Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Cool Spring and Comfort Food

We have been inundated with days off school here......three Fridays in a row now.  To keep Ike entertained on one such day off we took a little excursion to 'Forests for the World' which is kind of like a park land area with fire pits by a little lake, a few picnic tables, plenty of trails to walk.....and at this time of year......lots of mud.  It sounded perfect for Ike and his friend Eric.  So last Friday, we packed a small picnic of hot chocolate, hot dogs and smores fixings and set out on our little adventure.  The weather was fairly cooperative with small amounts of snow still along the trails.....but best of all, lots of puddles and trickling streams to splash about in.  While the kids entertained themselves with playing in the water....I (and Eric's mom) started about making a fire.  No easy task with everything so very very damp.....but eventually after a lot of mothering (20 minutes of it) seemed pretty stable, and we called in the hoard and began roasting while the roasting was good.  After a delicious campfire lunch we doused our fire and began to head back to the parking area to head home....only to be distracted for a further 20 minutes by the discovery of a truly ripe (dead for who knows how long) trout.  Who knew a dead fish could be so much fun. 
What is it about rain boots that while they are specifically made to keep water out......a soaker is simply inevitable??   After such a fun afternoon of rough housing outdoors........and with Easter upon us as well....what could be more perfect than a delicious ham dinner?  This recipe turns out the best ham time after time, and is a recipe from an old family friend who I think of whenever I have this recipe. (My mom makes it a lot)  Since I had a few hams sitting in my freezer....I decided to use one up.   I've made this recipe three times now and it has been very moist and tasty each time.  I think the simmering removes any excess salt and the sugar and spices in the pot make for a very tasty ham......and makes your kitchen smell positively edible........and the whole process is dead you've got to love that:)

Mrs C's Tender Ham
1 ham (the kind with the mesh cloth covering it and bone in) mine was 7 lbs
3/4 cups white sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 onion cut in half
5 cloves garlic, peeled and cup in half
6-7 whole cloves
4-5 whole allspice
1 stalk of celery, cut in 1/2

Remove the plastic wrap from the ham, but leave on the mesh cheese cloth covering it.  Put all in a large stock pot with enough water to just cover the ham.  Make sure to leave the water level a few inches above the top of the ham, add all remaining ingredients, then top up with the last few inches of water.  Simmer1- 1 1/2 hours. (I put my ham into the water straight from the freezer so once it began to simmer....I timed it for 1 1/2 hours)  Remove ham from water, and remove the mesh cheese cloth.   Slice away the rind (skin) on the side of the ham leaving a good amount of fat behind on the ham.  Score the fat with a diamond pattern, and place the ham in a large enough roast pan to fit it with a few inches around.  Set oven to 400 F, and spread spice paste listed below over the scored fat.
Spice Paste
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp dry mustard powder
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp soft butter

Juice for Basting
400 mL (that 2 small juice boxes) of pineapple, orange or mango juice

Once ham is covered with spice paste, pour 400mL (two small juice boxes) of pineapple or orange juice into the bottom of the pan. Slide your roast pan into the oven and let it roast for about 15 minutes.  Now you can baste the ham with the pan juices every 10 minutes.  You want to wait to baste with the juices until they thicken up a bit so they don't just run right off the ham.  Continue basting and roasting until pan juices are syrupy.  This whole process in the oven should take about 30 minutes.


Scattered Mom said...

Mmm...yummy! That ham looks delish. I love it when the weather is warm enough for the kids to play outside in the fresh air. Even if it's with a dead fish, lolol (EW!)

LittleRed said... is my favourite ham recipe hands down:) I'm also loving the 'playing outside weather' although we've had a gorgeous winter this year so I cannot really complain. Dead Fish.....boys.....go figure?

Kate/Massachusetts said...

Thank you for sharing these awesome recipes! I have saved them to try soon. I hope I can still find a family would love this!

LittleRed said...

I hope you can find one too....I love this recipe:) They go on sale here a few times each year and we just pick up a few and throw them in the freezer until we need them. They turn out perfectly and you can even start the recipe with a frozen one. Easy Peasy Deliciousness!