M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Tuesday, June 16, 2009  

Ham I Am

For reasons that are too dull and embarrassing to go into here, we used to have two full hams in our freezer downstairs. Now we only have one. The other ham is inside me.

What happened is that when Chao and I were on our way back from Green Bay, Trash got tired of not having any room to put stuff in that freezer (yes, poor us, we have too much food, boo-hoo), and she called me on my cell phone to tell me to inform Chao that no matter how tired he might be of me after that weekend, he was coming over the next night for diner, and we were having ham. It was already defrosting, in fact. Chao and I were both all over this plan. We love ham! Plus the challenge of tackling an entire ham was something we couldn't pass up. A few months ago, he, I, and a guest killed an entire three-liter bottle of store-brand grape soda just to prove it could be done, so we feared no ham that walked the earth.

Well, funny thing. Between one thing and another, Chao never did end up coming over. We rescheduled Monday for Tuesday, and then Tuesday for Thursday, and then by the time he and EyeHeartPizza and Bitter came over for dinner this past Monday, it seemed a little improper to serve everyone week-old ham leftovers. Even if there had been enough left to go around. And at this point, I could hardly ask our guests to eat something I could barely face myself any more.

It's certainly not Trash's fault; she labored heroically. That first Monday, she had me carve up part of the thawed ham into slices, which she then put into the slow cooker, where it spent the day slowly roasting in a savory barbecue sauce that she made from scratch herself. The results were outstanding, if voluminous. My only complaint was that she hadn't had the ham carved by someone who knew what he was doing.

The next day, she deployed the crock pot again, this time with smaller cubes of the ham, sliced potatoes, cheese, and a delicious cream sauce that she invented. I must confess that this was my favorite incarnation, possibly because it was the least ham-intensive. I'd had quite a bit of ham the night before, you understand. And also for lunch that day. And possibly breakfast.

Even so, we still hadn't used up all the ham. In the sandwich-fixins drawer of our refrigerator, there was a one-gallon Ziploc bag of ineptly sliced ham that in theory could be used for sandwiches, but in practice I would have preferred to run through a deli slicer first. Or, even better, run the ham through a deli slicer first.

See, here's the thing: I love ham. M. Edium doesn't. And Trash is a vegetarian. Which means I essentially ended up eating an entire ham on my own, in a matter of a week. If you are what you eat, then I'm a big old chunk of dead pig.

But we learned a lot from this experience. We still have that second ham in the freezer, just waiting until I have a free week on my menu. But next time, we'll make sure our plans with Chao are ironclad. We'll come up with even more excellent recipes to go with the ones Trash used this time. And whatever's left, I think I'm going to have you all come over and eat. Is August good for you?

posted by M. Giant 8:45 PM 4 comments


Yes. Yes, it is.

By Blogger Febrifuge, at June 16, 2009 at 10:48 PM  

As someone who generally doesn't like ham, here are my two exceptions, which may help:

French (Quebecois?) pea soup (granted, not a ton of ham goes into this, but still)

Chinese friend rice with diced ham (it's a bit astonishing how much ham you can get rid of in this dish!0

By Blogger J-Bird, at June 17, 2009 at 9:11 AM  

You do know that at least one edition of the Joy of Cooking defined eternity as two people and one ham? One person and one ham... damn.

By Blogger Unknown, at June 17, 2009 at 6:34 PM  

I love ham, I'm a devoted fan of the blog, and I'm a frequent vistitor to the St. Paul/Minneapolis vicinity (I live in Eau Claire, Wisconsin). Do I qualify for ham leftovers?!

By Anonymous Lisa, at July 1, 2009 at 10:22 PM  

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