Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hammy Holidays from the Goose

For "the ham lady," heaven may look a lot like a smoke house. Nancy Newsom Mahaffey, happily known as "the ham lady," cures and smokes country hams according to the family recipe that started its way through the generations when it was bequeathed in a will in the late 1700s.

Nancy's grandfather opened a rural Kentucky general store next to the only stage coach stop on a 90-mile route. Grandfather Newsom continued the family recipe and offered cured country ham to weary travelers. Nancy's father took over the business and ham curing when he was just 18. Today, Nancy still operates that same Princeton, Kentucky, general store, but she also directs Col. Newsom's Aged Kentucky Hams, the only American ham company with a grandfather clause that legally allows ambient (or open-air) dry curing.

On Chris' holiday dinner table this year will be one of Newsom's aged country hams. Rubbed with salt and brown sugar, slow smoked over hickory wood, and aged for months in that brilliant Kentucky air, this beauty means the Eleys will be haming a very hammy holiday this year.

And you can ham it up, too! The Goose has Newsom's aged country hams in the case right now. Preparation takes a day or two but it's super easy. The hands-on time is in minutes and the ham really takes care of itself: soak, rinse, simmer, glazing optional. Recipes and instructions are on the ham lady's site, too.

Visions of sugar plums? Nope, those are hams in Chris' eyes. Come in quick or call the Goose to ham yourself a merry little Christmas: 317.924.4944

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