Happy Easter everyone! If you celebrate the holiday then I’m certain your upcoming weekend is going to be full of family fun like mine. While I don’t necessarily share the same religious views as most that honor this event, I still love the celebration and fellowship with family and friends. The focus on outdoor activities and ham rolls really seals the deal and might make Easter one of my favorite holidays of the year.
I’ve taken on the role of chef in my little family unit and considering I spend 99% of my time cooking for only myself, a large meal can seem a bit daunting. But thankfully over the years I’ve honed my craft and have curated what I consider one of the best hams you’ll ever taste. It’s both sweet and savory, feeds a crowd, and requires very little hands-on prep. Lucky for you I’ve decided to share my secret recipe in case it might be your first time cooking for the holiday or you’re just looking to mix it up a bit this year. Behold, Kathie’s Fantastic Ham!
1 10-12lb spiral ham
2 cans of pineapple rings in juice, drained
1/4C grainy country style Dijon mustard
For the glaze (I always make the night before, but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days):
Bring the pineapple rings, sugar and water to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer for 60-80 minutes, or until it has reduced down to about 4 cups. Transfer to a large bowl and after it has cooled, stir in mustard.
For ham on day-of:
Heat oven to 325 degrees and put rack in lowest position. Remove all packaging and glaze packets from ham and discard. Place ham in roasting pan and pour over half of the glaze, sticking pineapple rings between spiral slices. Bake uncovered for 1.5 hours, then baste with rest of glaze, tent with foil and continue baking until thoroughly heated. I typically let mine go about an hour and a half to 2 hours total. Serve by drizzling individual slices with glaze and pineapples from pan.
That’s the total recipe for the main dish of the meal. While the ham is baking down below, you’ll have plenty of time to whip up hearty side dishes like garlic mashed potatoes, 3 cheese macaroni, sautéed green beans and deviled eggs on the stovetop. Lastly, don’t forget the rolls! You’re going to need something for all those delicious ham leftovers!
Easter is the perfect holiday to kick hungry guests out of the house while you’re busy preparing the meal. Weather permitting, it’s a great time of year for outdoor activities. When I was a kid, my favorite thing to do was to dye Easter eggs then hunt for them around the yard. Afterward my cousins and I would have egg fights, where we would try and crack one another’s eggs by tapping them against each other. Now that I’m older and since there aren’t any children involved, I try to set up fun adult oriented activities in the backyard that make you feel a bit like a kid. Badminton, croquet and kickball are all super fun for any age group, and especially fun watching middle aged people attempt things they might not have done in awhile. After we’ve all gotten our fill on Easter dinner and games, I light up the firepit and everyone can relax with a beverage and some music and just enjoy each other’s company.
While this might not be “traditional” it has become MY family tradition and one that I look forward to every year. Regardless of the origin of a holiday, I see no problem with celebrating special moments with your nearest and dearest. Life doesn’t always have to look like a Norman Rockwell painting to be valid or enjoyable and usually the best memories come in unexpected packages. Whatever your reason for the season, I hope you have a wonderful weekend with an abundance of food and happiness. See you guys next week!