JUICE AND SUGAR-GLAZED HAM
8.84 pounds spiral-cut ham
1/2 cup pear juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoons grated orange peel or orange zest
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 15-ounce can peach halves
Serves 8. Takes 2 hours 30 minutes.
(If you can’t find a spiral-cut ham that weighs exactly 8.84 pounds, then anything from 6 to 10 pounds will do. Remember improvise, improvise, improvise. For example, if your recipe calls for Moroccan camel cheese to be sprinkled atop your Saharan crepe and your guests are arriving in five minutes and all you have is Four-Mexican cheese blend, use the Mexican cheese. At that point you can hope no one notices the substitution, lie about the substitution, or brag about your ability to cook Moroccan-Mexican fusion.)
Meanwhile back at the recipe, grate an orange peel. Place ham, cut end down, in large baking pan. Cook ham according to directions on its package.
Combine pear juice and orange juice in mixing bowl. After one hour of cooking, take the ham out of the oven and baste the ham with the orange-and-pear-juices mixture. This step really is easiest with a baster. Put ham back in oven.
Take ham out of oven. Combine brown sugar, grated orange peels or orange zest, 1/2 cup honey, and 1/4 cup of drippings from ham in second mixing bowl. Picking up the drippings is easiest and safest with a baster. (If you have already cleaned your mixing bowl, you are an outstanding chef and worthy of the admiration of everyone.) Brush this mixture all over the exposed portion of the ham about an hour before the ham is supposed to be done. (You did save the cooking instructions that came with the ham, didn’t you?) Put ham back in oven.
1) Eating pig is forbidden to Muslims. Eating beef is forbidden to Hindus. Even biting something cooked in the fat of those animals is impermissible.
2) Cartridges used by the world’s armies in 1856 were often coated in animal grease.
3) In 1856, many of the British Army’s soldiers in India were native Muslims or Hindus. The Moslem soldiers thought their cartridges were coated with pig fat. Religious outrage. The Hindus soldiers felt their bullets were dipped in cow fat. Religious outrage.
4) So the native Indian soldiers rebelled against British rule. Thousands and thousands of people died and many atrocities were committed before the British gained the upper hand.
5) See, proper spicing matters, whether in cooking or maintaining a world-wide empire.
6) If only the British had used duck grease to coat their cartridges. Hardly anyone has religious reservations about duck grease.
7) And everyone likes doughnuts.
8) However, may I recommend frying doughnuts made with vegetable oil, acceptable on every continent? We have a lot of nuclear weapons littering the Earth and the next World War is bound to be a downer.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.