Did you have a nice Christmas feast? Most Australians eat a cold Christmas lunch/picnic because it’s usually so dastardly hot nobody wants anything else. But… those of us who were raised on cold Christmases need just a bit of a reminder of days gone by and this is where my easy baked ham comes in.
John asked what I was serving for Christmas lunch since we had less than 12 hours to prepare for it. I gave him the usual list of dishes that I know his family likes and he said, “But what about you?”
“I’d like a ham, but we could serve it cold if you like,” I said.
With not many hours to plan, I used my mother’s go-to recipe that couldn’t be easier and everyone loved it. I cooked the same thing for Thanksgiving and there were no complaints.
My mother’s secret is pineapple. She always served ham with grilled pineapple slices and one day I found out why. She opened the can, put the juice into a saucepan with a cup of brown sugar and cooked it until it was reduced by half and was syrupy. That’s it.
I removed the rind from the ham, scored it and put a whole clove in the center of each diamond shape and then basted with the sauce and into the oven he went. I added just enough water to the bottom of the pan to keep the glaze that dripped off from burning. Hams I buy are fully cooked so they only need to be glazed and warmed through until they look beautiful.
John’s dad has trouble with arthritis and complete numbness in his right hand, so John cheerfully peeled the prawns so that lunch wouldn’t take a year to finish. With the prawns and ham we had deviled eggs, tossed salad, potato salad, spicy crunchy salad, homemade rolls and grilled pineapple rings. It was a lot less than a Northern Christmas dinner but in this heat, it was a lovely meal.
For dessert we had a pavlova topped with whipped cream, sliced fresh mango, kiwi fruit and passion fruit. Nobody left the table hungry. What was on your Christmas menu? Are you still stuffed like we are?