Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bowling, Turron, Doctor’s Again,

Pin_Animation1Grumble, grumble, I couldn’t bowl yesterday and I had forgotten it was “I Beat my Average” day. I think the only prize I will get at the end of the season is five bucks because she feels sorry for me LOL. I should be able to bowl next week. One of my team mates bowled a 208 and for her that was absolutely fantastic, we were all cheering her like mad. Mind you, these days, it would have been quite fantastic for me, not been bowling all that well lately. However, I think it’s the first time she has ever bowled so high.

The weather was incredibly warm yesterday, in some areas it was almost June Turron de chocolate y almendras 020like I gather. I think we will get smacked with the cold stuff again pretty soon though. On the way back from bowling we stopped at Vincenzo’s to get our Turron which I had asked them to save. I now have two bars of the chocolate one which I love as well as three bars of the regular hard one. I seem to recall Matt didn’t enjoy the chocolate one too much (I hope) so I can eat the bulk of it (rubbing her hands together).

Another medical day today, diabetes clinic for me in the morning and then an OpthShoweralmologist for Matt in the afternoon. One thing I will be interested to find out is how my thyroid is doing. You may remember a few months ago I went right off food, couldn’t really enjoy the taste of most things and was told this was because my thyroid readings were low. Having been taking an infinitessimal amount of Synthroid and it seems things are better all round although I did hope it might make me lose weight as well, no such luck. Wednesday we are hoping to have time to get our hair cut. I actually washed it yesterday along with my whole self in the shower, delightful. Its amazing how one misses such things.

This is the first time I have seen a recipe for ham the way I always cooked it in England. We did not buy previously cooked hams and then roast them, we bought raw meat – or fresh ham as its called in the recipe – prepared it and then roasted it. To me it tastes so much better. I never brined it, but brining does definitely improve the taste of many meats. Not exactly the same recipe I used to cook ham, but it sounds pretty good to me.

Roast Fresh Ham

Source: America's Test Kitchen – Cooking.com

Serves 8 to 10

Click here to find out more!If you don't have room in your refrigerator, you can brine the ham in a large insulated cooler or a small plastic garbage can; add five or six freezer packs to the brine to keep it well cooled.

For the Roast:

1 fresh half ham bone-in with skin, 6 to 8 pounds, preferably shank end, rinsed

1 cup apple cider

2 cups packed dark brown sugar or light brown

5 whole cloves

For the Brine:

4 cups kosher salt or 2 cups table salt

3 cups packed dark brown sugar or light brown

2 heads of garlic cloves separated, lightly crushed and peeled

10 bay leaves

1/2 cup whole black peppercorns, crushed

For the Garlic and Herb Rub:

1 cup fresh sage from 1 large bunch, packed lightly

1/2 cup fresh parsley from 1 bunch

8 medium cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon kosher salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt

1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil


Carefully slice through skin and fat with serrated knife, making 1-inch diamond pattern. Be careful not to cut into meat. Bring cider, brown sugar, and cloves to boil in small nonreactive saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until syrupy and reduced to about 1 1/3 cups, 5 to 7 minutes. (Glaze will thicken as it cools between bastings; cook over medium heat about 1 minute, stirring once or twice, before using.)

In large (about 16-quart) bucket or stockpot, dissolve salt and brown sugar in 1 gallon hot tap water. Add garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, and 1 gallon cold water. Submerge ham in brine and refrigerate 8 to 24 hours.

Set large disposable roasting pan on baking sheet for extra support; place flat wire rack in roasting pan. Remove ham from brine; rinse under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Place ham, wide cut-side down, on rack. (If using sirloin end, place ham skin-side up.) Let ham stand, uncovered, at room temperature 1 hour.

Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 500°F. In workbowl of food processor fitted with steel blade, process sage, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil until mixture forms smooth paste, about 30 seconds. Rub all sides of ham with paste.

Roast ham at 500°F for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° F and continue to roast, brushing ham with glaze every 45 minutes, until center of ham registers 145°F to 150°F on instant-read thermometer, about 2 1/2 hours longer. Tent ham loosely with foil and let stand until center of ham registers 155°F to 160°F  on thermometer, 30 to 40 minutes. Carve and serve.

Have a great day



  1. Hi Jo - hope the medical bits improve and get sorted out. Love home cooked hams - nothing quite like them for warming us up - and then delicious cold slices thereafter .. especially with baked potato from the Aga ... cheers Hilary

    1. Lucky you to have an Aga. My mother had one and it was wonderful. I haven't cooked a ham in a long while, you don't often come across fresh hams here. I don't much like the result of baking an already cooked ham which is what happens here very often.

  2. Now we need your favorite Christmas recipes, Jo. I made marshmallows yesterday, to give as gifts with a hot chocolate mix.

    1. I'm afraid I don't have much in the way of Christmas recipes that I have made. When I lived in the UK no-one I knew baked cookies or anything and basically the only recipes we had was for the Christmas meal itself and for Boxing Day.