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The Ham

by Catherine Sadler, Ramah, CO, USA


For the first time in years I bought a picnic ham instead of a butt ham. I had forgotten how to cook one; but, fortunately, the plastic wrapper gave directions. Unfortunately, I guestimated the time too long! Even with plenty of water in the roasting pan, the ham was kind of black. However, the surface was a thick layer of fat and skin, so I peeled it off, releasing the juices and the heady fumes of delicious ham.

The cats had been outside during the morning and came in exhausted from their activities. So they all crashed on the bed and snoozed.... Until I peeled the ham. Suddenly Sheba and Shasta were jockeying for position on my left while Djoser was rubbing my legs and Amber was on the counter trying to help!

I cut off some overcooked meat on the sides and divided among the hungry mouths on the floor. Amber snagged his own piece while my back was turned! But I eventually got the bits of meat trimmed off the fat and disposed of into my 4 garbage disposals; and the burnt pieces I gave to Shasta, knowing her larger mouth and powerful jaws could handle.

A half hour later, the pets retired with glazed eyes and stretched bellies. Then I was able to get the pineapple and brownsugar and Allspice on the ham and back into the oven for awhile. Then I prepared the candied yams and all the other things for a gourmet supper.

Eventually, the table was set and the guest arrived. We all sat down to dinner and dug in. It was delicious. My burnt ham was the best ham I ever ate. I wonder if I can duplicate the process?! Then my swivel chair jerked as Amber jumped up on the arm and tried to get on the table!

That cat is crazy about ham. I had to push him off and pacify him with bites of my ham. Ordinarily, without a guest, I would have let him on the table. But his spot was occupied. He had to make do with the floor. But if I wasn't attentive enough feeding him, he would get on my chair again. I didn't get near as much ham as I wanted. Oh, well, better for my waistline. But I still don't know how he could be so hungry or even have room for more ham. And he even ate his cat food, too!

CATherine is watching Shasta carry out the big ham bone like a trophy

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