Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Starting Easter Morning Off Right...Here Are Some of My Favorite Easter Memories

As a child growing up on my Aunt Mabel's ranch outside of the small Texas town of Early, Easter was a special time of the year for us.
Me, Aunt Mabel and her best friend Trudy had our own Easter morning tradition. And we celebrated it faithfully.

We'd get up well before dawn, and made country hand and redeye gravy together. You see, I'd been cooking for just about as long as I'd lived with my aunt. But once I saw the old movie classic called Sabrina with Audrey Hepburn, where Audrey's character went away to culinary school abroad and created those lovely dishes with strange sounding names, well, I was hooked on cooking from that time forward.

Oh, I burnt my fair share of meals, but before I knew it, I was cooking most of our family dinners.

So on Easter Sunday, we'd have ham and redeye gravy and then we'd go out to the field behind my aunt's house and have our own sunrise service. It was the perfect setting for it.

Then, we'd go to God's house to pay our respects and make it official.

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do.

Country Ham with Redeye Gravy

Here's a great way to start the day. Couple this with eggs for a substantial way to start the day. Ham and eggs - what more can anyone ask for?

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large country ham slice, about 1/2" thick
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee


Heat skillet until very hot. Pour in oil, then ham. (Oil is necessary for making gravy, as cured ham produces little fat.) Lower heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan; keep warm. Raise heat and add coffee to hot drippings. Boil for about 2 minutes. Pour over ham. Serve with biscuits.

*Note: because it is cured, ham will overcook quickly and become too dry. Therefore, no more than two minutes per side is recommended for country ham. Truth is, you could eat it without cooking and probably not have any side effects because the curing process chemically cooks the ham. Cooking is recommended though to insure that heat will kill any trichinosis that may be present.

If redeye gravy is too scary for you, try this old southern favorite: old fashioned sawmill gravy, a milk gravy.

Serves: 2

No comments: