My Christmas ham source in Cape Girardeau, MO has gone out of business after 72 years. :cry: I've gotten my whole, cooked Christmas ham from them for about fifteen-eighteen years ; it's very much a family tradition. My father's family farmed in Jackson, MO, just up the road from Cape, for four or five generations, and slaughtered and processed their own hogs (and other tasty animals) until fifteen years or so ago. I found Esicar's on a visit for a cousin's wedding, and we started ordering for Christmas delivery.
I've surfed the web, including a few suggestions from the retired owners of Esicar's Smoke House, but can't seem to find whole, cooked, long-hung, well-smoked country ham. (I would not let a honey-cured ham in the house.)
As a complete purist, I would cook it myself, but the proper cooking of a whole country ham (really the back leg of a hog) reqires a pot just slightly smaller than your bathtub, and is a huge hassle. From Esicar's I got a 16-pound smoked and cured hog-leg, cooked, for about $50 including shipping. I have no objection to re-heating, skinning, and then carving the real McCoy.
I'll pay more, I'll pay more! for the right thing.
Can anybody with hands-on experience point me in the right direction?
Thanks in advance.
I don't wanna take the family to MacDonald's for Christmas dinner.