As Christmas is not celebrated here our Christmas is far more low key…Not so frantic as it was in the UK…I do miss the atmosphere and the build-up but I don’t miss all the crowds and the must-have this as it does take away from the real meaning where family and friends get together and enjoy each other’s company…
Today however we have received a lovely parcel of goodies including chocolate and cheeses lovely little truckles of assorted cheeses…I am looking forward to sampling these over Christmas with some nice onion chutney…
What is a truckle of cheese some of you may ask…A truckle of cheese is a cylindrical wheel of cheese, usually taller than it is wide, and sometimes described as barrel-shaped. The word is derived from the Latin trochlea, ‘wheel, pulley’. Truckles vary greatly in size, from the wax-coated cheeses sold in supermarkets, to 25 kilograms or larger artisanal cheeses.
For the last two weeks, I have given you some ideas/recipes to start your Christmas Lunch today I will give some recipes for side dishes. Now, what about the food which can take a while to be ready like your Christmas ham? My recipe for curing ham.
Christmas Ham Recipe.
A piece of Pork…top of leg……mine was 3 kilo.
Suitable plastic( not metal) container to brine meat in.
Ingredients for Rub:
- 4 tbsp salt (coarse)
- 2 tbsp Sugar.
- 1/2 tbsp Saltpeter.
Ingredients for Brine:
- 5 litres water
- 900gm salt (coarse)
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- 1/2 tbsp Saltpeter.
Mix the dry rub, and rub the ham, making sure it’s well covered. If using a 7-8 kilo ham you will need a double batch.
Place the ham in a large container, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place, like the fridge.
Now mix the brine in a pot and cook up and cook for 10 min. Remove the pot from the heat. Remove the foam when it stops bubbling and leave to cool and save in a cold place.
Pour the cold brine over the ham so it is covered.
Store the ham cold.
Turn the ham from time to time during the curing time. Use clean tongs and plastic gloves.
Let the ham brine for 14-20 days.
N.B. IF the brine goes cloudy, make new brine and replace the old brine with that and keep curing it.
Tip: Wear gloves even when dry rubbing. I didn’t the first time and I had sore hands all my own fault.
Once the ham is cured use your favourite recipe to cook and voila a lovely ham.
Next week I will give you my recipes to cook your brined ham sometimes I just cook with spices as the image above and sometimes I cook and crisp the pork rind which gives some lovely crackling as in the header image I normally brine a piece of pork loin when I require crackling…Today I am brining a piece of pork hip to see how that turns out…I am always experimenting with different cuts of meat…I then just adjust the liquid and the brining time if you have questions please ask I am happy to help.
Mistletoe... Is synonymous with the festive celebrations and there is always some at Office Christmas parties…Botanically it is an interesting plant as it is a hemiparasite which means that although it does grow on its own it also does attach itself to other trees and sucks all the nutrients from the tree…
There are many tales and traditions surrounding mistletoe and although it is poisonous to us it is a source of food to animals and birds…Butterflies lay their eggs on it and bees collect the pollen so an important source for wildlife…
It is also a very striking looking plant with the dark green leaves and white berries don’t you think and looks lovely in Christmas Wreaths.
The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe dates back to Norse mythology it was also thought to have magical powers and ward off evil spirits…
Now this time of year I absolutely love my cocktails…This lovely homemade Limoncello makes a lovely base for cocktails, on its own or as a nice long drink…
- I litre bottle of your favourite vodka
- 10 Lemons
- 5 cups of water
- 4 cups of granulated sugar
Well, lets cook wasn’t really appropriate…Was it???
First, wash and peel those lemons and put the peels in a glass container ( big) enough to also hold the litre of vodka.
Leave to soak for at least 10 days. then drain off the liquid and dispose of the peels.
Make a syrup by dissolving the sugar in the water, cool and add to the lemon/vodka mixture. using a clean coffee filter strain the liquid…Voila!
You now have your own homemade Limoncello…So what to drink with Limoncello I hear you ask?
- Unsweetened iced tea.
- Club soda or sparkling water.
- Cranberry juice.
- Tropical fruit punch.
That’s all for now ..Enjoy your weekend xxx
Lastly, remember not everyone is fortunate and some people dread this time of year be aware and if you can add a little cheer please share your joy but also remember the other 364 days of the year pass your smile around and be kind…
About Carol Taylor: Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.
I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.
Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.
Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend 🙂 xx