Friday, June 17, 2011

Ham Loaf, Redux: Presbyterian Ham Loaf

It's been a while since we contemplated on how fun it is to say "Sheboygan." Presbyterian Palate Pleasers has brought it back for me, for, lo, there's a ham loaf. Not Ethel Holbrook's Ham Loaf, but the less-eponymous more-institutional Presbyterian Ham Loaf.

Presbyterian Ham Loaf

1 lb. ground ham
1 lb. ground pork
1 c. bread crumbs
1 c. milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten

Thoroughly combine all ingredients. Shape into a loaf by packing mixture into a 5"x10" loaf pan. Then, invert on a shallow baking pan. Score loaf with a knife. Boil ingredients below into a syrup to make the following:

Brown Sugar Glaze:
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. vinegar
2 tsp. dry mustard

Spread loaf with glaze and bake at 350° for 1-1/2 hours. (This loaf will burn easily. Do NOT bake longer than 2 hours.) Baste frequently while baking.

To form loaf, use 1-1/2 lbs. of ground pork, 1 lb. of ground smoked ham and salt and pepper to taste. Double the glaze recipe ingredients and substitute 1/2 c. pineapple juice for the water.

To form loaf, reduce breadcrumbs to 1/2 c., leave out the milk, and add 1/3 c. Ketchup, drop of Worcestershire sauce and 2 Tbsp. dry mustard.

Optional Glaze:
Make a mixture of brown sugar, mustard and sweet pickle juice.

Zoe Bowen
Claudia Strite
Anne Hinkle
Claudia's back! Zoe is harder to pin down -- who knew there'd be so many Zoe Bowens out there? -- but Anne Hinkle proves to be an easy find.
Anne Hinkle, 90, makes volunteering her full-time job.

She moved to Washington County in 1938 and has volunteered "since the first Sunday I was in church," she said.

She served as a deacon and an elder and worked with the Sunday school for her Presbyterian church, she said.

Her volunteer efforts recently prompted Hinkle to take a bartending class.
Oh, she seems like our kind of people! I'm hoping she's the one who added the optional glaze with the pickle juice.

But I promised a head-to-head of a sort. First off, and this wigs me out a bit, Ethel uses ground beef in her ham loaf.

Beef is not ham.

Beef is a good and tasty thing, but it's not a pork product.

I'm anti-loaf pan for my own meatloaves (meatloafs?), and while I respect the Presbyterians for not baking their meat in the loaf pan I must wonder at why they use a loaf pan in the first place.

Gentle readers, you do not need a loaf pan to help you shape your loaf. Use your hands. Mound it up in a pleasing loafy shape. Go to town with it. You don't need to dirty yet another pan.

Ethel's glaze is going to be less sweet than the Presbyterians'. I grew up glazing ham and Spam (yes, Spam -- I love it. No shame!) with brown sugar dissolved in white vinegar, so I lean towards thinking Hagerstown has it all over Sheboygan.

Except Sheboygan is more fun to say.

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