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Old 11-01-2011, 01:21 PM   #1
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Fall Ham dinner party

I am planning a small get together for six of us next weekend. I would like to make a ham dinner. The issue is I have No Oven, nor will it be repaired anytime soon. I would like to make a ham in a slow cooker. I haven't bought it yet, I expect to buy an approximate 7-8 pound bone in fully cooked ham. (I foresee a ham bone in my soup down the road). I have been looking on line at recipes. Some say to cook it with liquid, some don't I have never made a ham in a slow cooker. I will cook it on low, and during the last hour add the glaze and baste several times. Remove and tent and let rest before carving.

This is the my menu plan so far:

Green salad, maybe some cuke slices, vinaigrette
Ham with hot pepper jelly, fresh ginger glaze
Home made gingered whole berry cranberry sauce
Acorn squash smiles finished with a butter- brown sugar glaze
Creamed peas, young carrots and baby red potatoes, partially peeled
small wheat bakery rolls, or perhaps a baguette
Dessert ??
Ice cream, coffee

Potatoes peas carrots. Cook separate until each is almost done. Make a white sauce. Combine everything into an electric skillet. Either let rest, and bring back to temp or keep on lowest setting. Stir stir stir. Serve.

Squash can be grilled ahead and reheated in the nuker. Outdoor temps vary to chilly side in Mn November weather. If necessary, I can make these a day ahead indoors in batches.

Appetizers -- Nothing too heavy, no chips or breads
cherry tomatoes stuffed with smoked salmon and cream cheese ?
a can of mixed nuts and be done with it ?
herbed cream cheese stuffed celery and olives?

Finally, even though the menu is simple and the foods are easy to prepare, are there too many last minute things to do? I don't want everyone in the kitchen, and if I ask one, I will have more help than work space. Your thoughts , comments or alternate menu ideas are most welcome. Thanks.

Oh, and yes this is my first post. Hope it's ok to throw my hat in the ring today. Long time reader, so I feel comfortable with you all already.
Thanks. Fred

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Old 11-01-2011, 02:24 PM   #2
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I made an amazing ham in the slow cooker last year for Christmas. It was perfect, and I could turn it down and keep it hot for a long time while people snacked on it throughout the night. I don't think I added anything to it except for a little bit of pineapple juice that I poured over the top. I topped the ham with pineapple slices and cherries. It was super tasty. Your dinner party sounds lovely, Good Luck!
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:14 PM   #3
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What a great sounding menu! Glad you could join us!

Since the ham is precooked, I see no reason why it couldn't be done in the CP. The pineapple juice sounds like just the right touch.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:13 PM   #4
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Welcome to DC! You are very brave to host a get-together without an oven and plan it around ham. I've never tried cooking a ham in a CP, but if betterthanabox says it can be done, it can be done and with great results.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:08 PM   #5
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A big welcome to Discuss Cooking.....glad you have decided to join us and share your party plans. You sound like you have a well thought out menu.

It brings to mind a very old memory of my very first Christmas ham dinner, and I was sure my dinner would be ruined because I woke up in the morning to an oven that simply didn't work.
This was so long ago that crock pots had yet to be invented. We cooked that ham on our brand new "Webber Kettle barbeque" and it was the best ham anyone had ever tasted. Granted, Christmas in this part of California is nothing like Minnesota but I'm thinking if you have some decent weather for your party, a barbeque ham is possible. It was just spectacular, and I cook almost all hams that way ever since.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:09 PM   #6
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Welcome Whiskadoodle!

I think your menu sounds great, It sounds like you will be just fine time wise. If you are planning to keep your creamed peas potatoes and carrots ( love those BTW) warm in an electric fry pan you can have them done before your guests arrive, just keep the temp low, you might have to thin the cream sauce if it gets too thick while waiting to serve. My only concern would be your squash, I just grilled some acorn a couple of nights ago, it doesn't take long to grill slices that are about 3/4". I would worry a little bit about reheating in microwave as I think you will lose the nice crispy grill marks. I guess it depends on if you can leave your guests to their own devices while you do the grilling. :-). Good luck!
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:36 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for your encouraging words. I got the house spiffed up today. Now if it can stay that way for the next 3 days, it will be easier. I would prefer to grill but it gets dark too early this time of year.

