I have a lot of recipes that I love when it comes to the Christmas season. I'll be sharing them regularly with you all as the next month and a half passes. But my favorite recipe is my Dad's baked ham - his favorite part of every Christmas meal.
As far back as I can remember, my dad baked a ham for Christmas. I remember helping him as a child, pushing the whole cloves into the surface of the ham. Then I helped him hang the pineapple rings off the cloves so that the whole ham was covered in them.
What I remember the most, however, is the smell that wafted from the oven. The ham would bake for hours as the scents of pineapple, cloves, and brown sugar danced through the house.
Periodically, my dad would take the ham out and baste it before carefully placing it back in to bake a little longer.
My dad passed away in November of 2011.
The smell of cloves, especially, will always remind me of him. Once my husband and I got married, I baked a ham every Christmas just like my dad taught me. Keeping that tradition is important to me.
Now our kids help me push those cloves into the ham and comment about how yummy the combination of pineapple juice and brown sugar smells. As we work together, I tell them about how I helped my daddy do this very thing when I was a little girl. "This always makes me think about your Grandpa."
I feel like this tradition helps bring a little of my dad into the Christmas celebration - a time of year that was always his favorite.
Dad's Baked Ham
Preheat the oven to 325'F
Ham (any size will work fine)
Whole, dried cloves
20 oz. can of pineapple slices/rings
3 tsp. brown sugar
Take your ham and place it in a roasting pan or glass dish that is large enough to hold it and the juice that will result from baking it.
Push the whole cloves into the ham, all over the visible surface.
Drain the pineapple juice from the can into a bowl. Stir in 3 tsp. brown sugar until the sugar has dissolved.
Place the pineapple rings on the ham, hanging them from the cloves.
Pour the pineapple juice and sugar mixture all over the ham. It will pool in the pan under the ham.
Bake for 20 minutes for every 1 pound of ham.
I usually try to take the ham out and baste it every hour or so until the ham is heated through.
Once the ham is done, remove the cloves and throw them away. Serve the ham with the pineapple slices.
I hope you enjoy this recipe.
I also hope that, whatever traditions you have during the holiday season, you'll continue to make memories memories with your family. Those memories are worth their weight in gold.