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A Christmas Ham
TheCypressTimes.com ^ | 12/24/2009 | Chef Vern

Posted on 12/24/2009 8:47:10 AM PST by Patriot1259

Alright, here's the deal. Since Thanksgiving was just four weeks ago and since Turkey generally tastes like cardboard covered with gravy and since American's aren't real big on a Christmas Goose, I'm thinkin' you're thinkin' ham for Christmas.

Now if there's one thing a true Southern Cook knows it's how to make a good possum stew...if there's two things a true Southern Cook knows it's how to make a tasty ham.

Here's the secret. It's really easy.

(Excerpt) Read more at thecypresstimes.com ...


TOPICS: Food
KEYWORDS: christmasham; cookingaham; ham; hamrecipe

1 posted on 12/24/2009 8:47:11 AM PST by Patriot1259
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To: Patriot1259
In the South we leave dead opossum to the turkey buzzards.
2 posted on 12/24/2009 8:49:25 AM PST by poobear
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To: Patriot1259

Turkey tastes like cardboard? Hello? Somebody can’t cook.

I can honestly say I have never EVERY cooked a turkey that tasted even remotely like cardboard - or anything else distasteful. It is all about preparation, seasoning, and proper cooking.

For turkey to taste like cardboard, one must not season it at all, not add any moisture, and finally you then over cook the crap out of it.

Anyone that ignorant doesn’t deserve any “help” or “suggestions” other than to learn how to cook.


3 posted on 12/24/2009 8:50:35 AM PST by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
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To: Patriot1259

I prefer cornish game hens or duck(ling) for special meals.


4 posted on 12/24/2009 8:51:43 AM PST by kaylar (It's MARTIAL law. Not marshal(l) or marital-MARTIAL! This has been a spelling PSA.)
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To: Patriot1259

That jalapeno jelly sounds like a nice base for a glaze.

Unfortunately, neither my wife nor my daughter would agree.


5 posted on 12/24/2009 8:52:36 AM PST by mojito
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To: Patriot1259

Brine that turkey, and then cover the breast meat with tinfoil so it isn’t totally dried out by the time the thigh meat is done. Or else butcher the thigh and leg off and cook them for 1/2 or so before putting in the rest of the bird.


6 posted on 12/24/2009 8:54:53 AM PST by Ol' Sox
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To: kaylar

We do the game hens for Valentine’s but do the goose for Christmas. I only do it once a year and usually forget from year to year how to cook it. Julia Child is best for oven steaming goose (and her duck recipes are superb). I don’t know if you do wild game but one out of three wild geese is worth it. The farm geese have alot of fat (like the succulence of wild duck versus farm duck) but the favor is unparalleled.


7 posted on 12/24/2009 8:55:57 AM PST by MHT
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To: Patriot1259

I have grown up mostly in the South, had the southern grandmother to beat all southern grandmothers and have never seen or eaten possum on any table I have been graced to attend.

And leftover turkey is a joy. The benefit of a large bird not the dregs.

I brine a fresh turkey, stuff with citrus and herbs, butter the skin, truss it and roast it to the breast doneness not the thigh. Perfect every time.


8 posted on 12/24/2009 8:56:29 AM PST by doodad
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To: Patriot1259

I baked and maple-glazed a ham earlier this week. Yesterday I boiled the bone and end meat, cooked it down to a hearty stock and added split green peas, carrots and ham chunks. That and homemade yeast rolls for lunch. Yum!


9 posted on 12/24/2009 8:57:17 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde
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To: TheBattman

Even a perfectly prepared turkey is rather tasteless compared to the lowely chicken. It’s only advantage is size in feeding large numbers.

I’d rather have duck and prime rib for a holiday feast. Although next year, my family wants to try a turducken and I’ve been watching vids on the deboning process and we may just try it.


10 posted on 12/24/2009 8:57:21 AM PST by Valpal1 (Always be prepared to make that difference.)
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To: Patriot1259

I use Alton Brown’s city ham recipe. From memory it’s brown sugar mixed with bourbon (we use juice since we have alcoholics in the family), then mustard, any type works but I do like the hot kind... then pack on the brown sugar and spritz with the bourbon or juice and then pack on ground up ginger snaps. Bake whatever for however long, I forget and it forms a crust. Totally junky and I’m leaving the ginger snaps off one end of it this year since we have someone with a gluten free diet. Yum.


11 posted on 12/24/2009 8:57:27 AM PST by Mercat (Reluctant glenbeckian)
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To: Patriot1259

We are breaking tradition and having prime rib this year...yum!


