Friday, December 2, 2011

Advent Calendar - Holiday Food - Honey Baked Ham

When I was about twelve, my dad discovered HoneyBaked Ham. Ham was always the centerpiece of our Christmas dinner. Before the advent of the HoneyBaked Ham, I remember a canned ham, scored, stuck with cloves and a pineapple slice or two. But that all changed with the HoneyBaked Ham.

I don't know how my dad first heard about HoneyBaked Ham, but he was always the kind of person who was on the quest for the newest, best, most unique of everything. He had a calculator before anyone else we knew, when they were still very expensive and on the cutting edge of technology. So, it was not surprising that dad decided the centerpiece of our holiday meal would be a ham that could not be purchased in our local grocery store.

My dad was always a last-minute person, and on this first HoneyBaked Ham holiday, he proved to be no different. On Christmas eve he announced we were traveling 50 miles north to the capital city of Columbus to purchase our holiday ham.

It was snowy as we piled into the old yellow VW bug to make the trip North. The temperature had dropped to well below freezing and the drive to Columbus was chilly because the Volkswagen's heater wasn't working. Good thing we were bundled up and four of us in the little car provided a lot of body heat.

When we arrived at the HoneyBaked Ham store we were shocked to see a long line trailing out of the store, down the sidewalk and wrapping around the little strip mall. My dad, my sisters and I took turns standing in line entertaining each other with stories until finally it was our turn to pick out our ham. After nearly 4 hours, we left with a football sized ham wrapped in festive purple and gold foil.

That ham cost a small fortune. On Christmas day it commanded special attention in the middle of the festive holiday table. It sat in a special HoneyBaked holder that allowed the meat to be pulled away from the bone neatly. Everyone at Christmas dinner believed it was worth every penny my dad had spent on it. The adults did, anyway - as kids we really didn't notice the difference.

Today, I can go to my local Kroger's store during the holidays and purchase a HoneyBaked Ham, not as memorable as our Christmas Eve trip - but the taste of HoneyBaked does bring back memories.


Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Ham is my favorite holiday option, too. Unfortunately, I love all the sides that go with turkey...guess I'll have to start making both!

TCasteel said...

When my mother discovered the HoneyBaked Ham, that ended what little cooking she used to do...
Theresa (Tangled Trees)

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