This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it, Alleluia, Alleluia!
This Easter I did minimal cooking. Ds was sick most of Holy Week. I chuckle to think I can write about food, and didn’t do much in the kitchen! Dh bought a wonderful Italian Easter bread, Columba al Moscato made by the Italian company Albertengo. This is the one we ate — delicious! A friend shared a Ukrainian-made sausage for our Easter breakfast, we had some store-bought treats for our Easter baskets, and the only food I made for my mother’s Easter meal was a Pampered Chef Chocolate Indulgence Cake! I even found lamb-shaped butter sold in the grocery store in Altoona, PA, so I didn’t have to mold my own.
But the Easter season lasts for 50 days, until Pentecost. And the first eight days during the Easter season are called the Octave of Easter. During this time the Church considers every day another Easter, with the focus on the newly baptized, celebrating the liturgy of Easter Sunday until the Second Sunday of Easter.
I find it takes an effort d to keep up the joyful spirit and festivity for that long. It’s an uphill struggle, since society views Easter as one day!
I thought one way was to keep making some special Easter meals. So I baked an Easter ham this week. Since Jesus came and established the New Covenant, we no longer have to follow the rules of the Old Covenant, which forbade pork. I found that a “safe ham” for ds can be found at Costco, spiral sliced, with bone. I’m still looking for options that don’t contain sulfites, but so far the ones I’ve tried are extremely salty.
The ham is really easy (you’ll see that’s my constant mantra — simple but tasty), but I can’t use the glaze packet that comes with the ham, as it contains wheat starch. I also don’t like sweet glazes on ham…I’m more of tart and spicy gal. So from the classic cookbook, Joy of Cooking, 1975 edition by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker, 1975 edition (it’s not in the newer edition). I’ve adapted this
Spirit Glaze for Ham:
1/2 to 1 cup dry red wine
1/2 to 1 cup bourbon whisky (Maker’s Mark is the family preference)
1 cup brown sugar (I use less, as I don’t like the “sweet” taste)
6 bruised cloves
2 Tbsp. grated orange peel
Combine and simmer on stove until sugar is melted. The directions call for putting on ham before baking, but I only do it in the last half hour, following the package directions of the ham. Continue to baste it every 5-10 minutes.
The alcohol is burned away, so no one gets tipsy, I promise. I’ve also made this without the orange peel and it’s still tasty. It makes the ham moist and cuts on the salty taste. Everyone asks for the recipe for the glaze!
Ham has been our friend, especially when ds first got diagnosed with the food allergies. I was still nursing, and so also had to follow the allergen free diet. Needing quick-fix higher protein breakfasts was difficult, so having the leftover ham made it easier on me. We use this ham and recipe to cook for other holiday dinners at extended family’s homes, so we all could eat together. The leftover ham allows sandwiches for dh for work, and quick lunches for ds. I liked to bake a ham if we had to go on trips. It helped to have some ready-made food for ds. I know it’s not the ideal or healthiest meat out there…but when on the road with limited choices, it’s a lifesaver.
I always use the leftover ham bone for another meal. But that’s another post.