Home Lifestyles Food and Wine EASY DOES IT FOR A DELICIOUS HOLIDAY HAM

EASY DOES IT FOR A DELICIOUS HOLIDAY HAM

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Dec. 15, 2002 – Baked or boiled ham and sweet bread are the centerpieces of the perennial Christmas Day meal in the Virgin Islands — and foods that traditionally keep carolers singing all through the early morning.
Long ago, hams were ugly affairs. They had lots of mold on the outside that needed to be scraped off before the ham was cooked. Then the ham had to be soaked to remove the excess salt. Some people boiled their ham on coal pots in the back yard. The smell was a delicious sign of Christmas.
With ham comes sweet bread — sometimes bread-like if made with yeast, or more cake-like if baking powder is used for leavening. These breads are always chock-full of guavaberry rum-soaked dried fruits.
Cooking a Christmas ham today is easy. There are several types available at the stores, from pre-cooked heat-and-eat to ready-to-bake. In days gone by, hams didn't have fancy pineapple and maraschino cherry adornments. The recipe below is simple, yet delicious. Just a honey spice marinade gives a hint of sweetness that blends with the salt to make just the right holiday flavor.
Christmas Glazed Ham
One fully cooked bone-in ham of 6 to 8 lbs.
Whole cloves
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoons ground dry mustard
Place ham, fat side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer into the ham at a slight angle so that the tip is in the center of the thickest part and doesn't touch the bone or fat. Bake 15 minutes per pound at 325 degrees Fahrenheit or until the thermometer reads 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove ham from the oven. Cut fat surface in uniform diamond shapes; insert whole clove in each diamond. Mix honey, mustard and ground cloves; brush on ham. Roast uncovered ham about 20 minutes longer or until thermometer reads 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover the ham with aluminum foil and let stand about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Nutrition: A 3-oz. (palm size) serving of baked ham contains 123 calories, 5 gms fat (36 percent fat calories), 45 mg cholesterol, and 1,023 mg sodium.

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