Friday, December 30, 2011

Six Geese A-Laying

On the sixth day of Christmas, my family pulled an OccupyKitchen until such time as I would make the time-honored dish called, simply enough, Ham Meat Pie.

I grew up not thinking about the name of the dish much. It had ham, which is meat, and it was in a pie. We didn't get it much, because Mom always insisted on cooking her own ham ... and she more or less hated cooking, much less slicing up a hot and sticky ham.

Once I was married, I just bought ham by the thick slice (usually paying too much for it) and we had Ham Meat Pie as a special treat.

My mother also always cooked her ingredients for stew and meat pie separately. She explained that she didn't want potatoes to take on the color or flavor of anything else. She was my teacher in the kitchen, and if I had argued with her about it, I would have been OUT of her kitchen, so I just took her word as law.

I don't do that any more. I cut up my potatoes, cut up my ham (equal heaps of each) and throw them in the pot together to simmer, just covered with water. (I've also found it far more affordable, and convenient, to wait until fully-cooked spiral cut hams are on sale at the holidays, buy them, and freeze them. )

Use a slotted spoon to take the ham and potatoes from the pot when they are done (reserving the juice); they join forces in a pie shell (see that monster casserole dish? That makes about 12 servings) made from Bisquick baking mix and milk. In point of fact, I use the store brand baking mix, but people know what Bisquick is. (Bisquick in bowl, add milk until you've got a workable dough. Roll out on floured rolling board. Easy.)

Make a couple vent cuts in the upper crust, bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the crust is lovely golden brown. Serve with the reserved juice and fresh chopped yellow onions sprinkled on it. Anyone in my family will eat your share if you don't like it.

The red dish of crackers are also Bisquick, the leftover dough rolled out thin, sprayed with olive oil and seasoned with a bit of onion and garlic powders, folded over, cut, and baked on a cookie sheet while the Ham Meat Pie is baking.

Where are the geese, or the eggs?  Oh, I have nothing of goosiness in the house. Instead, I have a syllabic stand in:

Six Peeled Potatoes!

Go ahead, sing it. It works.

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