Let me tell you about my Easter. My sister drove up on Friday and stayed until Monday. It was a nice visit; we drank wine and champagne, cooked and ate, and sat in the sun in the backyard. Very relaxing and low stress for a holiday weekend.
But the Easter story really starts a few months before. Mike and I had gone over to his friend’s house; let’s call him Murray, a few months ago. Murray had some frozen meat to give us. He was trying to clear out the chest freezer he had in the garage so he could unplug it. So, when we were there I noticed that he had a ham. Now, I didn’t think much of it until I realized we would be in town for Easter. Then I wanted that ham, in a bad way.
So a few weeks before Easter, Murray is over for dinner and I ask him about his Easter plans. I thought he might be heading to Oregon for the weekend to see family, but no! He was going to be in town. So, I told him, “If you bring the ham, I’ll make dinner.” Which he heartily agreed to. I scored the ham! And, planned a ham appropriate menu, asparagus, scalloped potatoes and a salad.
But, of course, it does not end there. My coveting of pork products was about to take an evil turn. So, a few days before Easter, Murray brings me a frozen ham so I can defrost it. There it was wrapped in butcher paper. And, stamped on the butcher paper is the name of the butcher and the date – March 1, 2005. This ham that I coveted was an old ham.
Quick aside – I like ham – but I don’t love ham. I am not even sure why I wanted this ham so bad. I think it was just because I knew the ham was there. I mean roast lamb or a Prime Rib is way better than a ham. Ham really should just be for sandwiches or served with eggs.
Now I was worried about the ham, since the date on the wrapper said it was from March 2005. But, I am not one to throw out meat, yet the date got me a little concerned. So, I consulted with a chef and two butchers about the viability of the ham. All of them told me the same thing. The ham was most likely freezer burned and would taste off, but it wouldn’t kill us.
This was all I needed to hear. I was still determined to make that ham. But, by then I started to rethink my Easter menu. It needed to be less ham centric. So, I made that six-pound ham with a tarragon, brown sugar glaze. And, you know what, it tasted off, but the meat closer to the middle tasted better. And, for the rest of the meal, we made chili rellenos, bacon-wrapped Anaheim chilies, rice, beans and carne asada. And, I served a store bought tres leches cake for dessert, which was not as good as Leslie’s (I still ate it though). So, there was more than enough food and everyone went home with ham.
Do you know what I want to make now, fried chicken. Blame it on the food network. I am now obsessed with making the perfect fried chicken. I just hope I don’t catch the house on fire.