12 posted on 12/24/2009 8:58:50 AM PST by ravingnutter
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To: mojito
Split Jalapeños lengthwise, scoop, out the veins and seeds, and fill with creamy peanut butter.

My kids have loved these since they were little.

'La bonne cuisine est la base du véritable bonheur.' - Auguste Escoffier
(Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness.)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

13 posted on 12/24/2009 8:59:22 AM PST by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: doodad

It was a joke...sheeeesh. An innocent turkey carcass was insulted.


14 posted on 12/24/2009 9:01:23 AM PST by Patriot1259
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To: kaylar

I made Cornish game hens one year when there were just two of us for Thanksgiving, and they were delicious. I’ve cooked them fairly often since then. The trick is to keep basting them, like you would a turkey, so they remain moist on the inside and crispy on the outside. I always make a jalapeño-cranberry-cilantro relish to go with them.


15 posted on 12/24/2009 9:01:31 AM PST by La Lydia
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To: Patriot1259
A ham biscuit or two with pre-meal cocktails is fine, but not as a main course.

A standing rib roast, preferably with Yorkshire pudding and plenty of good red wine is the only way to go.


16 posted on 12/24/2009 9:02:32 AM PST by southernnorthcarolina (Now with ConstructionCam! Click on my name and follow the progress.)
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To: Patriot1259

You ought to pass along that possum stew recipe. I saw tracks in the snow the other day, and I think they were possum.


17 posted on 12/24/2009 9:03:54 AM PST by Southside_Chicago_Republican ("During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." --Orwell)
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To: Patriot1259

We have standing rib for Christmas with Yorkshire pudding.
Ham is New Year’s with black eyed peas and greens.


18 posted on 12/24/2009 9:04:24 AM PST by kalee (01/20/13 The end of an error.... Obama even worse than Carter.)
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To: mojito

I made a bunch of jalapeno jelly and orange marmalade this year and will try this recipe ASAP. You’re right, it sounds really yummy. Jelly is a fantastic base for a variety of things. Grape jelly and barbeque sauce makes good gravy for little smokies ... use chili sauce instead of barbeque if you prefer some heat.


19 posted on 12/24/2009 9:04:24 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde
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To: Patriot1259

Oh, “A Christmas Ham”, I thought you were talking about Obama.

parsy, who misunderstood


20 posted on 12/24/2009 9:04:34 AM PST by parsifal (Abatis: Rubbish in front of a fort, to prevent the rubbish outside from molesting the rubbish inside)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Lentils instead of split pea is good also.


21 posted on 12/24/2009 9:08:51 AM PST by Techster
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To: Southside_Chicago_Republican

Forget the possum ... they are nasty creatures that will crawl up into the carcass of anything dead ... they will eat anything. Now, if you want to track something, find some racoon prints. They are very clean critters and I have good recipes. ;-)


22 posted on 12/24/2009 9:09:49 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde
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To: Patriot1259

Hmmm well okay then. I love turkey and hate to see the fine bird taken for granted.

Even though we are having lobster stuffed tenderloin for Christmas :)


23 posted on 12/24/2009 9:10:34 AM PST by doodad
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To: Techster

I’ll try lentils. Thanks.


24 posted on 12/24/2009 9:11:27 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

I’ve got some of them too. I met one face-to-face one night when I opened the lid to the garbage can.


25 posted on 12/24/2009 9:13:15 AM PST by Southside_Chicago_Republican ("During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." --Orwell)
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To: Valpal1

Ask around at the meat purveyors in your area. One or more may be able to supply you with a capon. A large former rooster can nearly match a small turkey in size and has flavor that is at least the match of a hen. We bought one that was 8+ pounds dressed but with neck and giblets.


26 posted on 12/24/2009 9:13:41 AM PST by magslinger (Cry MALAISE! and let slip the dogs of incompetence.)
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To: kalee

Ham hocks, black eyed peas and collard greens, that’s the New Year’s meal.


27 posted on 12/24/2009 9:13:44 AM PST by Techster
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To: southernnorthcarolina

Roast beast...yummy

If you stick a fork in it and it doesn’t moo, it is overcooked. :)


28 posted on 12/24/2009 9:18:04 AM PST by heylady
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To: Ol' Sox
Cover the breast with bacon if the turkey is wild(gives it added fat and makes it juicier)or even if it is not wild. Lately, I have been purchasing smoked turkeys, already cooked(or have one done by a friend with a smoker, NOT deep fryer)and they are really, really good.

