It’s hard to believe, but Christmas has arrived and celebrations are in full swing for families on the Gulf Coast. This month’s Dinner’s Ready recipe, brought to you by Darlene Jones from Orange Beach, AL, might just be the perfect addition to all those upcoming family meals.
“I’m sharing the original recipe that my grandmother, Lucy Bell, always had at her annual Christmas party – Lucy’s Sweet Glazed Ham,” said Darlene. “My grandmother always held her party on December 22nd and everyone in the family knew that was her day for family, no excuses.”
Darlene has since carried this tradition on with her own family. She has been married to her husband, Bob, for 40 years, and together they have four boys and eight grandchildren.
“Since retiring and becoming empty nesters, my husband and I enjoy trying different restaurants. I don’t cook as often as I did when the boys were growing up and living at home,” Darlene shared. “Even still, my hobbies are collecting recipes and cookbooks and watching cooking shows. I probably have every cooking gadget made. I seriously have a problem.”
Darlene’s ham recipe is very versatile, so you can make it your own by adding some of the twists she shares below. She also decided to add her own recipe for Candied Yams since they pair so well together. Her hope is you might enjoy adding these family-favorite recipes to your own tradition.
Lucy’s Sweet Glazed Ham (Original Recipe)
Serves approx. 6-8 people Prep time is approximately 15-20 minutes
- 6-8 lb. Smoked Half Ham, Shank or Butt
- 1 cup apple juice (any sweetened juice such as pineapple, cherry, or grape can be substituted)
- 1 heaping tsp grape jelly (or use the jelly, jam, or preserves you prefer, especially if using a different juice)
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Remove any excess fat from ham, then score ham with knife.
- Scoring helps the sauce get into the ham.
- Place scored ham in deep-sided oven proof dish.
- In medium saucepan, combine apple juice, grape jelly and brown sugar on low to med-low heat until the jelly and brown sugar has dissolved and is warmed through.
- Pour half of the sauce over scored ham.
- Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes per half pound. Halfway through, pour remaining sauce over ham, cover and continue baking.
- Then uncover, baste ham with the sauce it has been cooking in, and cook 30 minutes more.
Serves 4-6; Prep time: 20-25 minutes
- 4-5 med sweet potatoes
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter + 2 Tbsp for greasing oven-proof serving dish
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Karo syrup (light or dark)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Cover sweet potatoes in large pot with cold water (do not peel). Bring to boil on high and then lower to medium, boiling for 20 minutes. This step makes for easier peeling and shortens the cooking time. Potatoes will not be done at this stage.
- Pour off water, and rinse with cold water until able to safely handle.
- Peel and slice potatoes into wedges and put into buttered oven-proof serving dish.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat, add sugars and syrups, stirring until sugars dissolve. If sauce is too thick add 1/4 cup orange juice. Pour sauce over potatoes in dish.
- Cover and bake 45 minutes, then uncover and bake 15-30 minutes more.
Gabriele has been married to her husband Daniel for 16 years. Together they have three incredible children – two boys, ages 15 and eight, and a sweet girl who joined the family last summer. She is a full-time Pink Cadillac Sales Director for Mary Kay Cosmetics. When she isn’t spending time with family or building her business, she supports her husband who is the Lead Pastor and Planter of Forward Church in Foley.