Sunday, April 25, 2010

No Ham. Lasagna

My brother and family came to visit, and I wanted to make a nice meal for them.  I thought I would expand my cooking repertoire by baking a ham.  I have never made ham before, because in a family that is 4/5 Jewish, it just isn’t on the radar.  We don’t keep kosher, but the family has a general suspicion of pork.  I once served pork chops and they looked at me as if I was trying to poison them.  My husband claims to hate ham, EXCEPT when it is ham on the bone cooked by my mother.  That particular ham he loves.

I mentioned to my son that I was planning to bake a ham, and he said, “But ham isn’t kosher.  And besides I don’t like ham at all.  What I like is those sausages we have at Boy Scout camp.”  (Irony alert! Those sausages are made of pork!)  Then I found out that one of our guests doesn’t like ham either.  Ham was beginning to look like a bad choice, and then my mother told me that “one definition of eternity is a ham and just two people to eat it.”  With two teenaged diners removed from the equation, we were getting closer to eternity.

I abandoned the ham plan and shifted to a lasagna attack.  But the Common Household Husband had other ideas.  “Lasagna is not your forte.”  This is true.  My husband’s nephew makes lasagna from scratch, every last ingredient, including the pasta.  My ingredients come from the box and the jar.  But at least the family does not view my lasagna with suspicion.

My husband said, “Where’s that cookbook I got you from Denmark?  How come you never use that cookbook?”  As he searched the cookbook shelf for it I said, “Because the main ingredient in those recipes is boiled juniper berries.”  This is partly true.

He couldn’t find the cookbook, and said, “That was a really nice cookbook.  I bet you threw it out.”  He knows I never throw anything out.  I pulled Delights of Scandinavian Cooking right off the shelf and handed it to him.  “How about this recipe,” he said excitedly, “Roast Haunch of Elk with Chanterelles!”  I am not making that up.  Other recipes in this cookbook include Eel in Beer Sauce, Reindeer Steak, and Fish Pie.  I am not making those up either.

I made lasagna.  It is gone, so I guess they liked it, and we haven't yet entered eternity.

1 comment:

Angie said...

We don't often have ham either. Mostly on Easter. Or on Hawaiian pizza.