes them forever. They only sat down together to make this when their other sister would visit all the way from Texas. They'd spend an afternoon sitting in our kitchen and it would take them a good hour before everything is all done.
The meat mixture is done at my aunt's home. For every 3 quarter kilos of ground lean pork, she dices 1 quarter kilo of pork fat. She tried using lean meat alone and needless to say, she didn't do that again. For this amount of pork, she minces two heads of garlic and mixes that into the meat, along with soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. This sits to marinate overnight.
The casing is then attached to the wire hoops and the filling begins. I've actually filled sausages before and it's a lot of fun. My mother and I would take about and hour or two. Mom started using twine to make the links but for some reason, good old corn husks make it all taste better.
When everything is all strung up and ready, the whole thing is hung up to dry under the sun for three days. After three days, we store it in the freezer.
When it's just mom, dad, my brother and I at home, we still do it on our own. Mom dices the pork fat while I mince all that garlic. Dad and my brother mix the meat by hand and mom and I stuff the sausages.
Eating something you actually made with your own bare hands is one of the most gratifying things ever. The next most gratifying thing after that is eating it and celebrating family and team work because even if it doesn't happen to turn out right, we'll still eat it enjoy it just as much as we enjoyed making it together.