I bought a ham from my friend Pam. She raised the damn thing in her back yard and had it butchered and smoked. I wasn’t really sure what to do with it. I don’t think I had ever made an actual ham. The thought of it reminds me of Easter, and then of my grandmother’s Easter ham stuck with cloves, canned pineapple rings and maraschino cherries.

Easter was never really a happy time. Dinner at my grandparents wasn’t actually fun at all, and while there ought to be celebratory spirit around Easter, there never really is. When I was young at least Lent was over and you were free once again to eat candy. Nonetheless going to Grandpa’s wasn’t a rollicking good time.

So I decided to make it very different, a kind of BBQ sauce basted ham. First I coated it with my usual Judy Anderson BBQ sauce and some orange marmalade and roasted it tightly covered at 200 degrees for 7 hours. Then I degreased the pan juices, mixed them with the rest of the jar of marmalade and more chili powder (a major component of BBQ sauce) and simmered it to reduce it to a sticky glaze.

Then I uncovered it and glazed the damn thing every 5 minutes for an hour. Yup, ham. It was good, tasted just like my grandmother’s.