What? No 26th?
Nope. On the 26th of December my mom and I always hit the shops at 8am for the post Christmas sales. At Neiman Marcus we watch little Asian women with little Asian dogs pick up as many purses as they can carry, and then put them back one by one as they reject them. At J.Crew I usually run into my students, and at Bloomingdales I usually buy things. So the 26th is a non-cooking day- we had enough cow leftovers anyways…
On the 27th I made a buffet for Felix’s extended family. Fourteen people seemed a good number for a ham, yet, I felt a little guilty about making a ham because making a ham doesn’t really require much more than buying a ham. To my defense, I made my own glaze because I was little afraid of the “honey glaze” that came in a packet with the ham. It was in a gold glittering package that looked like the Vanna White of ham glaze. So once again I turned to the December Bon Appetit (yes…again-no, I don’t work for them) and made their Bourbon, Molasses and Pecan Glaze. I had many compliments that my ham wasn’t too salty, and I thought that the ingredients mentioned concentrated on flavors with a subtle sweetness that weren’t as crude as dumping sugar into my glaze.
The condiment I made for the ham, a tangerine chutney, also
turned out well, but you wouldn’t be
able to tell that by the way that it looked on the table:
Yes, I know it looks like I put Kermit the Frog into a blender and served it with ham. Cochon a la grenouille! What was I thinking? Felix’s aunt took a spoonful, plopped it back in the bowl and said “this looks really….interesting.” Ouch. (Though later she asked for the recipe, so I feel like I won her over.)
So what did I do to make this ugly yet yummy chutney that only my family would touch? One has to be careful about recipe substitutions because apparently I made a disastrous one. The recipe said to use 1 ½ c. red jalapeno jelly. There was no red jalapeno jelly to be found when I did the food shopping the day before. But there was GREEN jalapeno jelly! So I used it…and then immediately regretted it when I saw the monster I had created.
Lesson #1: Two colors that can look appetizing on their own can look like toxic waste together.
Lesson #2: Things that look gross can still taste good on ham.
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