On last night’s premiere episode of The Astronaut Wives Club, Mrs. Alan Shepard gets all down in the doldrums either because her husband is in space or because he bangs anything in a bikini down at Cape Canaveral.
Regardless, as she’s home moping, the other wives decide to cheer her up by bringing over food: bubbly, Ambrosia, coffee cake, ham loaf, and Bacon Banana Hollandaise.
As one often does.
I refuse to believe that anyone has made the Banana Hollandiase un-ironically. However, my ears did perk up at the sound of Ham Loaf. Because I’ve made that!
The Ham Loaf recipe, like the New Year’s Eve Pretzel, is from the world-famous Three Rivers Cookbook (seriously, it is famous!) And like the pretzel, I wasn’t looking for it, the loaf just jumped off the page.
Sadly, I do not have an image of said Ham Loaf recipe. I don’t know why I don’t have a picture of the recipe saved to this wordpress thingie, but whatever. Click here for a history of Ham Loaf and a similar recipe.
But this is what you need to know: the main ingredients in the loaf are ground ham, ground pork, eggs, bread crumbs, onion. And you baste it with a brown sugar/vinegar/mustard mix.
Now, I didn’t just make the Ham Loaf randomly. My friend Casey had been talking about it for the past two years and was shocked to know that I had never heard of the loaf. You see, in the part of PA where Casey is from, you can buy ground ham at the grocery store. I don’t remember there being ground ham in Pittsburgh. And you sure as hell can’t get it in Baltimore.
So that meant I had to make my own.
For my maiden voyage with my KitchenAid meat grinder, I ground up some leftover Christmas ham (I made the loaf back in January). And also ground up some regular ol’ pork. Because you can’t get ground pork at the Safeway, either.
Ground pork on the left. Ground ham on the right.
I will even overlook the fact that this is a loaf (bread is the only thing that should come in loaf form. For serious).
I remember that in the recipe there was very little seasoning in the loaf, but then was reminded of how much flavor was going to come from the Christmas Ham–clove, mustard, honey, marmalade.
This was served with the delectable Uncle Bob’s Jell-O Salad. Which I am sure will eventually end up at one of the Astronaut Wives pot lucks.
Did you watch the show? Thoughts?