My mother knew how to cook a turkey, back in the day before implanted thermometers and inbred tame turkeys. Never tasted one that was like cardboard(she was from the south).

29 posted on 12/24/2009 9:18:29 AM PST by calex59
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To: Southside_Chicago_Republican

Oh noes ... our country coons don’t do garbage. Yuk!


30 posted on 12/24/2009 9:19:48 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde
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To: Patriot1259

Cook your Christmas ham in coca-cola. There are many recipes on the Internet...I use Nigella Lawson’s. Save that juice and ham bone and use them to make some of the best baked beans you can imagine.


31 posted on 12/24/2009 9:20:18 AM PST by The Great RJ ("The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." M. Thatcher)
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To: Patriot1259; All

All of you FReepers and your food! Makes a guy want to wrangle and invitation to all of your homes and go from house to house(via transporter of course, ala Star Trek)and sample a little of every thing! Threads like these are guaranteed to make a person ravenous!


32 posted on 12/24/2009 9:25:35 AM PST by calex59
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To: poobear

Beef Wellington!


33 posted on 12/24/2009 9:32:42 AM PST by WayneH (Save Our Farms)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Mine always do garbage. For a long time, almost every evening when I got home from work, one would be perched on the top of a garbage can down the alley and, as I passed, it would shinny up the electric pole. Two blocks north there’s a big lake and one of the premier natural areas in Chicago, but my raccoons preferred slumming it. They like my pear tree too, but that’s a very short-term food supply.


34 posted on 12/24/2009 9:33:00 AM PST by Southside_Chicago_Republican ("During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." --Orwell)
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To: Patriot1259
A “chef’ who can't make a good turkey??? Lost me right there. Done properly turkey is some good eats - not taking away from the ham angle.
35 posted on 12/24/2009 9:38:36 AM PST by mad_as_he$$ (usff.com)
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To: WayneH
Beef Wellington!

Otherwise known as beef without the boney-parts.

36 posted on 12/24/2009 9:43:41 AM PST by reg45 (Be calm everyone. The idiot children are in charge!)
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To: Patriot1259
I tried Martha Stewarts coca-cola ham recipe a few times.
Just pack the entire ham in plain dry brown sugar (easier said than done) and bake and about a half hour from completion dump a can of coke over the whole works.

Makes a heckuva mess of the pan but the ham is really excellent.

My wife thought I lost my mind and I had to convince her I saw Martha do it first.

Line the pan first and you will like this ham a lot.

37 posted on 12/24/2009 9:53:14 AM PST by Manic_Episode (Some mornings, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps...)
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To: Patriot1259
Southerners do not cook marsupials.

No one who has tried my brother's fried turkey would ever think turkey tastes like cardboard. Sadly, he prefers to keep his method secret, but he does make one of the holiday turkeys. (We have a big group and need several turkeys, one fried, one baked and one smoked.)

As for ham, didn't someone say that one definition of eternity is two people with one leftover ham?

38 posted on 12/24/2009 9:55:40 AM PST by sportutegrl (I was for Sarah Palin before being for Sarah was cool.)
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To: Patriot1259

For many years, my parentssent us a Honeybaked ham for Christmas. We looked forward to it. When the passed away, I decided to buy one and was apalled at the cost.

The beauty of the spiral sliced ham is that each slice is baked to have a sear and glaze on it. I bought the ham that the various grocery stores were competing for as loss leaders and sliced it on the bone so it was similar to a spiral sliced ham. I add a glaze of brown sugar, allspice, and ground cloves. The only leftovers I ever have is the bone that I use for split pea soup. My gusts take the rest with them.

I get a Honeybaked-style ham for $.89 a pound so I buy way to much and friends and family have meals for weeks.


39 posted on 12/24/2009 9:56:12 AM PST by HospiceNurse
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To: MHT
I only do it once a year and usually forget from year to year how to cook it.

I've never tried it but I watched Alton Brown do one on Good Eats last week.
May want to go to FoodTV.com and check it out.
I do recall his slow roasting it first to get rid of much of the fat before turning up the oven to crisp the skin.

My wife roasts our turkey in a bag, comes out wonderful.

40 posted on 12/24/2009 10:08:29 AM PST by Vinnie (You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Jihads You)
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To: Patriot1259

Has anyone ever had goose? Maybe some of you hunters out there? A hunter friend did give me a couple of wild ducks (plucked and ready to cook) a few years ago.


