A few essentials for your holiday table

by Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Dec 14, 2011 - 04:58 PM

Photo: Lisa Smith makes sure the sliced ham is displayed properly. Cranberry Jell-o salad is shown at lower left. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day.

Lisa Smith makes sure the sliced ham is displayed properly. Cranberry Jell-o salad is shown at lower left. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day.

Photo: Ice cream bon-bons and mini ice cream sandwiches bring the meal to a fantastic close. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day.

Ice cream bon-bons and mini ice cream sandwiches bring the meal to a fantastic close. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day.

Many people probably associate ham with Christmas or for some, it’s the other way around. Christmas dinner with both ham and turkey are favorite holiday dishes across this land; that’s what many look forward to each year during the yuletide season.

The Christmas ham, otherwise known as the Yule ham, a traditional ham dish associated with modern Christmas, is believed to have begun with the Germans as a tribute to Freyr, the god of Norse and Germanic paganism, who is associated with boars, harvest and fertility.

No matter which ham you choose to serve at your Christmas table, in order to best utilize all of the succulent meat, try to bone your ham while it is hot. This allows the meat to detach from the bone rather easily, leaving only enough meat on the bone to use later in making soups and other dishes. Then, the ham becomes much easier to slice after it has completely cooled.

To bone a cooked ham, allow the ham to cool just until you can handle it with the aid of kitchen gloves and then follow these steps in this diagram.