A recent conversation started out along the lines of, "we are having pasta for dinner.....I need a pound of Italian sausage for the sauce". Well, I had used it all. Assuming I wanted a pound of this or a pound of that, and didn't have time or energy to ramp up for a full batch, what to do? (assumption is the store bought stuff is not an option) The quick and dirty way is to buy a pound of ground pork and spice it up yourself. A variation on this is to buy some fatty looking pork steaks or a small pork butt and grind and spice them up yourself. Here is what I did to whip up a quick batch of breakfast and Italian sausage (these will be left in bulk). It started off with a pork butt, which when trimmed, came to 6 pounds. Going to be 3 pounds of each. Since most spice recipes are made to 5, 10 or 25 pound batches, getting them scaled back is a problem. Go ahead and mix up enough spices for a bigger batch, then weight the total mix, and divide it by the pounds intended: For the breakfast stuff, I have the recipe scaled back to 3 pounds, so I pull out my sack of perfume and measure it out: For the Italian, I have a bag of commercial spice mix (trying to use this up.....not nearly as good as my own) that was sized for 25 pounds of sausage. It comes to around 12 grams per pound x 3 pounds, or 36 grams. A small digital scale to the rescue: Measured out.....one for the breakfast and one for the Italian: The butts go through a small, #5 hand grinder with 3/8" plate: Second grind with small plate after the spices are in: From cutting up the butts, measuring spices, mixing, grinding, packaging and cleanup, total time was an hour and a half. For a couple pounds of bulk, using pork steaks (which is pork butt sliced into pork steaks), probably half an hour to 45 minutes. Had I picked up some of the $2.09 a pound ground pork, less than 5 minutes. The small digital scale is a big help in doing these small batches.