March 31, 2013

National Baked Ham with Pineapple Day

“He that but looketh on a plate of ham and eggs to lust after it hath already committed breakfast with it in his heart." - CS Lewis

It's Easter!

It's National Baked Ham with Pineapple Day!
(Please note: this is a floating food holiday. It occurs on Easter each year.)

Growing up, my family didn't really love ham. But every Easter we had the obligatory slice of it, though sometimes we substituted it for generic roast pork topped with either pineapple or apple sauce. When my grandfather fell ill and was residing in the hospital before he passed, my mom, step-dad, sister, and I had "Easter pizza" with him and my grandmother (it was topped with ham and sausage). After that, for many years we just stuck with pizza as our traditional Easter meal. It wasn't until recently we abandoned "tradition" altogether and began celebrating our holidays with either lasagna or enchiladas (don't judge - it's not about what you're breaking bread with, it's about who you're breaking bread with and why).

For only the second time in my life, I was without my family this Easter. After going to church, I thought I would put on a big vegan spread to keep my mind and body occupied, so I made green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, "deviled eggs", maple-glazed carrots, and a baked ham with pineapple... no, seriously.

The recipe I used to make my mock baked ham comes from Meet the Shannons - vegan bloggers who were eating their way through a Betty Crocker cookbook at one point. I can't even remember how I stumbled upon their rendition of a "maple glazed holiday roast", but I'm REALLY glad I did. If you're interested in making a vegan baked ham similar to that which you probably grew up eating on Easter, their recipe is SPOT ON (though I did make a few changes to my version - I used pineapple juice instead of their suggested white wine/apple juice; I used NO applesauce; I used closer to 5 or 6 dashes of liquid smoke; 1/2 teaspoon of ground mustard powder; and, no crushed pink Himalayan salt or black peppercorns). And visually? It's one of the more stunning dishes I've made in a long time.

"Up from the grave he arose; with a mighty triumph o'er his foes. He arose a victor from the dark domain and he lives forever with his saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!"

(I never tire of that hymn.)

He is Risen! Happy Easter and...

Happy National Baked Ham with Pineapple Day!