Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza—all the holidays of the wondrous winter season have their fair share of magical tales and fables. The following is one such story—though not quite your ordinary Christmas tale…
“Hey friend… I’m over here—in-between the bread.”
Behold a beautiful, juicy slice of ham. It’s doused in mayo and mustard, topped with some lettuce, and perfectly sandwiched by two fluffy slices of bread. Oh, and as you may have noticed, it’s talking to you.
“Hey, Hi! Don’t be alarmed, friend. I’m just your leftover Christmas ham, and boy have I got a story for you…”
Sure, why not? You settle in for an anecdote from a ham.
“It all began about a week ago. ‘Mom,’ as she is called around here, picked me up at the grocery store—I was just a frozen solid piece of meat back then.
She lugged me home (boy, was I heavy) and gingerly placed me in the freezer section of her LG French Door Refrigerator. It was quite roomy and neat in there: smaller items grouped together in one spot, frozen leftovers packaged in clear containers and dated (I love a meticulous home!). That’s when I knew this was a special household; I couldn’t wait to see what they’d do with me.
While I hung out in the freezer, I made friends with the hard-working icemaker—this family could get a few cubes or a bucket-full—whatever they needed. I was inspired and vowed to also service them as best I could.
A couple of days later, I was taken out of my cold, neat home and transferred to the refrigerator to defrost. That was quite a perilous process as I was very nearly placed right under the air vent. I grew frightened for a moment, since I knew that, with all my juices, the air vent could freeze me right back up. But, thankfully, ‘Mom’ caught herself. She wiped my outside dry so that too much moisture wouldn’t accumulate and neatly placed me on a wide lower shelf… When she stocked the Door-in-Door™ section with bottles of apple cider, I got really excited: there was no doubt that a party was not far off.
The day before Christmas I was defrosted and ready to be pampered. ‘Mom’ took me out, and what came next was even more special than I had imagined. For several hours she diligently followed a complex family recipe scribbled on an old, yellow, frayed piece of paper. As she prepared my marinade and rubbed me with spices, the kids wandered in and out of the kitchen. So did the one they call ‘Dad.’ “Careful,” ‘Mom’ would admonish, “this is my great aunt Mary’s secret recipe—I am the first to touch it since she passed away—I have got to get this ham right!”
And did she ever! My day was filled with prepping and priming, I went into the oven, followed by basting and cooling, until I was finally ready, just in time for Christmas eve dinner. As I was lovingly placed at the center of the table, uncle Matt couldn’t help himself—he tiptoed over, pinched a piece off my bottom, and popped it into his mouth. Though at first I was offended, the look of pleasure on his face was quite gratifying to me. As Christmas dinner proceeded, that look spread across the faces of each and every family member. There was no question about it—I was a hit!
The dinner was plentiful and I was a big ham—there was clearly more of me than they could handle. Poor ‘Mom’ was exhausted from all her hosting duties, but she wouldn’t just let her hard work (me!) go to waste. Late in the evening I was placed in a container and slid back into the fridge. My friends, like the lettuce over in the Crisper compartment, were happy to see me. Little did the lettuce know, she’d be getting real close to me soon—quite a step up from the average salad, if I say so myself.
Well, today is Christmas day—the excitement is palpable—the kids seem happy as can be. Amidst all the gift giving and holiday cheer, ‘Dad’ snuck into the kitchen to make himself a snack. And so here I am, transformed into a sandwich, alongside my dear friend, the lettuce. ‘Dad’ stepped away for a moment to re-stock the Door-in-Door™ with some beverages, and so I’ve had the time to tell you my delicious Christmas story.
I truly hope that you get to eat something as scrumptious as me in the coming days.
Happy Holidays … and Bon Appétit!”