I had quite a few people ask me about the gravy I make along with ham. So I thought I would share what I do, in case anyone else was wondering. Growing up, my father never made ham gravy. But Holly's mom always did. And she would save me some every time she made it. I would get a call on Easter, Christmas and at least one other time through out the year that she had something for me. I knew what that meant and would rush over. Now my husband isn't a big fan of it. I guess he's just not used to it. And my kids assumed they weren't either. But, while I can't make Kenny try it, I can them. And lo and behold, they loved it.
I always layer pineapple slices on my ham. I pierce a few slices with some whole cloves. (Sssh, don't tell Kenny. He's convinced he doesn't like cloves either. Little does he know...) Then with the juice from the pineapple, I make a glaze with brown sugar and yellow mustard. Baste your ham with it and add just a little water to the bottom of your pan. Continue to baste as you normally would. Now you make the gravy for ham just as you would for any other roast. Heat a sauce pan, add a few tablespoons of butter, a few tablespoons of flour and make a roux. Add the drippings from the pan, whisking and bring to a boil to thicken. You might want to add a smidge bit more pepper but probably not salt. And that's it. It's delicious!!
Kenny and the boys found my menu last night and asked me if this was all I was planning on making for Christmas dinner. I was puzzled and asked yeah, why? Well where's the sauce?? We always have sauce and ravioli. Aren't you making that too???????? Now here's the deal about the sauce. I make it every year for Christmas. But last year, as I was putting together the rest of the meal I realized that I had a ton of food and rather than waste it, I saved the sauce (which I make a few days beforehand,) froze it and then we had it for dinner a week later. I had plenty of other food and it wasn't missed (or so I thought.) But I was reminded by my 'loving family' that we're having a 6 more people for dinner this year. And Austin complained it's his favorite part of the dinner (and if you ever saw my son eat, you'd laugh too because EVERYTHING is his favorite part.) But they talked me into it. So I'll be adding sauce and ravioli to my menu.
Kenny asked me to double the amount of mushrooms that I make because he wants to make sure that there's enough. Which is code for: I want like 15 for myself so you better make a lot! And I decided to change my asparagus dish just a little. Normally, I snap the ends of the asparagus off, make bundles of six and wrap them with a strip of bacon. I brush a pan with olive oil and then roast them in the oven until the bacon is crisp. Once out of the oven, I sprinkle some Romano cheese over them. But with 20 people eating dinner, that's a lot of bundles! So this year, I will chop my bacon, fry that up and saute my chopped, blanched asparagus in the drippings. So I'll have the same components but neatly served in a bowl. Much better. Some of you asked about the oranges and olive oil. It is fairly new to our family. My cousin Roni's husband Bobby taught us that dish. It's Italian, not Greek and is really quite excellent! You may not think so, but trust me...try it. Just add your orange segments to a bowl, drizzle with a little EVOO and add some fresh cracked black pepper. Yum-O!
Blessing of the day: I'm blessed to have good eaters in this house and a great teacher (my father) on how to pull it all together!