Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Christmas Everyone

About two and a half months ago Kris' best friend Rochelle got Pneumonia it was a bad case. She ended up in the hospital with it, the first two weeks in a medically induced coma. She is much better now but just got out of the hospital on Christmas Eve so it was a long fight for her. Up until about three weeks ago she couldn't eat at all, then she was on the "mechanical soft" and "ground" diets in the hospital. Can you imagine eating pureed bread? On top of that every day that she could eat she had chicken or turkey in some form that is hospital cooked chicken or turkey understand. When she decided that she was getting out of the Hospital on Christmas Eve Kris and I decided that we were going to make her and her family Christmas Dinner.

The menu was easy to plan; she had a tough couple of months so she needed comfort food, not just your regular comfort meal, but one on steroids. The menu:
Glazed Ham and Gravy
Sweet Potato Hash
Scalloped Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Bourbon and Brown Sugar Cranberries

I will probably pick at a few menu items above in the next couple of weeks... today however it is Ham and Ham Gravy that I want to talk about. I have found that a lot of people have never made or even tried ham gravy, which is a crime. Even if you have never had it there is something so warm and wonderful about the thick, salty, silky, slightly sweet sauce that makes you want to just curl up on the sofa and not let anyone near.

"Comforting, How much so?" you ask. Here is a true story, when my ex wife and I were getting to the end of our marriage both of us had found separate places to live, the court papers were about to be filed. She called her best friend and the following conversation took place:

Ex Wife R:
"Mrs. A, it is over... Bryan and I are getting a divorce, it is for real this time, there is no way to fix it."

Mrs. A:
"I don't believe it, you have ruined Easter!"

Ex Wife R: (not expecting that) "What?"
Mrs. A:
"Who is going to make Ham and Gravy at Easter now? We might as well have bologna sandwiches."

I heard this story, more or less the same from both parties involved, I kind of always thought thought it funny that the conversation didn't go something like "Thank God... I don't know why you didn't leave that jerk years ago!" or "What, are you crazy? He is Mr. Wonderful." The conversation went right to my cooking... at least I do something well.

All that being said here is how it is made:

One ham, this time I used a bone in spiral sliced ham but whatever ham I have used the gravy has always rocked.

2 TBS Grey Poupon Mustard

3/4 cup white wine

1/2 cup Honey

Juice from 2 Oranges

3 cups Chicken Broth

Put the ham, open side down in a roasting pan, mix the next four ingredients together into a slimy mixture and pour/spread over the ham. Poor the chicken broth into the bottom of the pan. Cover tightly with foil and cook, this was a nine pound ham so it was in a 300 degree oven for an hour then a 375 degree oven for another hour. I basted about every half hour. When it is all done take some of the drippings off the bottom of the roasting pan and put into a saucepan (I did about 2 cups) add a little bit of roux and bring to a simmer until thickened.

Taste then just try to put the spoon back for your guests... it takes willpower but once they taste it you will be the cooking superhero that you always wanted to be.


  1. I admit it, I've never made ham gravy! We have some ham left, so I'll try it. Sounds like a super recipe.
    Glad your friend is doing so much better and that is certainly a comfort food menu!

  2. I've never had ham gravy either! This sounds terrific and we have a whole ham to use up. Perfect!

  3. Ham gravy seems so delicious! That is the first time I hear about it.

    I am glad your friend is going better :)

  4. But I really do miss your, I make it myself but deep down in my soul I still miss yours.