With Christmas only a couple days away, preparations for the much anticipated season are coming together slow and steady. Houses are being painted, trees hoisted, Christmas lights adorn our porches, gifts bought and wrapped, and the process appears never-ending. One of the most important aspects of the holiday season is the delicious food that we have been waiting all year long to partake in. There is an endless supply of bread, cakes, pastelles, ginger beer and every meat imaginable. This may be one of the reasons why a Trini Christmas is the best Christmas.
The Great Debate
What is a Trini Christmas without the scrumptious Honey-Glazed Ham or Slow-Roasted Turkey? These are an integral part of our Christmas culture and can be seen in most Christmas advertisements. It is even mentioned in seasonal Soca Parang songs like “Piece Ah Pork” by Scrunter.
Whether you are team turkey with sides of gravy and cranberry sauce, or team ham topped with ketchup or chow-chow, it all comes down to personal preference, and I am sure there is enough for all of us.
The Choice Is Yours
Growing up, I always preferred ham. Occasionally, I would have turkey, but it was not my favorite. It could have been the lack of moisture in the meat, or maybe it was overcooked it. Who knows?
Our Christmas tradition involves baking ham on Christmas Eve along with homemade bread. Once they were both finished, one would indulge in a delectable sandwich of bread, ham and whatever topping you felt to lace your ham with.
Ham is not only eaten with bread, but can accompany any dish made throughout the holiday season. It is eaten from December straight through to January or even February, if given the opportunity.
Below is an easy to follow recipe that anyone can follow to create that perfect Christmas Ham.
You will need:
1 ham (5-8lbs)
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup honey
1 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon grated ginger
5 sprigs thyme
- Remove ham from package and rinse well in warm water.
- Place ham in a deep pot and cover with water. Add the scallions, cloves and fresh thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle boil and cook for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove and drain ham of water and place in a baking tray.
- Insert clove into the body of the meat. The more the merrier. Place ham in oven and bake uncovered for at least 30 minutes per kilogram.
- Combine sugar, honey, mustard and ginger in bowl. Baste ham every hour with mixture using a brush. Repeat glaze more often as ham is almost cooked. (This may seem like a tedious process but is vital to ensure that the ham is sweet to taste)
- Remove ham from oven and allow to rest.
Slice thinly and serve with homemade bread and chow-chow as desired.