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Country Ham


M. Lucia
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Wanted to add this article on Smithfield hams from the New York Times:

Americana, Salted, Smoked, and Sliced Thin

That photo of thinly sliced ham is just how I like it.

I was recently in S.C. where I had a lovely breakfast of biscuits and Smithfield ham.

(I am not as much a fan of the thick "ham steak" versions.)

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I ordered a Smithfield ham some 21 years ago before the on-line shopping was around. At least at that time it was a llittle over the top for my taste buds though quite enjoyable. It took some getting use to.

I'm waiting for a couple of hams I ordered on-line to arrive. A city ham from Burgers which is slated for this Thursday night's dinner and a country one from Scott's.

I sort of consider Kentucky and Tennessee the ham areas so Missouri is sure close enough, especially those in the South East. The only ham reccomendations I've had up to recently had come from a cousin I have living down there in Salem. I can't wait to enjoy these hams!

Charles a food and wine addict - "Just as magic can be black or white, so can addictions be good, bad or neither. As long as a habit enslaves it makes the grade, it need not be sinful as well." - Victor Mollo

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Wanted to add this article on Smithfield hams from the New York Times:

Americana, Salted, Smoked, and Sliced Thin

That photo of thinly sliced ham is just how I like it.

I was recently in S.C. where I had a lovely breakfast of biscuits and Smithfield ham.

(I am not as much a fan of the thick "ham steak" versions.)

The print version (that I saw, anyway) of this article unfortunately prefaced the caption to that very nice picture of thinly sliced baked ham with a mention of red eye gravy, the sort of inaccuracy that makes me want to smack people around. You can't get red eye gravy unless you've pan-cooked the ham (and have something to deglaze), so it's not an appropriate caption for the picture.

The article does correctly describe the different preps, as well as red eye gravy. It also correctly describes beaten biscuits: "The size of half-dollars, about three-quarters of an inch thick, they have the same jaw-breaking consistency as New England common crackers." I may just order some. But then I'll have to find some baked country ham, not an easy thing to come by in these parts.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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  • 2 years later...

I'm preparing my first-ever country-style ham for Friday. What should I serve alongside, besides biscuits? I'm having a hard time coming up with a menu here.

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I'm preparing my first-ever country-style ham for Friday. What should I serve alongside, besides biscuits? I'm having a hard time coming up with a menu here.

You're serving it for breakfast? Or for supper? Because biscuits would be most appropriate for breakfast.

Generally you serve whatever happens to be fresh from the garden (or if it's winter then whatever you've put up or would have put up if you were the sort of person to put things up). So it will vary with where you live and what season it is there right now.

If you've still got summer squash, make squash casserole. If winter squash is ready then serve it however you like.

If okra is still available, serve okra. If kale or collards are coming in, serve one of them.

Too late for fresh tomatoes for most people, but scalloped tomatoes (which are made with canned tomatoes) are very nice, and the sour note contrasts nicely with the ham's saltiness.

Cornbread (no sugar, ideally including buttermilk) is appropriate for supper, though I tend to make grits instead. Get coarse ground, and don't bother adding cream or butter or whateve---good grits taste rich without any additions.

Dessert would be apple pie (made with apple sauce, not sliced apples) or something with pumpkin (again, depending on what's ready in your neck of the woods).

Can you pee in the ocean?

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I'm preparing my first-ever country-style ham for Friday. What should I serve alongside, besides biscuits? I'm having a hard time coming up with a menu here.

I'll second the cornbread idea. I always served country ham with cornbread, baked beans, & collard greens - the last not made with bacon, obviously, since eating them with the ham itself provides the appropriate contrast.

P.S. I'm another one from Missouri.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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I'm preparing my first-ever country-style ham for Friday. What should I serve alongside, besides biscuits? I'm having a hard time coming up with a menu here.

Turnips and mustard. And fried sweet potatoes.

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I spent the weekend eating. And laughing. And learning. Some of it I spent doing all three at once and while that may have ended in some other people wishing that I would eat before I laugh, it's often very hard to accomplish that complex kind of task while one is attending the best good conference on Earth, The Southern Foodways Symposium, held every year towards the end of October on a weekend when the Rebels are off losing a game somewhere else. I can't reccomend it highly enough.