41 posted on 12/24/2009 10:26:54 AM PST by scrabblehack
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To: scrabblehack

We had a Canada goose one year (husband shot it, cleaned it and plucked it). I had never cooked a wild goose before so I found a recipe in a wild game cook book that included the stuffing ingredients. It was totally amazing. One of the best meals I’ve ever had.

Would trade my 17.5 pound free range turkey for one in a heart beat and the turkey will be great. I am hoping that I can fit this year’s bird on a large Spanek stand in my oven. The Spanek method is brilliant because the bird cooks evenly from the outside in and the inside out.

Fill the pan half way with beer or white wine and the white meat will be so juicy you can even overcook the bird and get away with it. The skin is delicious - crisp and tasty with a liberal (I use that word advisedly) coating of La Grill Montreal Poultry Spice. 15 minutes sear time to start and finish at higher temp.

I make up for the inability to cook the bird with stuffing inside by making the stuffing separately (using some giblets maybe but definitely having a selection of wild mushrooms from my forages) and forming it into a loaf which gets done with a crispy outer layer and gets served in slices.

....I digress...back to the goose - highly recommended.

(All these posts make me think there are some really good cooks that hang out on FR.)


42 posted on 12/24/2009 10:53:35 AM PST by Natural Born 54
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To: Valpal1

I guess it is all in the definition of “perfectly prepared”... I dare you to come have some with me and my family when I am cooking. You won’t claim turkey is tasteless any more. I guarantee!

And I have no problem with duck - I love it, but don’t have any, and the domestic ones at the store are no better than the other poultry they have for sale.

And prime rib would be my first choice for any big celebration - but I cannot even come close to affording the meat cost. I do have some good recipes, though.

This is part of why I did two venison backstraps for this past Tuesday’s “Christmas” dinner with my mother and stepfather. They turned out to be two of the very best pieces of mean - any variety - I have EVER put in my mouth - and I have had some steaks and other meats from some very fine establishments, and home cooks over the years. Fork tender, and full-flavored. Apparently, the combination of seasoning and smoking wood selection came out just right. I have spoiled them... Thankfully, I prepared enough for a reprise this evening when my father and step-mother arrive for dinner! Add fresh steamed asparagus, beautiful mixed greens salad, and the other goodies... should be a nice evening!


43 posted on 12/24/2009 11:53:53 AM PST by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
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To: TheBattman

I doubt it would help. Seriously, turkey is just too bland a meat for me, although smoked turkey is palatable. It really may be me.

But then, my kids raise our annual hog and we buy an entire beef from a local pea farmer that hand raises a couple dozen steers a year on his own pea hay. And the total cost per lb is less than grocery store prices. I live in a rural agricultural area where fine eating animals are cheap and plentiful, including free range domestic turkeys and I find even they are bland compared to other poultry.

Best eating ever is dove, each plump little breast is just exactly bite size simmered in butter with mushrooms, scallions and garlic. But that takes a lot of dove hunting to procure a decent meal.


44 posted on 12/24/2009 12:30:16 PM PST by Valpal1 (Always be prepared to make that difference.)
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To: Valpal1

Yep - lots of hunting to get a real mess of dove... but they are yummy!

And fresh home-raised meat is pretty great, as is minimally processed beef.

Have you have had wild turkey (not the liquor)? Might change your mind on turkey. I think you view on the taste of turkey is based on the increasing flavor-poor commercially produced turkey. Chicken is getting to be the same way - one reason for all the “enhancements” they percolate into most store-bought birds these days.

But seriously - turkey can be made to be absolutely wonderful - even domesticated birds from the grocery store. So the invite is open, just let me know when you will be here!


45 posted on 12/24/2009 12:58:57 PM PST by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
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To: parsifal

You are too funny, Parsy!


46 posted on 12/24/2009 1:00:38 PM PST by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
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To: TheBattman

Wild turkeys are smarter than me so I haven’t had the pleasure of eating one. Yet, I remain as hopeful as Wile E. Coyote.


47 posted on 12/24/2009 1:06:43 PM PST by Valpal1 (Always be prepared to make that difference.)
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To: Patriot1259

My Grandmother used to put her ham in a brown paper grocery bag and cook it. I have cooked a 20 lb ham at 250 for 6 hrs before and taken it to work. There was nothing left to take home. My picky husband loves it too.


48 posted on 12/24/2009 3:43:47 PM PST by mom aka the evil dictator
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