For Christmas this year I hosted my sister and fam and my folks. My other sister sadly couldn’t make it “home” to Iowa from sunny Florida. I also wasn’t able to mail her packages because it was just too cold here. Anyway, I purchased a bone in ham from a grocery store I won’t mention (ok, maybe I will later). It was $13 and looked pretty good. Sara helped me prepare the meal and she used our Grandma’s recipe which really isn’t a recipe at all. You score it, jam it full of brown sugar and cloves until it looks like plaster of paris!
It tasted even better than this picture does it justice. We all ate until we couldn’t eat any more. Even the picky little children asked for seconds of this meat that we called “pink” chicken. I pray it doesn’t make them think that they could just eat pink chicken in the future as they may end up in the ER or on the toilet for days. After dinner I could hear my guests talk about how full and thirsty they were (salty ham). I smiled. I wasn’t really smiling as I was thinking about all the dishes that I had to wash by hand. (Christmas China)
Just last week I went back to the store that I hate. (I’m dedicating a whole post to this store a little later in the week and no, it’s not Wal-Mart) Guess what? The hams from Christmas were on sale for $3.00 each. It was only the last week of January, so I looked it over and decided it wasn’t riddled with ptomaine poisoning and brought it home. Who doesn’t make a smaller version of Christmas dinner on a weeknight for a small family?
We again gorged ourselves, drank water by the gallon and enjoyed ham with eggs for breakfast, ham with lettuce and tomato for lunch and cubed ham and mixed with hash browns, cream of celery soup, diced onion and shredded cheddar cheese (baked for 30 mins @ 350) for dinner.
But after that, what to do with the rest of the ham?
I made ham and bean soup! I didn’t think I would like it but I’m glad I made it. It was delicious on this cold winter night. The evening was noisier than usual, our aromatic candles helped a little and we enjoyed a family game night in our little abode in northwestern Iowa. It was awesome to spend $3 and get 5 to 8 meals from it. What do you think?
- Ham bone/carcass/hock thang
- 16oz bag of dried white/northern beans
- 1 box chicken broth/water
- some celery/carrots/onion (the trinity)
- 2 to 5 bay leaves plus some S&P (wanna get with me?, sorry I couldn’t help it)
- Rinse the beans and look for dangerous objects (like a pebble or a bad bean), place them in a big stock pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil for 20 mins.
- Turn down the flame and throw in the hock/carcass/bone thang and cover with broth, its already got some bean water in it.
- Add the carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, cracked pepper and let it just simmer for an hour or two.
- The beans will take a while to really cook and get soft but it allows them to soak up all the hammy goodness.
Serve with some ritz crackers and take a gas ex.