Stream of consciousness writing really isn’t my forte, but cooking… hmmm… maybe for the topic of cooking even I could manage to string something together that makes some sort of sense.
It’s Christmas Eve, and today I’m preparing meatloaf and honey-glazed ham for tomorrow’s Christmas dinner. The thing is, neither of us like turkey, so over the years we’ve variously had roast chicken, roast lamb, or roast pork, and occasionally something completely different – one year in honour of my husband’s Cajun heritage I made red beans and rice and shrimp etoufee with sweet potato and smothered corn; yum!
I’ve loved cooking since childhood; I love the alchemy of putting together raw ingredients and creating magic on a plate. OK, so maybe that sounds a bit dramatic, but I’ve written it now and according to the rules, there’s no editing allowed, only correction of typos… oh well!
Anyway, my meatloaf is a combination of minced beef, sausage-meat, smoked bacon, onion, garlic, red pepper, breadcrumbs, seasoning to taste and egg to bind it all. I always prefer to use my hands to mix it up, squishing the mixture through my fingers and blending the flavours together – I’m not one for gadgets taking me out of the process, one step removed – I like to feel the food I make, adding a dash of love along the way.
The smoked ham I’m going to boil first, not only to take out any excess salt from the cured meat but also to make some lovely concentrated stock for the freezer. Then half the layer of fat is sliced away, the remainder of the fat scored, and clear honey is drizzled over the top before the ham is then baked until golden. Boiling it first keeps the meat moist and succulent.
Tomorrow we’ll be having our glazed ham and meatloaf with roasted root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots), rich mushroom gravy, and steamed cabbage with bacon and onion. It may be an odd choice for Christmas dinner, but we’re really looking forward to it… 🙂