Major snowstorm buries Wisconsin today. No Fear – We’re Ready! Sunday morning good friends gave me a snow-blower!!!! Yes – that’s right, they GAVE it to me. My only payment was a Sunday brunch. But what food would adequately repay the extraordinary gift of a  mighty, Wisconsin-winter-fighting snowblower? I chose the mighty, bone-in HAM! Yes, MEAT of a MIGHTY PIG! Pigs churn up ground just like snowblowers churn up snow. Seemed fitting, except I’d never cooked a bone-in ham.

Never fear, -IMPROVISE! The ham was already fully cooked, so I just cooked it like I cook those little mini, boneless hams that I cook all the time, except I cooked it longer. Would there have been a better way?  Probably. But this ham was surely good – nobody complained; everyone liked it. And when I marveled at how much better it tasted than the supermarket, boneless hams, my guests nodded in agreement, politely muffling their amazement that I didn’t already know that. Live and learn, I say.

To cook my mighty, 7+ pound ham, I just put it in a baking pan filled with a 1/4 inch of water, covered it tightly with foil and baked it at 325 degrees for two hours, – approximately 20 -25 minutes per pound. Then I took the ham out, let it sit for a half hour, scored its top and stuck whole cloves in the scores. I spread a glaze over it made of 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar mixed with 2 Tablespoons of spicy, brown mustard, (mustard left-over from the summer’s brats). I heated the oven to 425 degrees, then popped the uncovered ham back in and immediately reduced the heat back to 325 degrees. A half hour later, we ate it! 

I also prepared red cabbage according to an old, German recipe. But it wasn’t authentic because I cooked in a package of shredded broccoli which had grown weary in the refrigerator waiting to become coleslaw. A Waldorf salad and fresh, bakery-bought, Christmas stollen joined the festive table.

Of course, that morning, we didn’t eat the whole ham, or all of the cabbage, or salad, or stollen. We’ve got lots more. But we’ve got lots more snow too. Today the kids’ school is closed; lucky we’re set for provisions. 

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