Wednesday, November 26, 2008

in honor of thanksgiving

my wonderful in-laws traveled almost 1000 miles to spend thanksgiving with us. if we're all honest, they come to see luke -- we spent two thanksgivings alone here before he was born. but, regardless of why they come, we are thrilled they are here.

if michael and i were alone this year, we had planned to spend the afternoon with friends and their family. then, i wouldn't have had to do any more cooking, aside from our one-dish contribution to the meal. i've already cooked three turkeys for our neighbors, in addition to mashed potoatoes, stuffing, gravy and pie. i was thrilled to not have to cook another meal.

the three turkeys i cooked initially turned out really well, if i do say so myself. the first year i roasted a turkey, i cooked it in a bag and it wasn't done enough to my liking. since then, i prefer to simply roast them (maybe next year i'll try a brine), which is simple and they turn out well.

which is more than i can say for the first ham i cooked.

michael and i had been married a few month over a year when we decided to host easter lunch for his parents and a few guys from the university dorm. michael's parents were traveling an hour and a half and single guys never bring anything to a family dinner so i made everything for the meal.

i'd never baked a ham, but it seemed easy enough. i bought a smll boneless ham and followed the directions completely. because, after all, i am a rule-follower. sometimes.

well, almost. when i got to the step that told me to remove the inner wrapper, i didn't. there wasn't an inner wrapper on my ham. i looked several times and poked at the ham. it just wasn't there.

i used my mom's recipe to glaze the ham and popped it in the oven after we got home from church.

i checked it with my meat thermometer at the appropriate time and the ham was a llloooooong way from being done. i was a little surprised, but it was the first ham i'd ever baked. i knew nothing about cooking times and just assumed it needed a little longer. besides, we had a pretty ghetto gas oven and it ocassionally didn't light entirely. or cook quickly.

thirty minutes later, the ham still wasn't done. or really, even close to done. everyone had been sitting politely around our living room, chatting together, but i was starting to get anxious. in a hushed whisper, i called my clueless-about-my-dilemma husband into the kitchen to consult with me about our options.

his suggestion shocked me: microwave the ham. microwave it? he couldn't be serious. you can't microwave a family holiday dinner.

at least, my mom never did.

but, i was out of options. so i did what any desperate young wife would do. i put the ham in a corningware dish, glazed it again and set the microwave for three minutes. when i pulled it out to see if it was helping, i suddenly realized why it wasn't baking quickly. the inner wrapper that i hadn't removed was shriveled around the ham.

i had spent the morning glazing the wrapper of the ham instead of the ham itself.

fortunately for me, the ham still tasted great, at least my mother-in-law claimed it did. and, we had a fabulous dessert afterward.

no one can mess up chocolate.


Mimi said...

Hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful! Hilarious story about the ham. Our first Easter I made a whole ham....for the two of us! We ate ham for months! :) Tell your in-laws hello!

Beulah said...

That sounds like something I'd do! I like to bake the pizza on the cardboard circle on occasion!

Desiree' said...

That's funny.. . reminded me of a lot of dinners that I have made or tried to make! Love you and miss you lots! Call me when you get your head above water!

Annie and Jeremy said...

awwww, I can totally see myself doing that! you're so funny!

Heidi Stone said...

I've been trying not to beat down your door to hear the rest of your love story, but seriously's been over a week. I heard from Cindy today that you'll be home for Christmas and, well, if I haven't heard the end of the story by then, I might just have to force your little fingers onto a keyboard - ANY keyboard - and squeeze the rest out of you.

Ok, I realize that sounds awfully intense and a little bit forceful, but hey....this was supposed to be done in October!!!!


Happy December. :)

Sarah said...

So, if you have the desire to try brining next year, I have the best dry-brined recipe ever for you. I made my first turkey this year, and it was the juciest best ever! The process was so easy, too! I'll use the same one next year, so just let me know when the time comes... ( :
Maybe we'll see you in Atlanta sometime soon. ( :