A Generational Baked Ham Story
courtesy of Bumble Bee Boogie
Cookbooks are the history of human kind. Recipes are handed down from generation to generation. Directions get mixed up. Ingredients are forgotten; ingredients are added. Cooking times are too long or too short. But no matter, they reflect our eating habits all over the world. The following is one such story.
The family was gathered for Easter dinner. The youngest newly married daughter was preparing her first family dinner. As she was about to put the large ham in the oven to begin baking, her mother stopped her and said "You have to cut three inches off the ham before you bake it." Puzzled, the daughter asked her mother why? "Because that's the way my mother taught me to do it," said the mother.
Still puzzled, the daughter went to find her grandmother. "Nana," she asked, "Mom says you have to cut 3 inches off of the ham before putting it in the oven to bake. Why?" "Well, that's how my mother taught me to do it, and it's the way I've always done it," replied the grandmother.
Well, the daughter's husband had heard all of this and he wanted to get to the bottom of the mystery. He went into the living room where the family was gathered around great grandmother. "Nona," he asked, "Grandma says you taught her to cut 3 inches off of the ham before putting it in the over. I'm puzzled. Why is that necessary?"
"Well, dear, when I was a new bride, just starting out, I baked my first ham for Easter dinner. The ham was 18 inches long. The largest roasting pan I had was 15 inches long, so I had to cut three inches off of the ham to make it fit the pan."
And so it goes, from generation to generation, until someone asks "Why?"