Saturday, July 9, 2011

4-H Fair Time **The Ham**

The county 4-H fair is just around the corner and I can't wait! You see, this is our first fair and our first is a really nice ham. We are hoping to place well, maybe even go to state but lets not get ahead of ourselves. 

Out of the bin the handsome ham emerges...

Kylee watches with anticipation

Down, down, down the handsome ham (and my handsome husband) makes its way closer to the waiting child  

Yeah, time to open the's just like Christmas. Not really, we don't give our children ham for Christmas but if you are looking for a nice holiday present for my husband a ham is a great idea. Just a thought....Oh, never mind...

Scrub, scrub, scrub the ham scrub the ham all clean...merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream...

If you have never made a country cured ham then you may be wondering why the ham needs a scrubbing. Well, I'll tell's mold. Not a lot of mold so don't freak out and it doesn't effect the meat at all. But it has been dangling in a grain bin since February. Please, let me explain...

In order to make a country cured ham you need to first procure a nice USDA inspected, skin on country ham. You'll want to do this in January, February at the latest. Then, you trim the ham down to "doll" it up and make it perdy. After you've made it all perdy, you then rub it down and stuff the hock with a salt cure which is a mixture of salt, sugar, red pepper, black pepper, and any seasoning you might like. There are several different recipes but I like to keep it simple. Now, here is the fun part, you wrap the ham and all it's salty goodness in a brown paper feed sack and let it hang in a barn or a bin for a couple months. Yes, I said months. Take it down, wash it, re-cure it, re-wrap it, re-hang it...for another couple of months. Again, yes, I said months. Finally, in July you pull it down, wash it up, and prepare it for the fair. We smoked our ham. In fact, it is smoking right now. I told it about the hazards of such a nasty habit but it won't listen...that was a joke, son...I say, I say a joke...(name that character)

And there you have it! One country cured ham ready for show and sale. I have it on good authority that Miss Kylee has one of the best looking hams of the year. Wish us luck, I hope we take Grand Champion but either way we enjoyed curing the ham and plan on repeating the process next year.


  1. Super cute! Good luck at the fair Miss Kylee!

  2. Thanks Jodi. I'll post how she did. Fingers crossed!!