Tuesday 3 April 2012

Southwest Ham for Easter! Also Easter Basket making!

 Hatching eggs remind people of newborn or reborn life and rabbits are prolific breeders especially in the spring. Because Christians are supposed to observe Lent before Easter and can't eat eggs or meat, you can see why these two would become important foods when Lent is ended.
Decorating Easter eggs dates to Medieval Europe; so does egg rolling. In America, dyed and decorated Easter eggs were brought by Germans in the later 18th and 19th centuries, especially Pennsylvania Dutch. They became popular during the 19th century as Easter celebrations became more focused on children-it's fun. Other ethic groups, Greeks for instance, use red-that's as old as the Neolithic and blood means new life.
Hiding and hunting eggs might mean hunting for a suitable mate, but more likely comes from rural traditions when people would have to find eggs laid in fields and hedges by chickens and other birds. It also means hunting rabbits. This, too, became a children's game (that's happened to lots of our holiday customs-like Halloween).
Eggs are a big part of Easter foods, whether eaten alone or in all the fancy baked breads of the season.
If Jesus ate meat at the Last Supper, it would have been lamb. Jewish Passover traditions call for lamb, and so do most European traditions. But, in north Europe pigs, were always important. Hams, from pigs slaughtered in the winter, then salted and smoked were ready to eat in the spring-before fresh meats were available. This is especially true in North America where lamb was never an important meat.

Because I am living in the southwest in the Winter, I am offering a Southwest spin on our Easter Ham this year.

Jalapeno-Pomegranite Glazed Ham
adapted from Akasha Richmond

Instant pot instructions as well as conventional oven

1 7 pound, bone in, spiral cut smoked ham
1 c. chicken stock (homemade or Swanson)
1 10 ounce jar jalapeno jelly spicy
1 c. sweetened pomegranite juice
2 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Preheat oven to 325 F. Place ham in a large roasting pan and add the chicken stock.

In a medium saucepan, bring the jalapeno jelly, pomegranite jusice and lemon juice to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until slightly thickened, 10 minutes. Whisk in the mustard, cinnamon and ginger and simmer until reduced to about 1 1/4 Cups, about 5 minutes.

Drizzle half of the glaze over the ham and cover with foil. Roast for 1 1/2 hours, basting frequently, until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the ham registers 125 F.

Remove the foil and brush the ham with any remaining glaze. Roast for 30 minutes longer, until the top is lightly caramelized. Transfer to a platter. Pour the pan juices into a bowl and serve with the ham.

 Instant Pot instructions-
  1. Pour ¼ cup water into the steel basin of the Instant Pot.
  2. Place the ham in the pot with the sliced side facing down. If the ham is too large, you may need to cut a portion of it off in order for it all to fit.
Drizzle the glaze over the ham. DO NOT cover with foil.
  1. Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 10 minutes at high pressure.
  2. Naturally release pressure (if the valve doesn’t drop after 10 minutes, then open the valve to release any remaining pressure).
  3. Drain the liquid from the pot into a bowl and set aside. Allow the ham to rest for at least 10 minutes, then remove the ham to a platter.

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How to make a cute Easter Basket
Read all instructions first! This is a 30-45 minute project, if you have all your supplies.

 Choose a Easter basket can be anything except plastic (we are using a glue gun to attach embellishment).

I am making Easter baskets, for my grandchildren. Choose a fabric that coordinates with what the child is wearing or just a pretty Spring color. When my two boys and two girls were growing up, I made the boys baskets with little sailboat fabric or ducky fabric. Cut the width of the fabric the measurement from the top of the basket to the bottom of the basket, plus 5"-6". The length should be double the perimeter of the basket.

This isn't the best picture, but, baste (long stitch on sewing machine) the fabric over, making a hem, about 2 1/2". This can vary, depending on how wide you want the ruffle to stand above the basket. Adjust the width that you cut your fabric if you want the ruffle wider.

Now you should be able to easily pull two of the threads from one side of the basting and make the fabric gather. Gather and check the length with the perimeter of the basket. It needs to fit around the basket and have some to lap over.

Now fit the wrong side out and use the glue gun to attach the ruffle to the rim. Let the fabric hang into the bowl of the basket.
*Note that if your basting breaks, it can be ruffled with the glue gun and sort of pushing the fabric, where it is going to be attached. It may take more glue, but, it can be done.

 The bottom is made by cutting a piece of cardboard the perimeter if the bottom of the basket/vessel, cut fabric 1" larger (doesn't need to be perfect) than that and glue to cardboard.

You then fit the cardboard bottom into the basket!

 Next, the fun of adding a personal touch!
Add adornments with a glue gun. Buttons, toile, ribbon, silk flowers, little toys...let your imagination go wild!
Easy squeezy lemon cheesy! You are done! You can attached some beautiful ribbons you may have in your drawer, or have purchased. Some silk flowers or anything to the handle. Grandma and Grandpa can fill with Easter candy!!


  1. Julia's pink Easter basket is adorable. Matches her Easter outfit perfectly. Thank you so much!!

  2. Adorable! Jill

    1. Thanks Jill! they all turn out so cute! I think the parents like them as much as the children! Cheers! JJ


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