The 200-lb. (or Maybe 20 lb.) Ham

7 Apr

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When planning a big meal, I’m not the best judge of how much food to actually buy. Case in point, this year’s Easter ham. We had ten people over–which is a lot for us–and when you figure in that our friends really like the Boy’s ham recipe (this is an understatement), leftovers for everyone, and the weight of a bone, we definitely needed a ham that was over ten pounds. This, of course, set off the stressful situation of exactly what size ham to buy when I went to the store. Do I go with the 13-lb. ham that doesn’t mention any of the features the Boy asked for (fully cooked, bone in, etc.)? Or do I go to the 20-lb. ham that’s exactly what we want? And why don’t I feel like asking the guy at the meat counter if they’ve got another size? I just asked him about casing, for crying out loud!

Well, the Boy is a man, and he gets a kick out of cooking a massive pile of meat. We also have this enormous stock pot (known to us as the “Ham Pot”) that’s so big, it only fits in one tall cupboard in our kitchen, and it’s a point of pride to be able to cook a ham so big that it needs a restaurant-sized stock pot for the boiling phase. A twenty pound challenge? Bring it!

The Boy was happy, the Ham Pot got used, the ham was delicious. However, what complicated things is that we also made five pounds of kielbasa, which essentially competed with the ham for share of stomach. This contributed to a ton of leftovers, and suddenly it seemed like our 20-lb. ham had yielded way more than 20 pounds. Our leftover happy friends should’ve managed to clean up nicely, but for some reason, everyone was a bit skittish and now we have a couple of bags of ham in our fridge and freezer.

This is a little problematic because the Boy and I aren’t much for leftovers. We can do a day or two, but after that, we get a little bored. We’re not really the types to make a big pot of something and eat off of it for a week. Now I’m going to have to figure out what else I can use it for because I don’t particularly want to let it go to waste.

The other problem with so much ham is that I’ve had an absolutely idiotic camp song stuck in my head for days:

Fried ham, fried ham

Cheese and bologna and after the macaroni

We’ll have onions and pickles and peppers

And then we’ll have some more fried ham (fried ham, fried ham)

I remember singing this song in Girl Scouts. Who in their right minds came up with it, and how did it get passed down for generations? Did the original author (or authors–I’m starting to think that many preteens came up with this as something annoying–that only a preteen would find hilarious–and sang it for an entire bus ride, much to the dismay of the bus driver and chaperones) sweat over these lyrics? Did they know that their work would live on for ages?

Needless to say, I’ll be frying up some ham for lunch today. Probably no cheese, but maybe. No macaroni–though with all this leftover ham, I might make some ham and cheese macaroni…..and I bet onions and peppers would be tasty in it too. Pickle garnish? Hmmm…..this could be just the thing I need to get rid of these leftovers!

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