Ham Night Tangents
What’s the best bit about being a pirate?
Is it the pillaging? Is it the cutlasses?
Well, according to that funny movie called Pirates: Band of Misfits, it’s the ham!
Last night, for the first time, my mother cooked a ham.
It’s just not something Italians eat.
Oh, we eat pigs. Why do you think Christians dropped the whole kosher diet thing in the first century? There was no way the early Christians were going to spread the word to people who eat pork.
“Now I baptize you. You are now a Christian. Go forth and spread the good news and be with Christ… Oh wait, one more thing I forgot to mention. You remember how I told you about how this is a sin and that’s a sin. You said you were cool with the no murdering and the no coveting thing. You remember that right? Well, there’s one more tiny detail. Put down the pork chop. That’s a sin too.”
Yet, amazingly, Italians don’t eat ham all that much. We eat pig pretty much every other way you can imagine. My dad’s fiftieth birthday party, he roasted a pig on a spit. Damn thing took ten hours. And dad, how was the pig? “Worth every minute on the spit!”
If you ever crash a wedding, crash an Italian wedding. You don’t even have to be anywhere near on time. Show up at midnight and watch as they wheel out the midnight porchetta. You’ll have to fight off a half dozen drunken wops to get some, but it’s there and it’s delicious. Okay, a porchetta is basically a pig minus the limbs rolled up like a yule log and sliced into pieces and put in sandwiches with roasted peppers.
So, back to ham night. My mom cooked a ham for the family. She put this orange glaze and pineapple slices on the ham. I could do without the pineapple. I don’t care how sweet and tasty it turns my spooge, I don’t care for the taste of pineapple and I sure as hell am NOT feeding my spooge to people. Nobody wants to eat that. I didn’t really like the orange glaze either. “Hey mom, this ham is really good. I’ll have seconds, but who wants my pineapple. Maybe next time, you try a maple sauce. Maple goes great with pig.”
When the ham was served, my dad, as usual piped up with a complaint based on no facts or information whatsoever. “What is dat? Ham? I don’t eat ham.” He ate leftover chicken from the night before instead.
Don’t be surprised. This is the same guy who hated turkey because when he first came to Canada, somebody gave him a turkey which led him to think turkey was dirt cheap and therefore, shitty food. “Uh, dad. Turkey is more expensive than chicken and it’s leaner too. You know, less fat.”
“Really? I tot turkey was cheap.”
“No, it’s more expensive than chicken. That’s why people wait in line all day long for that one day a year in front of that store downtown for the free turkey. Because it’s expensive and one day a year, that guy who owns Honest Ed’s gives away free turkeys. Hence, why everybody in town loves Honest Ed.”
“So I been avoiding turkey for forty years for no reason?”
“Well, mom’s been cooking turkey forever because she likes it and she lies to you and tells you it’s chicken. And you just eat it.”
“Honey, is dat true?”
“Yes honey. I’ve been paying extra for turkey when I could have been giving you cheap chicken all this time.”
“Really? Okay. Well, let’s go to the grocery store. Get some turkey. I’m hungry.”
Yet he still won’t try the fucking ham.