Best Ham ever!!!

Okay… just to let ya know what you are seeing in the pic, on the top is the croissant, next row is flat green beans and mashed potatoes, last we have corn, ham, and baked beans… 😛 but for this post we are focusing on the ham (or any oven back meat really)

The secret to fall apart meat? lower the temperature and up the time!!!

For the Ham, I put the oven on 275 degrees (which is about the temp I usually use, but the rule is half the temp.) I went a little above half for my temp because cooking below 275 seems insane to me, but you are welcome to try.

a Ham is a good meat to start your experiments with.. most of the holiday Hams come pre-cooked. In fact, some people just cut and serve (which I would never do. I like to up the taste)

Getting a cookie sheet, I place a disposable aluminum pan on the cookie sheet. Placing the Ham inside, I am ready to start.

                 Ingredients: for a smaller ham, can double if needed
              Ham (I use superior tavern ham)
              can of Pineapple slices (as many as you want)
              juice from Pineapples
              1/2 cup of brown sugar (I sometimes use sugar-free)
              1/2 stick of butter
              Diet coke (about half a can)

With toothpicks, I arrange pineapple slices around my ham. I half a dozen slices to a full dozen. Basically, I used different numbers depending on the size of the Ham. Some times I also stab into the Ham so that the mixture will soak in more.

Melting my butter, I then add in the pineapple juice and sugar, and stir well. Last I pour in my diet coke and mix a little before pouring over my Ham.

Using aluminum foil, I pull off two pieces a little longer than the pan. Placing them on top of one another, I fold the edges over a few time so that when opened there is an extra wide piece. I then place the foil over my Ham and secure the edges tightly. This gives a cooking bag effect (pressure cooker).

Finally, making sure the shelf in the oven is on the lowest level, I cook my Ham for 7-8 hours. The longer you cook the Ham, the more you increase the tenderness of the Ham. I learned this technique from my aunt, after eating a Ham she cooked that was so tender it was falling apart.

The end result is definitely worth the longer cook time. And on the plus side, any leftovers can be frozen to eat on their own, or used in things like white/brown bean, vegetable soup, etc… use your imagination!

making lumps of coal…

Help Me! I’m burning… HEEEEELLLP !!! Okay, not me, but my poor polymer clay… I don’t have a picture of the results of my foray into the world of polymer clay, but trust me… it was spectacular… and not in a good way…

I worked the clay, molded it, and managed to make what I thought was a cute dragon pendant… the only thing left was to pop it into the oven… (toaster oven)… setting the temperature and the timer, I went off to work on my next piece… happy as a clam… … … and this is the part where you hear the horror music…

I went out to check the oven (which was set up in the garage so that the fumes didn’t bother anyone) and upon opening the oven door, I started to gag and chock… omg, the smoke… my poor little dragon was a disfigured, charcoaled lump of coal… really… what the heck… the figurine doubled in size and apparently caught fire…

I definitely need  some practice…

but I wasn’t deterred (yet) … I decided to try again with my second figurine… it was supposed to look like a jaguar, but turned out looking like a pug with a very long tail… lol…

I checked and double checked the temperature recommendations, and crossed my fingers… when I checked on the little cat/dog I found a half charred pendant… well hell… I guess that’s better than completely ruined… lol… I think I need to watch a few more tutorials before I try again.. but please, please, pleassssseeee…. if you have any insight, send it my way… 😛 night peeps… Tracey Clark