Hi, My name is Katriina and I have been a Christmas addict for over 40 years. There, I said it!
The food, the movies, the songs, the lights, everything gets pulled out and celebrated from the 1st of December, although the food prep starts earlier… I live and breath Christmas for the entire month.
My sister and I now do the ham, she gets the most amazing Smoked Leg of Ham from The Free Range Butcher here in Sydney. It gets delivered to my house along with other meats to last for a few months. The aroma from the Smoked Ham is unbelievable, truly heaven; it is pricier than standard ham but the benefit of having such well kept, happy animals and the preparation of the meat after is that this ham freezes so well. After Christmas dinner has finished we divide the leftover ham between the 3 families and freeze the large chunks. We are happily eating ham for a couple of months after and it’s still as good as it was on Christmas Eve.
The traditional way is to cook the ham yourself and then assemble the crust (Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros) but being in Australia there isn’t much joy in having the oven on all day, unless you have air conditioning! Using a smoked leg of ham means you are just prepping the outside, but it also means the oven is free to cook all the other roasts and necessary accompaniments such as the casseroles (Swede casserole) and vegetables.
This ham is outstanding with its crunchy, sweet and hot crust protecting the glorious, smokey, juicy meat on the inside. I like to decorate with cute little characters but this year I will try to get a proper photo of the finished ham, before it’s devoured that is.
Merry Christmas! Blondie