We’re not really a fourth of July kind of family. Not a one of us cares for jello molds or bean dips–two of the things I highly associate with the holiday–and since Illinois put The Ban On Fun when the outlawed pretty much every single firework, even Sparklers are forbidden. SPARKLERS.

Yeah. I know. We impeach our crooked governors, run a toll road system I cannot understand to save myself, and outlaw fucking Sparklers.

(we were left, I should tell you, with those things you throw at the ground that make a satisfying ‘POP!’ Yeah. Pathetic, I know)

Sure, we’re close enough to Wisconsin that should we care to, we could easily pop up over the border for some contraband fireworks and a visit to the Best Thing In Wisconsin (besides House on the Rock and the jaunty “You Are Now Leaving Wisconsin” sign you see when you’re whizzing back into Illinois)

(Wisconsin and Illinois have a long standing feud, for those who wonder why I’m picking on an entire state. Wisconsinites hate we FIB’s–fucking Illinois Bastards–for driving too quickly and habitually wearing pants. Where we Illinoisans hate Wisconsinites for their love of both the Packers and The Brewers, both of which are seen as inferior to the Bears and the Cubs–or Sox–respectively).

The single Best Thing In Wisconsin besides leaving it is this:


That’s right, The Mars Cheese Castle. If you’re ever in the area, I suggest, nay INSIST that you stop by. It’s truly a place above the rest. For instance, while there, I noted a nice block of cheddar cheese, encased in wax and made to look like a can of Bud Light. It brings a tear to my eye when I think about it.

But this weekend, because we don’t want to be Annexed to Cuba or wherever it is they banish people these days (Wisconsin? I kid, I kid. I couldn’t resist. And besides the gentle ribbing, I do actually like Wisconsin. Half the plaques affixed to Dave’s arteries are thanks in no small part to the sausages and the cheese and the butter farmed right there. So it’s a part of the man I promised to love, honor and repay, that wily state), we’re hosting a party. A SAUSAGE party featuring a multitude of delicious encased meats.

Dave is taking the eldest sausage and heading out to buy as many encased meats as he can fit his grubby hands around. Hot dogs, brats, cheese brats, meat sticks, wee breakfast sausages, bacon, and (likely) cheese. It shall be a feast in which I pass out fistfuls of Lipitor with the buns and ketchup.


Since his (grumble, grumble, grouse) father has not called or picked him up in three weeks–lest you feel sorry for Ben, he’s pleased as punch by this, as are we–Ben will be there and likely covered in ketchup.


Alex will happily fling cupfuls of water at our guest while somehow managing to simultaneously bean them in the head with any number of large balls. All of which he calls “purple” as I think he is as color blind as I am.


Amelia will show off that she is no longer the embryo I’d thought she was by rolling around on the floor. She doubles as a lint brush! I’m sure our guests may choose to borrow her to remove the copious amounts of cat hair from their clothes.

(when did she get so old?)


Amelia may also voice her displeasure of learning precisely what being a member of our family involves. She is, no doubt, at the tender age of 5 months, plotting her escape to find her Real Family, as she, like me, was no doubt switched at birth.

(Also: I scream just as loudly when Dave gets into MY face)

Happy Third of July, Internet! If you’re local and care to join us for an encased meats extravaganza, drop me a line.

46 thoughts on “Aunt Becky’s Encased Meats Emporium

  1. Thanks for this post! I really needed to see that Mars Cheese Castle sign this morning, lol. Oscar is babbling away happily and I am grumpily sipping my caffeine-free coffee (a total WASTE of a cup of coffee) and waiting for him to feed off of my body for the umpteenth time today (and it’s only 7:30). I look forward to reading your blog the way I look forward to eating a little cheeseburger. You’re the best!

  2. Ah, we had one of those sausage parties for the boy’s fifth birthday. I thought of you, and it brought a tear to my eye.

  3. Wish I could join you but I’ve got my own party goin’ on. We’ve got smuggled fireworks, no bean dip and the only jello here is in the jello shots.

    Enjoy your wieners and have a happy and safe holiday weekend!!!

  4. No, no, no, no. The single best thing about crossing into Wisconsin from Illinois is “The Bong Rec Area.”

    But maybe only when you’re in your 20s?

    Here, I can’t buy a six pack unless I break laws (or pay incredible amounts of money), and can’t get good wine unless I break some interstate commerce laws and sneak it back over in my trunk. And yet, today at (we’re talking INSIDE, by the produce) my grocery store, I could buy any flavor of firework that I desired. Go figure.

    Happy 4th!

  5. Oh cheese how I miss you and your holy goodness. Damn dairy free diet anyway.
    Have fun with your encased meats, just curious, does an uncircumcised weiner count or is that an entirely different ball game???

  6. I love this holiday but not just because I am patriotic, it’s the massive amounts of MEAT that are involved. We aren’t allowed to own a grill in our building, and therefore I must gleen grilled goodies from others at every possible chance. This is one of the holidays that my brother always grills out, and we’re talking big fat juicy steaks you could knock someone out with. Nothing beats a grilled burger, but I look forward to those grilled steaks every year. I just realized how pathetic that sounds.

  7. I have fond memories of buying vast quantities of fireworks in Indiana (where until a couple years ago you could buy damn near anything, but you were supposed to sign a form saying that you promised to use them in some other state) and then going to Illinois to shoot them off on our family farm. Illegally I suppose. Which means my parents can’t blame me for anything I do because they raised me to break the law.