Anyway, as always, somewhere, either buried as a component or as a main ingredient, we enjoyed products made by the MASTER himself, Allan Benton-proprietor of Benton's Smokehouse. You guys can discuss all of this until the cows come home, and that's fine and all, but you won't do any better than just pulling out the card and ordering some ham and bacon from Benton's. It is, truly, a perfect product made with a level of care and skill that is just about impossible to find, anywhere in the world, these days.

So, you guys just keep on gabbing about whatever. I know the answer to this country ham question, and it's simply, and conveniently, Benton's Smokehouse.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Anyway, as always, somewhere, either buried as a component or as a main ingredient, we enjoyed products made by the MASTER himself, Allan Benton-proprietor of Benton's Smokehouse.

And, should you choose to pay them a visit, this is just about the prettiest time of the year to go. Benton's is just the other side of Sweetwater from my parents' farm, and I can definitely attest to how wonderful their ham and bacon is.
"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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I'm making the ham for dinner. I have good grits in the freezer (Guilford Mills) so perhaps we'll do those instead of biscuits--plus then I can make grits cakes to go with some leftover ham for breakfast the next morning. We are planning on some sort of apple dessert, but haven't chosen one yet. I was thinking of some sort of greens, they seem to belong in there somewhere. Thanks for any additional tips ya'll can offer.

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on a weekend when the Rebels are off losing a game somewhere else.

Were I any kind of sports fan, or even a good daughter, I would remember that my Daddy would be spinning, spinning if I said I didn't care that you said that.

Rebel games were for wearing my newest, tightest sweater and combing my waist-length hair to best effect for that Saturday-afternoon sunshine (and maybe a handy camera, if the game were televised). I DID go out with a couple of the guys on the team, but I discovered long before most that Jocks as a rule are usually not very interesting off the field---there may be a Mensa member or two somewhere on SOME eleven, but some are downright stupid without a playbook and a coach yelling directions.

So---from a far remove from both you and Ole Miss---I hope your DAWGS did good.

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I assume you mean REBELS. We here in Georgia are the DAWGS (& that other team fr/ Miss like to pretend).

I have always enjoyed our trips to Oxford. There is some thing about watching a drop dead gorgeous co-ed in a dress that must have cost several hundred dollars and high heels, enough jewelry to keep most stores stocked for a year, and coiffed to the utmost walking along dragging a cooler and sipping fr/ a can of Coors Light that just does the heart good.

I have wanted to attend the symposium ever since I received the notice for the first one but, unfortunately, the thing always lands on a date when the DAWGS are, hopefully, winning some where and that is where you will find Fuss & me. I read w/ great interest about Benton's smoke house and then forgot to take the information w/ me when we were in that direction so did not have a chance to visit.

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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I assume you mean REBELS.  We here in Georgia are the DAWGS (& that other team fr/ Miss like to pretend). 

NO. I meant YOUR DAWGS, as in wishing you well, and them a victory over whoever they're playing. I didn't care enough about the outcome of the games when I went to school there, and haven't given them much thought since, unless Daddy was here, eagerly searching every cable channel for a Rebel game on the weekend.

He's probably had several discussions with Coach Vaught and Bear Bryant since he passed on, as they were two idols of his.

And that dressed-up hussy might have been ME, since that was my usual attire when attending games, but I don't like beer, so I wasn't strolling drinking any. Or smoking. My Mama WOULDA snatched me bald-headed if she'd caught me with a Kent on a sidewalk. (Our little smoke-breaks together way back when, while we hid from Daddy, are another topic).

Back on topic---I've catered many a Delta game party and Bowl celebration, with big trays of good ole cathead biscuits and country ham on the buffet.

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I assume you mean REBELS.  We here in Georgia are the DAWGS (& that other team fr/ Miss like to pretend). 

NO. I meant YOUR DAWGS, as in wishing you well, and them a victory over whoever they're playing. I didn't care enough about the outcome of the games when I went to school there, and haven't given them much thought since, unless Daddy was here, eagerly searching every cable channel for a Rebel game on the weekend.

He's probably had several discussions with Coach Vaught and Bear Bryant since he passed on, as they were two idols of his.

And that dressed-up hussy might have been ME, since that was my usual attire when attending games, but I don't like beer, so I wasn't strolling drinking any. Or smoking. My Mama WOULDA snatched me bald-headed if she'd caught me with a Kent on a sidewalk. (Our little smoke-breaks together way back when, while we hid from Daddy, are another topic).

