After Easter Ham


I happened to be in the grocery store a few days ago, and there was still a huge pile of hams that apparently had not been taken home for Easter Dinner, so they had had their price lowered to a dollar a pound. Thus a twelve-pound ham came home with me. Many on display had a rather thick layer of white fat around the outside, but this one had just a micro-thin layer, as you can see in the photo. I did not need to trim it at all.

Here is the first dinner we had from it. Those are mini peppers pan roasted in my ancient cast iron skillet, along with some roasted Hatch chiles that I had acquired from a local grocery store. Since the pan was already plenty hot from roasting the peppers, I just heated up the ham in the pan, and added the spaghetti squash to heat up alongside the peppers. There was quite a lot of fond on the bottom of the pan, and the ham and, to some extent the squash, pulled all that deliciousness into its own cells. I rinsed out the pan with some distilled water, but a splash of wine would have been good, too, to pour over the ham and peppers.

I have a big day in the kitchen ahead of me tomorrow, as I purchased a load and a half of strawberries and need to sprinkle them with some date sugar, and get them into the freezer. Ditto about processing five boxes of mushrooms. They freeze well, too, if they are cooked somewhat before freezing. Not good raw on salads after freezing, so I just cook and freeze them for use in other meals in the future. I do the same with the Italian sausage bits that DH likes sprinkled in so many things.

I keep a core amount of all the vital foodstuffs, so it is easy to whip up delicious and nutritious things to eat in a flash. Especially after they are processed, these basic ingredients don’t take up much room in the freezer, and a small bit of something flavorful adds a lot to a meal.

About judilyn

RV'er, foody, caregiver, knowledge seeker
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14 Responses to After Easter Ham

  1. gypsy97 says:

    I freeze strawberries now and then to add to my protein shakes, but never thought about freezing mushrooms. Do you just lightly saute them first? How do the thawed shrooms do in a veggie saute? I have so many pieces of cast iron but have been too lazy to get it out in the last couple of years. I should just do it!

    I also love chicken sausage (Aidell’s) and keep a supply in my freezer, along with their chicken meatballs. They are a delicious addition to many of my meals!


    • judilyn says:

      Freezing mushrooms: Yes, just sauté them a bit. They don’t need much under any circumstances, but the longer you cook them the more moisture evaporates from them, and they get somewhat rubbery. So – easy does it. In a stir fry: Well, not as delicious as fresh, but they still add the nice touch and flavor. But they can be popped into so many dishes for that extra flavor burst and texture.

      Since sausage takes such a long time to cook thoroughly, I just do up several pounds at a time in smallish little cubes and pop them into so many dishes – especially good in omelettes! They will thaw in the dish while it cooks, or out on the counter fairly quickly, too, if you haven’t made them very large. I make them about the size of a nickel – only in a cube. I usually get the ground sausage, rather than links. I think they cook up more tender.

      I cut a package of raw sausage meat into about five pieces wide by ten pieces long, and then just drop those cubes into the cast iron skillet over a very low fire. Cover and let them cook through for a while, then uncover to brown, if you want them browned a bit.

      When they are done (it takes about half an hour altogether), spread them out on a cookie sheet or foam meat tray (on a paper towel to absorb the grease), and then freeze separately. They will thaw quickly for you if they are not too large. You can pop them into some jarred pasta sauce, along with some of the frozen mushrooms, boil up some pasta, and ZIP! – Dinner!


  2. Judy Bell says:

    This post and comments certainly had a lot of good tips in it. Never thought about freezing mushrooms before or even little cubes of sausage. Wish I had my mother’s old cast iron pan.


    • judilyn says:

      Hi Judy – These little guys freeze up small enough for an RV refrigerator’s freezer, and really come in handy to make an ordinary supper into something much more flavorful and interesting. Thanks for stopping by! I’m following your blog faithfully, and interested in seeing how it goes at Jojoba Hills. I’ve always wondered if that might be a place for me to land eventually, although I am pretty happy here in Arizona.


  3. Clanmother says:

    I love your “ZIP” way of doing things in the kitchen. It gives hope for us all. Just read an article that when you cook and bake, your body goes into a meditative state of sorts. So your body relaxes and becomes stress free when you make good food. It has something to do with working with your hands, no matter how busy or chaotic is becomes when you anticipate company. I continue to learn…


  4. Kit says:

    ham & cast iron. . .a match made in kitchen heaven!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great bargain on that ham!
    I totally agree about having such pantry/frozen items ready. It makes the daily cooking so much easier and fun. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. taphian says:

    I love ham, too. your dinner looks very delicious, Judi, virtual hugs, Mitza


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