|Photo by franky242
A heartfelt thanks to all of you who requested I repost our family's traditional Easter dinner. We start with a mountain of appetizers and adult beverages, followed by a great meal, topped off with delicious homemade desserts, and complimented with lots of laughter. We usually have twenty-five for a sit-down dinner and each family supplies an appetizer or a dessert. Below is what Studs and I prepare. Hope you enjoy it.
Ham Baked in Bread
7# smoked ham – I use Kentucky Legend. It’s excellent, but this recipe works for all hams.
3 packages prepared pizza dough found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.
½ cup water for sealing seams
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Roll the dough into a rectangle. Lay ham curved side down onto dough. Gently lift the dough to wrap the ham securely. Be careful not to rip the dough.
Dip your fingertips in the water, then rub them along the seams to seal. This may take several water dips to achieve. Place the ham seam side down, so it doesn’t burst during baking, on a non-stick cookie sheet or shallow roasting pan. Bake 20 minutes per pound or until bread is toasty brown.
Remove the ham from the oven and let cool until you can touch the bread without burning your hands. With a sharp, thin knife, cut off just the top portion to create a lid. Carve the ham and remaining bread into slices. Don’t worry if the bread falls apart as you slice it. This can happen. Discard any scrapes. Lay the ham and bread on a serving platter. The bread will be a little soggy, and that’s good, because it has soaked up the ham juices. Cover with the lid you cut off earlier.
Right before you serve, cut the lid into neat slices, lay them around and over the ham. Your guests will love it.
Polish Sausage Studs Style
8 pounds fresh Polish sausage
Remove sausage from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before cooking.
Fill a stockpot approximately three-quarters with cold tap water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Add the sausage and cook for 10 minutes. The sausage should rise to the top in about 5 minutes. Transfer meat to shallow roasting pans. Clip the connecting casing.
You can stop here and finish cooking the sausage the next day. Be sure to cover and refrigerate the meat.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Allow the sausage to rest 10-15 minutes so the juices are reabsorbed into the meat.
Cut the links into 1½ - 2 inch pieces. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove pan from the oven. Turn sausage pieces and then bake for another 15 minutes.
My Mom’s Potato Salad
1 red potato per person
1 hard boiled egg for every 2-3 potatoes
one stalk celery for every 7 potatoes chopped fine
½ med onion for every 7 potatoes chopped fine
Mayonnaise – NO substitutes
Boil the potatoes in their jackets until just fork tender. Remove from pot as they are done and allow to cool. Scrape the skins off. Slice in half widthwise then lengthwise. Slice into the bite size pieces.
While the potatoes are cooking, lay the eggs in a saucepan, cover with water, and place a lid on the pan. Bring to a boil, then shut off the heat and allow to sit on the burner for 7 minutes. Cut into quarters, then slice. Set aside covered with plastic wrap or a paper towel to eliminate drying out.
Combine celery and onion in a large bowl. Grind in a healthy amount of fresh pepper. Stir in several large spoonfuls of mayonnaise. You have to gauge by the number of potatoes you use. Mix well.
Add the potatoes, two at a time and mix well. Continue until all the potatoes are added. Check the salad for dryness. It should be moist but not swimming in mayo. Add the sliced eggs and stir again. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Fresh Green Beans
1 lb. fresh green beans trimmed
2 – tbsp butter
Fresh ground black pepper
Bring large pot of water to a hard boil. A high heat setting is best.
Drop the beans in by the handful. Boil 10 to 15 minutes or until the beans are just tender. If you plan to reheat the beans, boil for less time as the reheating will cook them further.
Drain beans in a colander. Add butter to the hot pot and swirl to melt. Return beans to the pot. Toss with butter and coat well. Season with pepper to taste and stir again.
They may be made earlier and reheated on low heat. Be careful not to scorch them or burn the butter.
Black Olives in Oil
1 can medium pitted black olives
3 garlic cloves
Glass jar with a secure lid
Drain the black olives and pour them into the jar. Crush the garlic into the jar. Pour in the olive oil to cover. Refrigerate at least 1 week. The mix will become thick and cloudy. It’s okay, that’s the oil solidifying.
To serve, set the jar on the counter until the oil becomes clear and returns to its normal consistency, which may take several hours. Spoon out the quantity of olives you wish to serve into a pretty dish. Be sure to have toothpicks. Put the jar back in the fridge for future use. You can refill with more olives. The mixture will stay good up to two months.
Fresh Fruit Salad
Red grapes seedless halved
Combine all the fruit into a mixing bowl. Add a few drops lime or lemon juice to stop the bananas from turning brown. Gently stir to blend the fruit.
Pour into a glass bowl, cover, and chill until time to serve.
May you enjoy all the days of your life filled with good friends, laughter, and seated around a well-laden table!