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The Ham Cycle Recipe

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This recipe for The Ham Cycle, by , is from Brues, Let's Eat, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Contributor:  
Contributor:  
Nord Brue
Added: Saturday, January 31, 2009

Category:
Category:

Ingredients:  
Ingredients:  
One big old grocery store ham

Directions:
Directions:
See each individual recipe.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
Feeds a small army
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
Eternity
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
Every Iowa farm boy growing up in the 1940’s and 50’s learned about the hog cycle. Two years of up prices for pigs then two years down. As prices increased farmers kept their pigs from the market and bred more. This created shortages and higher prices until farmers had more pigs than the market could absorb and as they began to sell them prices went down and so they sold more because it was no longer economical to keep hogs and with the increased numbers available the prices dropped even more until the farmers didn’t have enough to sell and the prices began to rise as supplies dwindled and the cycle started again.

I still remember this lesson and ponder it as the stock market wobbles but, truth be told, I find the “Ham Cycle” more pertinent than the hog cycle to everyday domestic life. I’ll admit that I invented the notion of a ham cycle when I read that the definition of eternity is “two people and a ham.” Something had to be done and so, with a nod to my Mom for the Scalloped Potatoes and Ham, and to my Grandmother Brue for the Bean Soup I created my own version of the Ham Cycle.

It starts with buying the ham. Cheaper is better. The expensive hams are loaded up with glazes and flavorings often pre-cooked and pre-sliced and impossible to bake at home. Look for the one that says, “Ready to Cook.” In Vermont I buy Cook’s brand shank portion which is a seasonally featured special at $.99 a pound even in 2008. The butt portion is O.K. but I prefer the shank cut because it is better slow roasted, usually costs 20 cents less per pound, and, in my opinion, is better for the bean soup finale.

So, go now to the Scalloped Potatoes and Ham recipe and start your own eternity. Step two is Baked Ham and then any other ham recipes contributed and finish it off with Bean Soup and Pasta Fagiole.

 

 

 

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