Back on topic---I've catered many a Delta game party and Bowl celebration, with big trays of good ole cathead biscuits and country ham on the buffet.

well thank you & my apologies on the mis-understanding (I thought you were talking to Mayhaw). The gator sausage was a hit last Saturday (alligator sausage perlo and alligator pear salad)--almost as big a hit as the score!

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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Late to the game here on the discussion. My uncle's family on his wife's side is from near Winchester and they get ham to die for from the local guy. My aunt was telling me the story of her Dad getting the best one (the oldest, hardest cured) on Thanksgiving morning and using his honed hatchet to cut the pieces off the beast. It is quite hard and well worth the work involved to cut that whole ham up.

Ok, now I am hungry.

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well thank you & my apologies on the mis-understanding (I thought you were talking to Mayhaw). 

Dear Lord, I reckon I was!!! I got the two of you all besmuddled (again) and HE must think I'm too senile to breathe---I wrote HIM a "bye--thanks" note when Varmint stepped down last month. Y'all are gonna think I'm too addled to live.

I just get all three of you Southern Gentlemen mixed up in what's left of my feeble mind. You all write well and cook great, and I admire botha those. (I plead house guests for two weeks, one more to go---lotsa talking ALL the time).

OKAY:

Thank you, Varmint, for all your work and kindness toward all of us here at eGullet. Our heartfelt appreciation.

Thank you, Mayhaw Man, for all your brave, courageous reportage on New Orleans for the last couple of years. You're all our Heroes.

Thank you, Lan4Dawg, for stepping to my aid during the big "Eggs in Giblet Gravy" debate WAY back. I was catching Blue Heck from some of the EWWWWW Contingent. You all but requested sabers at sunrise, and I appreciate it.

Now---Go, DAWGS!!

How's that?

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I'm very ecumenical with my sports support---GO, RAZORBACKS!!! My best friend lives in Arkadelphia, so I'll gladly cheer for them.

I did have an encounter with a REAL one of those in my youth, which looked MUCH smaller dead than alive---he was all snort and tusks and fury, kickin' up clods and running through the brake, and the hunters all scattered and ran before they shot. I was in the relative safety of the back of the step-sider, but it was still a scary moment, as one guy got his rifle caught in the brush and fell down, but piggy was headed for the one who was still running.

A friend's Mom cooked a roast and invited me over, and it was porky, as I remember.

Now, THAT would make a REAL country ham.

Edited by racheld (log)
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Thank you, Lan4Dawg, for stepping to my aid during the big "Eggs in Giblet Gravy" debate WAY back.  I was catching Blue Heck from some of the EWWWWW Contingent.  You all but requested sabers at sunrise, and I appreciate it. 

Now---Go, DAWGS!!

How's that?

I missed that conversation, but doesn't everyone know that chopped hard boiled eggs go into giblet gravy. It isn't giblet gravy with out it. If you do it any other way, you must be a yankee or from California.

And just the mention of cathead biscuits brings back such good memories of my Granny Weekley. She didn't cook too much that was good, but her biscuits were light as clouds and about as big. And if you slathered it with some of her home made butter and some of her home made plum jelly or alligator pear preserves, mm-mm-mm-mm-mm. Life was good back then.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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"Eternity is two people and a ham."

I can't eat much country ham at once, but I do love its flavor. I've nibbled on plenty, cut some chunks off for the freezer, and thrown some into an incredible split-pea soup. What are some other dishes that are good with some country ham? (I didn't grow up eating the stuff, being from a Jewish Southern household, so I don't have deep reserves of knowledge on the subject...)

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With Thanksgiving on the horizon, keep Hot Browns in mind. Use a recipe that calls for ham, not bacon.

I dice country ham and add it to cold salads (said cold salads being made of whatever you'd like to make them from---I use fresh peas like lady peas or zipper peas in late summer, but move to black-eyed peas later in the year).

And don't forget, you're going to need some ham on New Year's Day, for luck (along with black-eyed peas). And greens, for wealth. These items are often served on New Years Eve "breakfast" buffets (served at about 2:00 AM, a last snack before one heads off to sleep off ones hangover, with country ham being a really great part of the cure).

Can you pee in the ocean?

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