Easter Ham

These are suggestions for preparing a bone-in picnic ham, shank or butt (butt has more meat), or a whole picnic ham.  Follow the instructions on the ham for temperature and timing.  Most are pre-cooked and require only heating through.  Some are uncut and others are spiral-cut.  I like the uncut because it doesn't dry out so easily.  I like the spiral-cut because it is quick to serve and easy to disassemble for storage after the meal. Some are pre-glazed but since there are diabetics in my family, I prefer to prepare my own glaze.

I like to score the fat side of the uncut ham in diamonds with a sharp knife.  I don't score a spiral-cut ham.  In the center of each diamond, I insert a whole clove (see the picture above).  Where there is rind, you will need to poke a tiny hole to help secure the clove.

I cover the ham closely with foil, or roast it in an electric, table-top roaster, depending on the size of it and the busy-ness of my stove oven.

Ham Glaze

About 1 1/2 hours before the ham is to be done, prepare a glaze for it of your favorite ingredients.  My favorite is brown sugar and pineapple juice.

Whisk together well and bring to a simmer in a small saucepan:

1 c. brown sugar
1 t. prepared yellow or brown mustard
2 T. flour
1/4 c. pineapple juice

Stir constantly until the glaze thickens a little.  Brush over ham every 20 minutes until ham is done.  Let the ham rest under a piece of foil for 20 minutes before cutting and serving.  Cut according to instructions on the ham packaging.

Green Beans Almondine

1 pound fresh or frozen green beans
1 small package (abt. 4 oz) sliced almonds
6 T. Butter, divided
Salt and Pepper to taste

Par boil the green beans if they are fresh, until they are slightly tender.  Immerse quickly in ice water to hold the color.  Melt the butter in a large skillet.  Add the Almonds and saute just until fragrant.  Remove almonds from skillet.  Add more butter to the skillet and the green beans.  Saute lightly for a few minutes until they are heated through.  Add almonds and saute with beans until hot.  Serve immediately.

Asparagus with Lemon and Garlic

I'm referring you to the +"Eating Richly" blog for this recipe.  She has the best information, I think, on Asparagus and different ways of preparing it.  Scroll down on the page for the actual recipe, just before the comments.  It's a winner!

Lime Jello Salad

1 pkg. lime Jello
1 c. hot water
1 c. chopped celery
1 sm. carton cottage cheese
1/2 c. nuts
1 sm. can crushed pineapple
1/2 c. salad dressing or mayonnaise

Mix Jello with water and chill until set halfway. Place cottage cheese and salad dressing in a small bowl and mix together well.  Whisk the cottage cheese mixture into the jello, blending well.  Fold in celery, nuts and pineapple and chill until well set.  I serve this in some cut glass sherbet bowls and it looks very fancy and fresh.

Twice Baked Potatoes

I'm referring you to  +"Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond" for this recipe.  Everyone should have a little fun in their day. If you're not following Ree, you're missing out.....really.  She is so much fun.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Pecan Frosting


Did you just get back here?  Well, turn right around and head back to +"Pioneer Woman" for this great recipe.  I love this version of carrot cake.  It's homely and homey and heavenly delicious.  Plain and simple.

Braided Sesame Challah

Our Easter is the culmination of Passover.  Hand in hand, over all these centuries....Easter and Passover. This is my nod to Jewish culture and cuisine. I searched for spiritual truth for many years before I found it.  I visited every church and religion I could find.  As a young student I lived with and worked for a Conservative Jewish cantor and his family.  Those were golden days, for me, and unforgettable for the marvelous culture and rich experiences I had.  Every Sabbath began with baked chicken, potato kuegel, challah (braided bread) and side dishes of vegetables and condiments....along with prayers and blessings and songs.

Makes 2 braided loaves

 2 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
 1/2 cup honey
 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
 3 eggs
 1 tablespoon salt
 8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
 1 tablespoon poppy or sesame seeds (optional)


To learn how to braid the bread, go here. It's really fun to watch and learn.  For a curved loaf, go here.

In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over barely warm water. Beat in honey, oil, 2 eggs, and salt. Add the flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition, graduating to kneading with hands as dough thickens. Knead until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. Cover with a damp clean cloth and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until dough has doubled in bulk.

Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto floured board. Divide in half and knead each half for five minutes or so, adding flour as needed to keep from getting sticky. Divide each loaf and braid according to the directions in the video. Grease two baking trays and place finished braid or round on each. Cover with towel and let rise about one hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Beat the remaining egg and brush a generous amount over each braid. Sprinkle with poppy seeds if desired.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 40 minutes. Bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. Cool on a rack for at least one hour before slicing.

Deviled Eggs

18 Eggs, hard boiled, pealed, halved lengthwise, and yolks removed
1/4 c. Mayonnaise
1/4 c. Sour Cream
1/2 t. Garlic Powder
1/2 t. Onion Powder
1/2 t. Smoky Paprika plus some for sprinkling
1/4 t. Ground Black Pepper

Place yolks in a gallon zipper bag, remove air and seal.  Mash them up with your fingers (or the obliging fingers of family members) until all are mashed very well.  Mix remainder of ingredients in a small bowl with a wire whisk until well blended.  Add to bag and mix well by hand.  Squish all of it into one of the lower corners of the bag and nip off the corner to make a hole about 3/8 of an inch. Fill egg whites by squeezing the yolk mixture out into them, filling to a little above the top.  Sprinkle with paprika and serve.  May be stored in refrigerator for three days.

1 comment:

  1. That is the most beautiful loaf of challah I have ever seen. I still can't figure out how to braid with six strands ??? I would love to make this.


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