Somebunny, I didn't think about texture loss if I grill the squash a day or so ahead. I may have to re-think this. I saw your pics on the Today's Menu thread, which gave me the initial idea. I love fall squash.

Betterthanabox, the glaze recipe calls for a bit of pineapple juice, so I will follow your advice to use this. Many Ham/ Crockpot recipes I read say cook it "cut side" down. I think I will still flip it on its fatty side and score it like usual when I begin basting it. One recipe said place the ham on a layer of brown sugar on the bottom. I think there will be enough sugar without adding more.

Today, I organized my Plan step by step. I don't want to forget anything. And it's easier than organizing my bedroom closet. Just close that door, set a chair strategically in front of it, and cross that one off the list !!;)
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:07 PM   #8
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I put my ham in how it fit. I had a huge ham. I'm not sure if it was cut side down or not. It turned out great either way. Let me know how it goes!
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Old 11-06-2011, 03:12 PM   #9
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The dinner party went off without a hitch. Pretty near. First things first. I sent my cat upstairs and closed the stairway door when I got ready to set the table mid-day. She likes exploring and usually finds a cozy place to nap in the spare bedroom or my library upstairs. Routinely, she likes to "help" and that includes jumping on the table. For my own feeling of security I covered the butter dish on the table with a glass bowl. I let her back down before anyone arrived as she Always Thinks anyone who visits comes to see Her. Besides, her best friend, a dog, came along as a surprise guest, so they entertained themselves for awhile, only to come along to the dining room and beg for underhand treats. My cat is seldom allowed " people food". I think she finagled some anyway.

I made a small platter of veggies and dip and bowls of lightly salted cashews and M&M's for appetizers. Soft drinks and sparkling water and glasses and ice. None of us usually imbibe much more than that. The dip is pretty straight forward, Urban Onion (sic) with ranch dressing mix,sour cream, snipped green onion topps and anything else green to spiff it up, in this instance, a few stripped oregano leaves and parsley from the garden, since that is still growing.

Afterwhile after everyone arrived, I said I needed to attend to dinner. It's like a drawing card that I would prefer holding up my sleeve. Can't be helped, but the help is meant in a good way. Pretty soon, everyone was in the kitchen. I Knew it. That's ok. I pulled the ham out of the crockpot and tented it. Then I started stirring up the potatoes and carrots and turned up the heat on the skillet. I had given them a stir several times to try to prevent a "skin" from forming on the sauce. It did a little anyway. I had yet to add the peas ( frozen, defrosted), so those were added, then I handed the wooden spoon off and asked another person to slice bread. Put the bowl of squash in the Nuker. Someone else poured the salad dressing on and tossed it. Gave the squash bowl a turn with a spoon and reset the timer. Then I carved the ham and I'm not sure who poured ice water at the table.

And that was it. Here, I've been twitching all week.

The only change up I did was substitute Delicata squashes instead of Acorn squash. I made them in the nuker in the morning and as each one was scooped into a bowl, they were lightly salted and little pats of butter added. I did not want them mashed up and it was a bit rustic. Delicata squashes have their own natural sweetness.

I didn't buy a Bone-In ham. The package read fully cooked, smoked Kentucky ham., boneless. It had a really good flavor. Ham, for me is a treat, so I thought it would be a good dinner too. I wanted a nice glaze on the top, although, once it's sliced, there is only a little bit that is there. It didn't want to glaze in the truest sense, in a crock pot, no caramelizing like oven baked.

The cramberries on the side were pretty near the basting sauce, and I think this complemented well. I cooked the cranberries in pineapple juice rather than water, but I couldn't taste any difference, after adding a wee bit of sauteed onion and quite a bit of minced ginger. The last time I had a ham dinner, outside of Easter, was at a church, and they served an overly sweet sauce on the side. I was going for a more savory taste even though there is enough sugars in there. I didn't notice any leftovers on anyone's plate and most people had 2nd's

I do not have "dessert" dishes. In real life doesn't everyone eat Ice Cream in a cereal bowl anyway? Or straight out of the carton. I only asked how many scoops and passed a syrup pitcher of warmed Hershey's chocolate syrup. A woman friend brought Chocolate chip cookies, a classic that fits right in on any occasion, and this one specifically.

It was a good evening.
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:42 PM   #10
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Good job, Whiskadoodle! It sounds wonderful! Congrats, and thanks for the report!
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