Family holidays are often hectic, loud, chaotic and sometimes fraught with sibling squabbles and parent rants. And then after breakfast it gets worse. This year we won’t have the entire clan, but we get cousin Stephy in exchange and I’m sure there will be various friends and neighbors passing through (and over).
Food is always the centerpiece of all of our holiday gatherings. There are traditions like monkey bread on Christmas morning and Bloody Mary’s for the “grown ups” as we cook. Jennifer’s mac and cheese is often a favorite. The turkey is always gone before Friday on Thanksgiving and the cakes are always left in the garage refrigerator and forgotten for months until we need the containers again. Birthday cakes are always “from scratch”; Jennifer and I always cook too much no matter what the occasion – as long as there is an occasion. There is no greater joy than to share our bounty with family, friends and neighbors. I don’t count calories on these holidays, I count my blessings.
Honey baked hams are very popular for Easter. There is a store near us and the line is always out the door. They are expensive and not worth it. Almost every market will have “already baked” bone in hams on sale this weekend. I just saw an advertisement for 88 cents a pound. Here is our way of making a ham that is delicious and every bit as good as the name brand, except ours is made with love and beer.
- 1/2 Already Cooked, Bone In Ham
- 1 Beer (doesn’t matter what kind)
- Handful of Whole Cloves
- 1/2 Cup Honey
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Mustard (or whatever you like)
- Splash of Orange Juice
- Ovenproof Pan (just large enough for the ham)
- Chef’s Knife (or paring)
- Aluminum Foil
- Mixing Bowl
- Pre heat the oven to 350.
- Place the ham in the pan.
- Score the top of the ham by cutting lines both horizontally and vertically, creating one inch squares.
- Push the cloves in at the junctions of the scores.
- Make the glaze by combining the sugar, honey, mustard and orange juice in a mixing bowl. Stir together.
- Brush half of the glaze over the ham. (If you don’t have enough to coat it and have some left over, make more)
- Pour the beer in the bottom of the pan.
- Tent tightly with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 2 – 2 1/2 hours. The key to making ham is to really cook it, not just heat it.
- Remove from oven and coat with the other half of the glaze.
- Re-tent and let rest for at least 1/2 hour.