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Have I mentioned that I love the versatility of ham?  Well, I do.  I always buy one this time of the year-our local markets usually sell a half-ham in it's own juices for about $.77 a pound. If I want to spend $1.29 a pound-it even comes spiral cut!

I usually go for the less expensive whole piece because I can do so much with it.  This particular one that I'm going to make according to a recipe off of TVFN's Good Eats show with Alton Brown.  He's a fun and informative guy who pleases my food and my science senses with ideas and details about all things food.

As I was watching his show on ham-I thought "wow, I would have never thought of baking my ham in Dr. Pepper!"  Or, "this sounds really good too-I think this is what I'm going to do with this one."  This was in reference to baking my beautiful little pig thigh on a rack until about ½ up to temperature, then paring off the remaining fat and skin pieces, then coating it with Dijon mustard, dark brown sugar and powdered ginger snaps and then upping the oven temp and baking it for another hour to create a delicious looking crust.

Yes, I went out the next morning and bought a box of ginger snaps.  As we all know, I bake, but I wasn't going to do double duty on this one.  For $2 I bought the box and then went on to Wal-mart to buy myself a brand new oven probe.  Seems my trusty 15 year old Polder didn't really like the fresh batteries I added and went straight to its final death.  

The ham started out at just a tad under 10 pounds.  First night the family was practically drooling from the aroma of brown sugar, ginger and cinnamon coming from the kitchen.  I served it with simply steamed broccoli and some brown rice pilaf.  To carry on the spice theme I added some of the cinnamon and ginger to the rice.

Night 2-same ham, but I served it up with spinach salad and tater tots.  Moving on to our 3rd night of the pig-I decided to chop up some of it and stir-fry it with some sugar snap peas and serve in a ginger teriyaki sauce over jasmine rice.  Our 4th night became a salad.  I used spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms and some beautiful red peppers.  Served it with raspberry vinaigrette and some homemade cornbread.

On Wednesday, we'll talk about the "remains"!



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