Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Recipes: Ham

This holiday season, thousands of ovens will be stuffed with Christmas hams. We've put together several recipes for you, and we hope you have a joyous family meal!

Country Baked Ham

1 8 lb. ham
3 quarts sweet cider
2 cups maple sugar(or brown sugar)
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon powdered cloves
1 1/2 cup water
2 cups raisins

Simmer ham in cider for 2 hours; drain. Cover with paste made from sugar, mustard, cloves and water. Place in baking dish. Pour cider over ham. Add raisins to pan bottom. Bake for 2 1/2 hours at 325* basting frequently.

Glazed Baked Ham

1 12 lb. ham
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon mustard
1/4 cup pineapple juice
6 slices fresh or canned pineapple
6 maraschino cherries

Place ham, fat side up on rack in open roasting pan. Bake in 350* oven for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Combine sugar, mustard and pineapple juice. Remove ham from oven 45 minutes prior to completed baking time. Pour off excess fat. Spread 1/3 of the glaze on fat side. Arrange pineapple slices and cherries on the glaze, pressing firmly. Return to oven and baste with remaining glaze at 15 minute intervals.

Crusty Pineapple Ham

1- 3 lb. canned ham
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 flat can pineapple slices
1 can refrigerated flaky biscuits

Remove ham from can and remove jelly. Place in a shallow roasting pan. Mix mustard and cloves with juice drained from pineapple slices; spoon over ham. Roast in preheated 350 F oven for 40 minutes, spooning pan juices over ham every 10 minutes. Remove from oven, top with halved pineapple slices. Open biscuits and separate. Place on pineapple in overlapping rows. Raise oven temperature to 400 F and bake another 20 minutes or until rolls are richly browned. Cut into slices to serve

Ham With Spiced Fruits

2 bananas cut into fourths
1 8 oz can sliced peaches
1 8 oz can sliced pears
12 maraschino sherries, halved
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 lb fully cooked boneless smoked ham
1 23 oz can sweet potatoes, drained and halved
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard

Mix the bananas, peaches and pears (both with syrup), cherries and pumpkin pie spice. Remove 1/2 cup syrup from the fruit mixture and reserve. Refrigerate fruit mixture. Place the ham in an ungreased baking dish. Arrange sweet potatoes around the ham. Mix brown sugar, reserved fruit syrup and the mustard and pour over ham and potatoes. Cook uncovered in 350* oven for 30 minutes - occasionally spooning the sauce onto the ham and potatoes. Drain fruit mixture and arrange around and on top of ham. Cook uncovered an additional 15 minutes. Serves 6.

Maple Glazed Ham

4-6 pound fully-cooked ham
Whole cloves
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup maple or maple flavored syrup
1 tablespoon prepared mustard

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Insert cloves into ham. Bake uncovered 1-1 1/2 hours until temperature reaches 140 degrees. While ham is baking, combine brown sugar, syrup and mustard; spoon over ham during the last 1/2 hour of cooking. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Honey Ham Glaze

1 cup honey
1/2 cup orange juice
4-5 pound ham

Bake ham 30 minutes for every pound at 325 degrees. Combine ingredients in a small bowl. The last 45 minutes baste with glaze several times.

Cherry Ham Glaze

1 jar (12 ounce) cherry preserves
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3 tablespoons water

In a saucepan combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 2 minutes; stirring frequently. About 15 minutes before your ham is done, spoon 1/4 to 1/3 cup glaze over ham. Repeat is desired. Stir water into remaining glaze; heat through and serve with ham.

Sage and Apple Ham

1 ham
dried sage
1 cup apple cider or juice
apple jelly

Rub dried sage over the entire ham. Place in roasting pan; add cider or juice. Bake according to directions on ham; basting occasionally with juice. The last 20 minutes of cooking spread a thick coating of apple jelly over the surface of the ham.

Maple Baked Ham

One-half boneless precooked smoked ham (appox. 5 pounds)
1 Cup maple syrup for each 5 pounds of ham
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Cup water
1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Maple extract (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the ham fat side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Do not cover or add water. Insert a meat thermometer and bake the ham. (For a precooked ham, the internal temperature should be 130 degrees when finished). When the ham is about half baked, approximately 45 minutes, pour the pan juices into a medium saucepan. Skim off excess fat and set the drippings aside. Pour the maple syrup over the ham, and return to the oven. Occasionally baste the ham with the syrup from the pan while it finishes baking; the total cooking time for a 5 pound precooked ham is about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.

To make the sauce, remove the ham from the pan and set aside on a carving board. With a whisk, blend the flour into the reserved drippings in the saucepan. Add the water, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and maple syrup drippings from the roasting pan and combine. Add a bit of maple extract if desired. Bring to boil, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat and keep warm.

Carve the ham into thin slices. Pour the hot maple sauce into a gravy boat and pass with the ham. This is my favorite pie and I enjoy making it for family and friends at Easter. Everyone loves this pie and it is simple (it's mixed right in the shell) and fun to make.

Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze

1 fully cooked, boneless ham half (4-5 pounds) ( I like bone-in hams best)
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
Grated peel of 1 orange or tsp. dried orange peel
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place ham on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer reaches 125 degrees F. Prepare the glaze: in a small saucepan combine brown sugar, orange juice, orange peel, cloves and allspice; simmer on low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Brush the glaze over the ham. Bake the ham for 20 to 30 minutes more or until it reaches 135 degrees F. Allow it to stand for 15 minutes before carving. Makes 8 servings.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Custom of Christmas Cards

Christmas cards abound each year as friends wish one another holiday cheer. These colorful greetings are displayed on tabletops, mantlepieces, and sometimes strung around the room. They're often collected and pasted in albums or used the following year for making Christmas decorations.

But sending Christmas greetings in the form of a card is not a centuries old custom. Actually the first real Christmas card supposedly appeared in the 1840s.

First Christmas Card

Henry Cole, an Englishman, found himself pressed for time at Christmas. So he wasn't able to send the personal Christmas letters (a tradition at that time) to his friends. Thus he asked well-known artist J.C. Horsley to design a Christmas message that could be printed up and mailed.

One source says that Mr. Horsley designed and sold more than 1,000 copies of that first card. Did Mr. Cole send so many cards himself, or did Mr. Horsley interest others in buying and sending cards, too?

Design of the First Card

This first Christmas card apparently was constructed of stiff cardboard, illustrated with a drawing of a family seated around the table eating Christmas dinner. Then the side panels depicted poor Londoners receiving food and clothing from the more well-to-do.

The card carried the message, "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You" as many cards do today.

Christmas Cards of Many Types

Louis Prang, a German immigrant, started printing commercially the first Christmas cards in America in 1875. By 1881, Prang was printing five million cards a year.

The smallest card ever made was perhaps the one sent to the Duke of Windsor in 1929. A grain of rice was inscribed with Christmas greetings.

This inscription could be seen only through a magnifying glass. Over the years, Christmas cards have come in all shapes and sizes and were made from a variety of materials. Some early Christmas cards were no larger than a postage stamp.

A Christmas Tradition That Continues

Sending Christmas cards is a tradition that isn't likely to die out even though postage keeps increasing. When you include a personal note or annual family letter you add something of yourself to the greeting. In today's computer world, we're finding computer designed and generated cards, as well as online greetings.

No matter how we send them, Christmas greetings bring people closer together at this time of year. 

(c)Mary Emma Allen

About the author
Mary Emma Allen writes children's stories as well as columns and articles for newspapers and magazines. Her books include: "When We Become the Parent of Our Parents," "Tales of Adventure & Discovery," "Writing in Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont," "The Magic of Patchwork," and Writers' Manuals. 

Sunday, December 6, 2009

More from Grand Union Tea Company

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~Norman Vincent Peale

A few of you emailed me about "forcemeat" from my post last week. In the cookbook they had it as "forceMENT", which is what confused me. It may have been a typo in the cookbook though. Several readers kindly sent me a definition. This one is from Jennie:

The Beef Olives recipe is *really* old, I think -- a survival of one that's much older than 1902. Try forceMEAT - hard to say if the usage had changed or if it was misspelled at the time:

force⋅meat [fawrs-meet, fohrs-] –noun Cookery.
a mixture of finely chopped and seasoned foods, usually containing egg
white, meat or fish, etc., used as a stuffing or served alone.
Also, farcemeat. Origin: 1680–90; force, var. of obs. farce stuffing + meat

Thanks for your interesting posts! ~Jennie in Ohio

Since so many of you enjoyed the recipe and tips from the 1902 The Grand Union Tea Company cookbook, I thought I would share a few more that can be used as holiday appetizers.

Baked Oysters
For baked oysters choose fine, large ones, and lay two or three together on a nice round of buttered toast. Put a little pepper and salt and a few bits of butter on them, and heat in a very hot oven till the edges of the oysters curl a little.

Anchovy Sandwiches
The easiest way to make anchovy sandwiches is to use anchovy paste, which is sold in all large cities. For anchovies, caviare or pate de foie gras use brown bread, buttered. The only seasoning is cayenne. Care must be taken to spread such paste very thinly. Watercress with fine leaves should be stripped from the stems and laid on one half the sandwich, while the other is spread with anchovy, then put the two together.

Notes: Anchovy paste is very easy to find now. Ask if you don't see it in your grocery store. Caviare is the same as caviar. Pate de foie gras is made from the livers of geese or duck that have been specially fattened. If you can't find watercress in your local store, try substituting spinach or another green like arugula.

Salmon Sandwiches
One can of salmon (remove all bones), two tablespoonfuls crisp pickles, three hard boiled eggs; chop all together and add one teaspoonful mustard, juice of one lemon, one tablespoonful melted butter and one tablespoonful vinegar. Mix thoroughly and spread between very thin slices of bread.

Deviled Ham
Mince ham very fine and season highly with pepper. Add a little curry powder and a little chopped garlic. (Note: use this on crackers or small pieces of bread.)