My secret, always-ready meat only cost a dollar. I buy 8 once packages of Farmer John “Classic Pork Links” at Dollar Tree. Dollar Tree can save money on groceries. The sausages keep in the freezer until we’re ready to eat them. There are eight to a package, so each one is an once. We’ve used them in casseroles, spaghetti with marinara sauce, breakfast with sausage and eggs or sausage and frozen waffles, but our favorite way to include them in a meal is sausage tacos.
With my wife out of town, I didn’t want to make a big meal for lunch and didn’t want to drive anywhere. I looked around. I found half a pack of sausages in the freezer. I could eat eight sausages, but I hold back. Four would do. I threw them in a frying pan and turned up the heat. Nutritiously, the sausages rate a C+. Calorie-wise my four sausages came in around 300 . . . and only cost me fifty cents.
If you go to Taco Bell, which I like, or Taco Time, which I also like, you get ground meat, cheese, and shredded lettuce in your taco. You can pay extra and get sour cream, but a good taco really doesn’t need the extra calories, but it does need more than the average drive-thru can handle. I checked out the fridge and looked at the tomatoes sitting on the table ripening in the September sun. I cut up a red bell pepper from the crisper, and shredded some white cheddar from the cheese drawer. The plate of tomatoes had a couple ripe small black tomatoes. I popped them in my mouth before I could take a photo. They are about the size of a big marble. The are green and mottled with a little point on them. When ripe they are mostly purple/black with a little orange and green skin thrown in. My friend Donn raises tomatoes and they are wonderful, but this plate of tomatoes, or rather a left-over plate of tomatoes came from my son Del. Del doesn’t just like beefsteak tomatoes or heirlooms, he likes strange tomatoes that make you think twice before biting into them . . . and then when you close your eyes and bite into one, the drool starts to flow.
I fried up my sausages, and when they were nice and brown on all sides (they’re kind of rectangular) I poured out most of the grease onto a paper plate lined with two paper towels. Then I put the sausages on the paper plate and threw four tortillas into the little bit of grease in the frying pan. I only use cornmeal tortillas, they last longer and a good size package only costs a little over a dollar at Grocery Outlet. When the tortillas started bubbling up, I turned them over. When they were just about done, I took the frying pan off the burner. While the tortillas stayed warm I cut up the tomatoes. I had one large orange tomato and one medium green tomato. I cut rounds of the orange tomato and then cut those in half. The green tomatoes I cut in wedges. Soon I was carrying a plate of tortillas and a plate of veggies to the table. I like two tortillas for each taco, so nothing gets away from my mouth. I placed two sausages end to end so that the tips stuck out of the taco shells like hot dogs sticking out of their buns. I placed half rounds on one side of each taco and then green tomato wedges on the other side of the sausage. I placed cut up rounds of red bell pepper in the center of the sausages and poured a little strip of La Victoria mild green sauce on top of the peppers and sausages . . . and then added my cheese, followed by a few drips of Tapatio.
The tacos were even better than I had expected. The green tomatoes were crisp and tart. The orange tomato was luscious and tangy. Each bite of the taco was crunchy with a bit of sweet and saltiness (the sausage) that brought a smile to my tongue. Accompanying my tacos I drank eight ounces of mango nectar (dollar a quart) with a hefty sampling of concentrated lemon juice (dollar a bottle). Dessert was a large sweet and juicy naval orange . . . the kind you always think will be perfect, but only rarely is.