Sunday, April 8, 2012

Did you just call me "Rum Ham?"

So, Goodwill gave its employees a free ham for Easter. A 16-pound ham. It's awesome, except what do I do with 16 pounds of ham? Also, how do I lug that monstrosity on my hour-long trek from work to the homestead? Answer: male friends. I had my friend, Kyle, who also works at Goodwill, take my ham home in his nifty vehicle. I then made him stash my ham, along with his own, in his fridge. I'm a giver.

Lucky for me, Kyle not only lives nearby, but has three male roommates who are perfect in their ham-consuming capacity. I felt a little bad about making them stow my extra ham, but decided to compensate them for their troubles... with ham. As such, I popped over yesterday after work to commence some ham-cooking.

Fun fact: I've never cooked a ham before. I culled up some advice from coworkers and family alike, then with a dash of ingenuity and a whole lot of finger-crossing, I winged it.


1 large ham
3 cans of pineapple slices, in pineapple juice
2-lb bag of brown sugar
Little squeeze of honey


*Note: Seriously. Winged it.

Step One: Prep Time

Show up to boys' house at 9:15 PM, ready to cook. Assert your need to cook ham. When one of them offers you honey for a glaze, defiantly brandish the pineapple slices/brown sugar, which are lying in wait in your bag.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Accept the fresh whiskey-coke offered by resident.

Step Two: Ham

Step 1A: Confound family members by insisting it's "semi-boneless."
Unwrap that bad boy and drop it into a roasting pan. It's a good thing it's already fully-cooked. Can't possibly screw it up too badly.

Step Three: Other Stuff

Snap into the pineapple cans. Search in vain, for toothpicks. Instead, find bamboo skewers, which you will snap into thirds. Preferably, you should avoid getting splinters.

Step Four: Doing Stuff

Looks so wrong, it must be right.
Pin pineapple slices all over the ham with the skewer thirds. Try to cover all exposed ham areas with pineapple. You may have to bust into all three cans for this, with a few rings left over.

Remember to reserve the pineapple juice from the cans.

Challenge: Keeping pictures in focus after additional whiskey-cokes!

Step Five: Glazing Over

The oven has finished preheating during the pineapple skewering. You have to make a gaze, which may take some time, so why not throw the ham in the oven while you make the glaze? Good idea.

Clean the big saucepan. Boys are so messy. Pour in reserve pineapple juice then, after slight debate with yourself, shrug your shoulders and drop in the entire bag on brown sugar. 

Unnecessary Photo- FTW!

Cook on medium-high heat. Stir constantly. Get impatient when the mixture refuses to boil. Eat one of the potato pancakes sitting on the table behind you. Fiddle with the heat dial. Consider bottle of honey. Add a little squeeze to the glaze, for good measure. Eventually, it will boil, so you drop the heat down a bit. But then it stops boiling and seems too cool and still isn't thickening enough. So, whatever, you just crank up the heat and let it go on a hard boil for about six minutes. 

Step Six: Check on Ham, then Add Glaze

Ham looks fine. Take it out and slowly pour the glaze over top. Use a basting brush to smother the glaze all over. Repeat this process a handful of times over the next 3 or 4 hours.

Some time in the third or fourth hour, the ham should be all heated through. Take it out, panic a tiny bit about the burned skewers. Realize, after removing said skewers, that nothing is wrong and your ham looks fine. Make someone else slice it up and then have at.

Thus concludes your very first venture in ham-cooking. Congratulations and Happy Easter!