Monday, December 15, 2008


Saturday night was our church's Christmas Party. I'd signed up to warm up a ham, but when only one other person had signed up as well I ended up with three hams. No problem, right? After all, it's not like I'm cooking them. I'm just warming them up.

The bagged hams were promptly delivered two nights before, and I immediately put them into the refrigerator. Too bad I didn't think to check and see if they were frozen. Too bad I didn't find out until late in the morning they still had the bone in them. Too bad I didn't think I might need a bigger crock pot and giant pan in order to make them all fit and cooked in time. Grrr.

Because my husband is a chef I've been trained to be very persnickety about what temp meat is cooked to. I didn't think a balmy 60 degrees would cut it, even if the meat had been cooked. The time went by irritatingly fast, and the middle of the ham simply wasn't warming up. In fact, an hour before the party they still had a nice layer of ice through the middle three inches.

Now if you like iced ham, I'm certain it would have been quite a treat. Somehow I didn't think this was what our church members had in mind.

What does one do when three giant hams won't defrost in the middle? Thaaaaat's right, I turned to my trusty friend, my dependable kitchen appliance, the microwave. I defrosted. I cooked. I cut out bones. I cried. I wiped ham guts off my fingers. I cooked a little more. Three times I went through the process until finally, finally I was able to say the hams warmed up to a balmy 98 degrees.

Hot for summer temperatures, not so great in a ham. I had succeeded, however, in ridding the hams of their icy inner layers, and it was very simply time to go. I piled all three into a pan, wrapped them tightly in foil, chucked 'em in the car and drove off to the church building where I promptly shoved the pan into my poor husband's arms, found a room where no one might find me, and sobbed for a good twenty minutes.

Now, before you all start to wonder why my darling husband wasn't there to help me out of this seriously disturbing situation, the moment I saw him was the same moment he arrived at the party after having worked all day long. Poor guy. After ensuring the kitchen had everything under control he walked the building trying to find me. By then I'd calmed down enough to enjoy the party, and blamed my flushed face on skin allergies.

But never, never, nevernevernevernevernever again will I sign up to do ham! In fact, it might be a good six months before I can even look at, smell, or think about it again.


Cynthia said...

What a great story. I decided to stop signing up for food assignments when my food didn't get eaten. I thought, what's the point? I told myself I would sign up if a 2 liter of Sprite (or something of the like) was needed...I don't think I have quite kept my promise, but I'm trying. It's not that I don't like to help because by nature I like to help, but sometimes it's just turns out frustrating, or icy, even if we aren't making it from scratch.

Greg and Talena said...

I msorry that happened Laurie. I have had similiar things happen. it does make you not want to help!

Burwell's Bits said...

Ever tried to get jello to set quickly?

Michael said...

I'll bet you don't like Green Eggs either.