Christmas Ham


My boys’ Christmas wishes the past two years have been that we get snow and that we are home for Christmas. This is the second year in a row that their latter wish has been granted. As for the snow, perhaps we’ll get a drifting next year. 

So, my husband requested a ham instead of a turkey. After looking up sites online about how to cook a ham, I figured dinner would be pretty easy. I stocked the fridge with a ham, potatoes, beans, and rolls. On Christmas eve, I glanced at the ham to see how many pounds it was so I could estimate the cooking time. It was then that I noticed the small words, “ready to cook” on the wrapper. After some internet investigation, I realized why my ham was cheaper. I wouldn’t be able to just reheat this one. 

I accepted the challenge and learned that I would only need to poke whole cloves all over the butt and rub a crazy amount of brown sugar on the ham. I placed water in the bottom of a roasting pan, put the pig on a rack and set the rack in the pan. I made a foil tent and cooked it for four hours. I basted it twice during cooking and checked the temperature with a meat thermometer. It registered 180 after 3 1/2 hours. The cloves infused flavor throughout the ham, and the sugar made it even better.  

Roasting whole garlic cloves in olive oil made the mashed potatoes perfect! I could eat roasted garlic right out of the baking dish, but I usually only do that when my husband is out of town! 

Slivered almonds were sautéed in butter before frozen whole beans were added. I just love the crispness of the beans. 

Dinner rolls rounded off the meal. Our Christmas dinner was colorful and flavorful. Even without snow, we enjoyed celebrating Jesus' birth.

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