Sandy? I've only just seen this thread, thanks to Prada's post. Have you now made the sausage? How'd it go? Give us an update, please!
We started making all our own sausage last year and it was so easy and so succesful we've never looked back. We now almost always have packages in the freezer of a "Greek" sausage (leek and orange peel), an "Italian" (lots of fennel seed, yum), and a "German" which is the traditional American "breakfast sausage". I'd be happy to trade recipes if you'd like.
By the way, did you ever get an answer to that question about the licorice flavor? If not, here's my take: both anise seed and fennel seed have a licorice-ish flavor. The fennel seed is a good bit larger so it's maybe not advisable to use whole, whereas the anise seed is a very delicate thing. (I just love to sprinkle anise seed on all sorts of things -- tuna salad, sandwiches, etc.!)