Friday, March 25, 2016

In the Easter Basket Grass...

IS it ham what am?
I Googled a lot to try to discover what is the meat most people served at Easter because I've always thought that ham was it. I was bewildered when one of the people I asked said, "Prime roast beef."

Come to find out lamb is popular!  Not around here (our table) but other places.  Except for an Italian market in San Pedro which annually advertises baby lamb, whole, for this holiday I've only seen ham mentioned.

This is a real find for ham-sters such as myself - If you have a Ralph's card (local supermarket) a half ham sells for $11.39 and this is gospel because I bought one - spiral-sliced, honey-baked 'n all.  For $11.39. 

This is probably about all it's worth for this reason - spiral slices end approx. 5 in. or more below the hock or bone and is inedible unless you make soup.  I tried making split pea soup with leftover ham once, but during the mandatory overnight soaking of the peas - they grew a nasty froth on top.  Toss!  Something about the sea level here.  

So much for prying into what's on other people's dinner tables.    

Traditional Favorites
 A cousin of mine always makes Pineapple Dressing to go with her ham and the recipe is from her daughter's husband's mother.  It would never have entered my mind to make a "dressing" to go with a ham (?!) but now it would never enter my mind not to make it.

Jean Clark's Pineapple Dressing
1.2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs - original recipe says 4, but 2 works just fine
5 cups diced white sandwich bread
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple
pinch of ginger or allspice or both

Cream the butter and sugar together, beat in the eggs
Toss in the bread cubes, mixing as you go
Add the crush pineapple and mix again
Bake at 350 until the top browns and a chopstick inserted in the middle comes out clean

Astute chefs - aren't you all? -- will recognize this as a version of bread pudding. 

My sister, a far more elegant creature than I will ever be, serves this take on a (very) pedestrian version that I love.

Fresh green beans, steamed, sautéed in butter with sliced fresh mushrooms and finished with toasted almonds. 

2 cans drained green beans (French cut or not)
1 can mushroom soup
lashings of white pepper
Mix and bake or stove top it until it's hot; serve with an open can of Durkee's fried onions for individual garnish.  If you cook the onion straws with the dish, they get soggy.  Be glad if you have leftover onion strings - great snack!

No comments: