Last Christmas, our home had an overload of ham.
You see, it is tradition here in the Philippines to serve ham for the Christmas Midnight Meal. In our case, our household doesn’t have to buy ham. We get our meat from the numerous company Christmas parties our workplaces have organized. My Dad got three Christmas hams from two different parties, I got a simple “Hawaiian-style” ham (which looked like a meatloaf), and the piece de resistance: Dad’s Chinese Leg Ham that he got from his workplace.
Man, it’s our second year in a row that we get a giant ham for the holidays. It’s like the size of a turkey (okay, I’m exaggerating, half a turkey), and with a family of four, we decided to stick with a smaller and “more traditional” Christmas ham for our Midnight Meal. We even skipped cooking that giant ham for the New Year Meal a week after. I mean, how could we eat that thing?
However, last night I decided to take the challenge and cook the Chinese Ham for dinner. When I informed Dad about it, he was a bit concerned.
“Don’t forget to boil it in pineapple juice. It’s too salty,” he said after learning that the ham is on its way to the oven.
You could just imagine the slave work that these majestic hands have done just for that ham. I had to buy two big cans of pineapple juice, dunk that ton of a ham in a giant casserole, pour the juice and water on it, boil it for 30 minutes while playing mahjong online, drain the juice, carry the casserole from the back kitchen to inside of the house, carefully put the ham into the oven, set the oven to cook, play more mahjong, be alerted by my brother that the oven was smoking, turn off the oven before our house becomes an arson statistic, bringing the smoking ham out of the oven and into the plate for carving, cut the ham into pieces, eat small bits of not-so-salty ham in between, and serve it on the table. All done in 1.5 hours.
The end result? Me eating the juicy fat bits for dinner. There goes my New Year’s Resolution.