Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fourth of July Ham

I suspect that in most families, ham is not the main course at a Fourth of July celebration.  In my family, ham reigns supreme whenever it is served, especially when it's a ham cured by my father using his Uncle Elwood's secret recipe.  Ham is so important to my family that less than a week later, I could no longer remember if we ate ham on Sunday, July 3rd before going to see the fireworks or if we ate ham on the actual Fourth of July.  (The situation is muddled even further because my parents were visiting so we had large family meals on both days.)
Fourth of July Sunday Dinner ham, served on July 3, 2011.

I guess the important thing to note is that when I sorted through the photos a week later, I realized that it was the ham that I photographed, not the sausages.  I labeled the photograph of my plate full of ham "4th of july dinner".  In the end, I had to check the date on the photograph (one benefit of digital photography) to know for sure.  And indeed, we had ham for Sunday dinner on the third of July and that's the dinner I remember as our Fourth of July dinner.
Our Fourth of July meal (on Sunday, July 3rd), 2011.

I think we ate pretty much the same thing the next day, except with sausages instead of ham.  And I turned the leftover corn on the cob into an alternate version of my Mustardy Summer Salad-- this time with cucumber instead of green beans and basil replacing parsley.

Mustardy Summer Salad-  Take Two (Cucumber and Basil Version)

Serves 2 to 3 (although can easily be doubled or tripled)


  • 1 cucumber- peeled, seeded, and sliced into 1/4 inch moon shaped pieces
  • 1 large tomato (or a cup's worth of cherry tomatoes) chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 ear corn, cooked and sliced off the cob (keeping pieces as large as possible)
  • 2 T fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 T feta- crumbled
  • 1 t Dijon mustard 
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 6 T olive oil
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste


  • Place cucumber pieces, tomato, and corn in a small bowl.
  • Make dressing in a small bowl or leftover mustard jar by mixing Dijon mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and mix (or shake) to combine.
  • Just before serving, top vegetable mixture with dressing, chopped basil, and feta and gently toss in a medium bowl.
  • Enjoy immediately.