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Far back as I can remember, my family always served ham on Christmas day. So, it's not surprising that I would continue with this tradition as an adult. Besides, it's a lot less work than stuffing a turkey.
Every year I prepare a planetary ham with champagne sauce. Ditto for this year. As I wait to hear whether my client will get her short sale offer accepted on the best day to buy a home, I will be preparing a planetary ham for dinner on this brisk, yet sunny Christmas day in Land Park, Sacramento. (There is frost on the ground in Land Park this morning.) It comes from a recipe in an old 1969 cookbook, which I actually bought in 1969: Cooking With Astrology, by Sydney Omarr.
You may remember the name, Sydney Omarr, as the author of a sun sign horoscope column that was syndicated in newspapers across the country or you may have read one of his many books on astrology, but more than likely the name may ring a bell as the celebrity astrologer. He died in 2003 at age 76.
I'm not really a follower of astrology. But we're talking about 1969, when astrology was all the rage. When the social pick-up line was not delivered in the form of a text message but was a verbal, face-to-face question: "What is your sign?"
Whether the cookbook, Cooking With Astrology, has any bearing on relationships, is not relevant. The thing is the book contains a lot of unusual and mouth-watering recipes. Sour cream raisin pie (Leo), for example, is one of my favorites. But the best recipe, by far, is planetary ham with champagne sauce (Aquarius).
My friend Lisa is fond of saying that she loves cooking with wine and sometimes puts it in her food. Since this recipe uses only one cup of champagne, there is still plenty left to go around.
The first thing I do is cut off the rind of the pre-cooked ham, then chop it into one-inch squares and fry, flipping every minute or so. After the rind is nice and crisp, I drain the pork rinds on paper towels, drop them into a glass jar, sprinkle with salt, shake and eat. I call these Chicharrones. Great as appetizers, assuming there are any left when guests arrive.
Next, I slice the ham diagonally and crisscrossed, about 1/8-inch all around, rub with mustard, stud with cloves, followed by a light rubbing of brown sugar. Using toothpicks, I secure pineapple rings to the top of the ham and stick candied cherries in the center of each ring. Bake at 325 until warm (cover with aluminum foil to prevent the cherries and pineapple from burning).
Here is the recipe for the Champagne Sauce, to be served alongside the ham:
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup grape jelly
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup of champagne
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water.
Put the brown sugar into a sauce pan and continually stir over a low heat until the brown sugar is melted. Do not drink champagne during this crucial step or you may burn the brown sugar. Slowly add the remaining ingredients except the cornstarch and water; continue to stir. When it begins to bubble, add the cornstarch and water, and cook on low heat for another minute. Serve immediately.
Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying columnist for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a Land Park real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout the four-county Sacramento area. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 35 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. DRE License # 00697006.
Lyon Real Estate is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan. Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of Lyon Real Estate. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice. It could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.
Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate, midtown Sacramento. Selling since 1974. Home Buying Guide at About.com. Sacramento short sale agent.
Author Bio: Elizabeth Weintraub is a Sacramento real estate broker, author, home buying guide for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a Land Park agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully closes short sales throughout Sacramento four-county area. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 35 years of real estate experience to work for you.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.