Last week on the blog Restaurant Widow, I saw a post with pictures of Spring in Columbus. With the eagerness of a Nantucket cabin boy waiting to set to sea for adventure, I chirpily typed my excitement in a comment saying I could not wait to see Spring in my hometown Easter weekend. In return, I received a glum note with the weekend forecast: Cold and snow. I hadn't looked at the forecast, and I knew it was supposed to cool down here in Chicago, but it is usually 10 degrees (F) warmer in CMH than in CHI. I was undaunted, the sun would come out and burn the chill off the ravine and leave the heavy 40F air to wrap around my head and fill my lungs while I took exquisite photos of the redbuds.
I'm sure in the 30+ Easters that I have spent in Columbus, there have been a few with cold and snow. I guess with the anticipation and the distance, it seemed just a bit colder.
Well at least we weren't in Cleveland.
Bad weather or not, it's always a frenetic food free-for-all when the family gets together.
I started a couple of Fridays ago with a 12 pound ham and a big bucket.
The recipe is from Charcuterie, for American Style Holiday Ham. The cure is a brine of salt, brown sugar and pink salt. I let it soak for six days in the fridge.
I took it out of the brine and let it set in the cooler for two days unwrapped. Then I smoked it on a kettle grill.
For instructions to smoke on a kettle grill, take a look at the post, Slow Pork Taco Recipe. While the ham is cooking let's take a look around to see what else is going on.
hmm.... somebody is making an animal cracker crust....
The Bonne Femme, presents her 2007 edition of the bunny carrot cake.
Mom is ready to bottle her first batch of vin de Hoo-hoo.
After putting up seven bottles it's time for a break. Mom gets out some Easter eggs from the "old" days:
Hey, how is that ham coming along?
After 4 -1/2 hours cooking at a temperature of 275-300F, the ham registered an internal temp of 155F. Let's see how it turned out....
So outside looks great, I couldn't keep dad away from the crackling, but the inside there's a couple of spots that aren't pink. The cure didn't penetrate all the way. It could have probably brined another day, and maybe flipping it once or twice while it cured might have helped too. That said, It tasted like smoked HAM, and that is a good thing. We actually had the ham dinner Saturday night, then Sunday morning Eggs Benedict.
Okay, people are starting to get mad because I am taking too many pictures and the food is getting cold.
Keep on reading, we've got more food fun coming up from Columbus, including the first Saucisson MAC contest.