Saturday, November 24, 2012

Another Thanksgiving Down...

Thanksgiving dinner was a raving culinary success this year.  All the holiday dinners ultimately turn out wonderful, but this year I really don't know what happened. Normally, on a typical holiday morning, there is complete chaos in my kitchen.  Because of my son's food allergies, I cook the entire meals myself.  Oh, the in-laws may bring over a pumpkin pie (for themselves), but appetizers, the main dinner and even desert is my job.  The menu is pretty much the same.

Appetizers around 1:30 include:

pickled peppers
shrimp in lemon, olive oil with spanish and black olives
My Grandmothers fritatta (omelet)  - recipe previously posted
Antipasto salad

Dinner around 5:00 includes:

Turkey with Gravy
Ham (this year's recipe - crock pot - is at the end of this post.)
Butternut Squash
Sweet Potatos/Yams
Green Bean Cassarole
Cranberry Sauce


Pumpkin Pie
Apple Crisp Pie - recipe previously posted

But this year, things went smoothly - too smoothly.  In fact I posted the following status on my Facebook page at 11:30 am Thanksgiving morning...

"I'm very afraid...every year Thanksgiving dinner turns out wonderful, however there are several hours of chaos prior to the actual meal. Today things are going eerily smoothly. Hope there are no surprises later!!"

And at 12:00, I got my surprise.  My in-laws pulled a stunt with my husband and decided not to come.  So, my 22 pound turkey, 9 pound ham and all the fixings would be served to my husband, my two sons, my daughter and myself.    And, it was the best Thanksgiving we had ever had!  The food was fantastic, we made lemon drop martinis (recipe for that was also previously posted on my blog), and we watched movies all afternoon!  Don't worry, they got their leftovers, but for Thanksgiving dinner we were actually drama-free!

As I began the morning's preparations, I realized that I would not be able to fit both the turkey and ham in the oven.  I once tried a crock pot ham, but it had turned out dry, perhaps because it was a spiral ham.  As a matter of fact, I spoke with a girl in the butcher shop at the market who suggested to stay away from the spiral ham and recommended an inexpensive smoked ham.  I googled crock pot ham and found a recipe with mixed reviews.  They were mostly high ratings, but one gave me pause.  It was not rated highly as the person used a smoked ham and said it turned brown.  I decided to proceed anyway.  The recipe called for the  ham and brown sugar, but I also used 1/2 can of crushed pineapple.  Pretty simple!

I spread a generous layer of brown sugar on the bottom of the crockpot and put the ham, cut side down on the brown sugar.  I spooned out about 1/2 of a large can of crushed pineapple over the top of the ham and then with a plastic glove, I pressed several handfuls of brown sugar onto the sides of the ham.

The recipe called for 8-9 pound ham and stated to cook for 8 hours on low.  My crockpot runs hot, so I decided on 6 hours.  When I noticed the liquid boiling after about 3-4 hours, I lowered to warm for about an hour and when it stopped boiling for a bit, I put back on low.  

We took the ham out of the crockpot when time to serve and it was brown on the cut side, but only for one slice.  The ham wound up being the juiciest, most succulent ham we had ever had.  

I had tried a spiral ham several years ago in the crock pot and it had dried out, but this was fantastic.  Have you tried ham in a crock pot?  I know I will never make an oven ham again!!


  1. Yummy foods, and I especially like that plate of shrimp and olives!

    1. LOL - we love olives too!! - the dish is easy to make - 2 lbs of cooked shrimp, 1 jar of spanish olives with juice, 1 can black olives drained, juice of a lemon and about 1/3-1/2 cup of olive oil - mix the night before, stir in the morning and then stir again before serving!