    Enjoy the encased meats. I will do the same.

  8. Well, I think this is the first time I’ve seen you refer to sausages and not be referring to all the boys in your house. That’s like, growth or something!

    Happy 3rd of July!

  9. Becky, I think you are truly hilarious. I love your blog and this entry for some strange reason brightened my day. And seriously, if reading about a meat party cheered me up, you can just imagine my life, right? I’ve been following your blog for several months now and figured it was time to post. Keep ’em coming — you are truly freakin’ hilarious.

  10. We are so not a fourth of July family (being European, and (before) Bush-haters). We are having a full on fourth of July party tomorrow. For my friend May who is not at home and who has never had one in Belgium. I can do it now, with Obama, you see.

  11. Have a great meat party! I’ll be scooping toxic shit, bathing three dogs and getting obnoxiouly drunk at my friends’ house, which could lead to canoe races in the dark or fights with neighbor chicks. I’m up for anything 😉

  12. I think our family of vegetarians would be a bit out of place at your encased meat party, but that sounds like the type of party we had when I was growing up.

    Have a fun time at your party tomorrow!

  13. Wow, sounds like an awesome “meat sweats” kind of weekend! Happy 3rd… and 4th. We — up north — celebrated our day on Wednesday. Complete with mini-doughnuts. 🙂

  14. BB –

    For the record, at our house, for any event where The Grill is hot, all food is welcome for heating, smoking, and/or charring, including soy dogs, veggies ( we grill fresh broccoli and it’s awesome ), or pretty much anything that can be wrapped up and thrown on The Grill.

  15. Dude!!
    You freaking rock!! And it’s truly amazing how absolutely gorgeous and perfect your littles are!! Seriously, stunning!!
    Really enjoyed your comparison/contrast of Wisconsin & Illinois. I always loved the “cheeseheads” ’cause of the hot & sexy Brett. But after visiting chi-town a few years ago, it totally captured my heart. You are so lucky to live so close to such an amazing city.
    Hope you all have a great holiday wkend!!

  16. EVERY TIME I drive by that sign (which is twice), I take a picture. All of which turn out blurry as it’s neither safe nor photogenic to take pictures while driving.

  17. How could ANYone resist such a party invite?

    Me, I am drooling. But then I am a carnivore. Well, I hope it’s a smashing success and while I am bitterly disappointed I won’t be there in the fleshiest version of me to eat brats, I will still Troll-Hunt for you until I kill all the little spawn of a stupidly entitled hell.

    I kid. I hate bratwurst.

    Happy 4th, baby!

  18. So my husband went to college in Wisconsin and I showed him that picture and he was all “Oh dude that place is the best..” and then segwayed into some long drawn out story based on frat boy antics and I reassessed my decision to continue propogating his DNA into more children. Now I am getting a divorce, thanks Wisconsin!

  19. A.) cute kids!

    B.) that cheese place is hilarious!

    C.) I told Husband about your impending encased meats feast and I think he might be considering leaving me (I’m a vegetarian).

  20. Hi. I’m new here from Bye Bye Pie. Not sure where you are at in Illinois, but where I am there have been Sparklers A PLENTY!! I didn’t even know they have been forbidden. And I’m not in the southern half of the state. I’m right near the City and we have all sorts of Sparklers. Just wanted to let you know. I’m enjoying your site. Thanks to the funniest blogger awards we now have several new blogs to enjoy.

  21. G calls all colours purple too. I think he is secretly yours, taken at birth by Samantha Brady who was posing as the night nurse. When he is 18 he will discover half a medalion and on his quest to find the matching piece (held by Alex) he will discover his “real” family are Americans who eat a lot of encased meats and ketchup.

    Being a lover of all thing cheese I may have to persude Sgt to take a road trip to the cheese castle. Should I talk in a midwestern accent while I’m there so the locals don’t think the Canadians are trying to get away with all the cheese?

  22. Becky, I share your resentment of Wisconsin. Living in the Twin Cities, just across the river from Wisconsin, I grew up with a resentment of that state that ran so deep, it was never questioned.

    However, I am coming to appreciate any state that takes its food and taxidermy that seriously. I’ve heard of Taxidermy and Cheese, though I’ve never been there. And my dad loves a place called Precision Taxidermy. As a scientist and lover of language, he likes to point out that “precise” means that it can be repeated the same way over and over again. So “Precision Taxidermy” may not do it right, but they do it the same every time. Wisconsin is also the home of the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum–which made me laugh the first time I saw it, but I have since come to love it. You haven’t experienced mustard until you’ve tried one of their assortments!

    I’m a loyal Minnesotan and therefore have to hate Wisconsin. But I am starting to appreciate it!

  23. I am still laughing at picturing Amelia as a lint brush!

    Your kids are beautiful.

    Hope the sausage was as good as you thought it would be!

  24. I’ve been to the Mars Cheese Castle. Somewhere there is a picture of me inside the joint wearing a swiss cheese hat. Good times.

  25. How come Oregon isn’t closer to Illinois? Damn those states in the middle….I would have loved to come to your sausage party. Also, a cheese castle? HEAVEN! My lactose-intolerant body is cringing all the way over here.

    And baby lint brushes are almost as wonderful as the baby gravity tester! Baby Soup keeps testing to make sure our gravity is still working. What would we do without her?

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