Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Eve and the rebirth of Golum

Well, I think I redeemed myself after the Thanksgiving Debacle. I made ham, brussels sprouts with pancetta and chestnuts (so? I like pork), and spoon bread. Bought a fully cooked ham, referred to as "semi-boned". Whatever that means. Turns out it means that it only has part of the leg bone and none of the joint. I read a number of recipes that mystified me with instructions to boil the ham for 2 hours before baking it to remove the saltiness. Isn't that the good part? the recipes called for variously - uncured ham, uncooked ham, Smithfield style ham, southern ham, cured ham, and fully cooked ham. It was too complex so I said screw it, jammed in a bunch of whole cloves and baked the thing at 350 for a few hours. Then I glazed it with a mix of equal parts marmalade, whole grain mustard and orange juice. I dumped the rest of the orange juice in the bottom of the pan and every 10 minutes I basted it and reglazed until I ran out of glaze and the spoon bread was done.

The brussels were from Nigella Lawson Feast, which I love. I swear I have never made a bad thing out of that cookbook. Spoonbread from Epicurious, found while trolling for decipherable ham recipes. A thing of joy to the world, especially Christmas morning when I cut the leftovers into slabs, fried them in butter and served them with maple syrup. But I digress.

The meal was really good, but I didn't realize how good until the next morning when A was slicing ham for an "omelette au jambon", as he refers to it. He was muttering crossly as he sliced and when I passed by on my way to seconds of maple syrup I realized he was muttering about how much ham he had sent home with our daughter the night before. "Doesn't appreciate it, took almost half, not enough, never enough" he mumbled as he weilded a large carving knife with an obsessive ferocity that put me in mind of Golum. I have stayed away from the leftovers ever since.

1 comment:

wyatteal said...

Ham is the Rorschach of the kitchen. Although in theory, there are no wrong answers, you clearly made the right one.