Sunday dinners in the South are the stuff of legends. They’ve had songs written about them, books devoted to them, and you’d be hard pressed to find any old timer and mention Sunday Dinner in days gone by and not see their face take on a peaceful reminiscent look.
Sunday is our traditional time to slow down, enjoy each other’s company, and give thanks for all of the blessings in our lives. A good meal on the table is the perfect way to top it all off. My Mama always made a big spread each night of the week but Sundays were extra special. Sundays we’d invite a few more guests to come eat with us and Mama would pull out the dishes she might not have had time to prepare during the course of a busy week. Ham was often one of those, followed by her special macaroni and cheese, MeMe’s Mashed Potatoes, Green beans, Rolls, and often dessert of one of her pecan pies or a special cake. The ham bone and scraps were then saved to season a pot of beans or fill out a casserole later on during the week.
We’d all sit down and pass around big bowls to serve ourselves from and Daddy would sit down in his chair next to the big gallon jug of tea where he’d keep watch over tea glasses throughout the meal. We were so accustomed to our ritual that anytime our tea glass got low we’d just silently scoot it towards Daddy, he’d fill it, and we’d pull it back and keep on talking without ever missing a beat.
I love doing Sunday dinners for my family but with just the four of us I keep it to a meat and two sides, with a bread and simple dessert most days, unless we are having company to help us eat a bigger spread. I get up early and get things going so when we return to the house around noon all I have to do is reheat a few things and fill the tea glasses. Then we sit and we talk over what we’ve learned that morning and how we want to spend our Sunday afternoon.
I wonder what your Sunday dinners were like growing up and I can’t help but wonder what they are like now.
Do you take time to sit down with your family at home? Do you go to a restaurant and let someone else do the cooking so you can just focus on your time together and have a little time off from the kitchen?
Most importantly, I want to know what your favorite Sunday dinner was as a child, your dream menu and who cooked it for you. I love sharing my memories with you but I dearly love getting to hear yours as well so I hope you’ll share in the comments section of this post.
The recipe I’m bringing you today is from my great grandmother Lela, one I originally had published in the article about me and Southern Plate in the October 2010 issue of Southern Living. If you’d like to see a little more about that issue and the behind the scenes photos, click here. If you’d like a delicious ham for your family, keep reading.
Oh alright, you can click and then come back if you really wanna.
A good ham makes the perfect main course for any meal and any occasion. The added bonus is that once you bake a ham, you usually have the leftovers to make at least three more meals. The hambone in and of itself is a goldmine for the best pot of pintos you could ever hope to eat or use it to flavor a comforting pot of Senate Bean Soup.
I like to make a ham for supper with my in laws come to visit along with Jordan rolls and then reheat some rolls the next morning, split them in two, and layer warmed slices of ham in between them for a quick, easy, and dern good breakfast. Coffee washes it down just right. There are already several recipes on SouthernPlate.com using leftover ham and I’ll put the links to those at the bottom of this post, but next week I’ll also bring you one of my dear favorites, Red Beans and Rice. So glaze that ham and get it baking but be sure to save the bone with a little meat still on it for next week! Just pop it in a gallon size bag and stick it in the freezer.
Okay, now that I am sufficiently hungry, lets get this show on the road. Be sure and share your favorite Sunday dinner memories with me below, though. I know we’ll all enjoy reading over them and I’m sure more than one person will find themselves jumping in and telling you they remember something the same way you do!
*There is another great ham recipe in my cookbook so be sure and check it out! It is one of many which are exclusive to my cookbook, so they will never be on SouthernPlate.com.
Right away you’ll notice that this recipe includes one of my favorite ingredients: Diet Dr Pepper. You can use your favorite coke if you like, though. (Note: Coke refers to any carbonated beverage in these hyar* parts).
You’ll need: Smoked Ham, Yellow Mustard, Coke of choice (just a bit, you can drink the rest!), and some brown sugar.
I meant to spell “here” that way because it is how we pronounce it. Funny enough, because I often write in Southern dialect on Southern Plate, our wee little website is designated as “Requires a masters degree or higher in order to read” by internet classification. I don’t know about you but the fact that we throw computers off that much with our Southern slang kinda makes me feel a might bit superior! ~giggle~
In a small bowl place your brown sugar, mustard, and coke
(the Diet Dr Pepper is in there, it’s just hiding)
Give that a good stir.
It will become a lot more liquified than you expect it to.
On the off chance it doesn’t (you know, atmospheric pressure, leprechaun interference, whatever) you can always add another tablespoon of coke.
Line a rimmed (or sided) baking pan with aluminum foil, heavy duty if you have it.
If you don’t have heavy duty, just use regular. No sense in spending extra money when you don’t have to.
Set your ham in the middle of the foil lined pan.
Brush half of your glaze over the ham, just the parts that you can get to.
If you don’t have a brush just use a big spoon and put gobs of the glaze on the ham and then smear it around a bit.
Most of the gadgets we have in the kitchen are pretty much space taker-upers anyway.
Seal that up well and bake at 350 for 2-1/2 hours.
Notice that I have mine in a pan with sides on it, that is important because it is inevitable that juice will leak out and if it gets in the bottom of your oven you will have quite the smell in your house.
After your ham is baked it will look like this.
Peel the foil back and brush ham with remaining glaze.
Return to oven and bake for 30 minutes more uncovered, or until lightly browned.
Remove from oven and allow to sit for ten minutes before slicing. Slice how you like and enjoy!
I use an electric knife that I got for about twenty dollars to slice my hams but a regular knife will work just fine.
This glaze is delicious!
My father in law sliced the ham for me and he ate just about all of the skin ~heehee~. He loved the glaze, too.
Feels good when people like your cooking, doesn’t it?
- 1 approx 8-lb. smoked, ready-to-cook, bone-in ham
- 1 cup packed brown sugar light or dark, whatever you have
- 2 tablespoons coke or your favorite carbonated drink. I am using Diet Dr Pepper
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- Line a large pan with a lip around it with aluminum foil. Place ham in center of foil. In small bowl, stir together brown sugar, coke, and mustard to make your glaze. Brush half of glaze over ham. Wrap entire ham well in foil. Place in 350 degree oven for 2 -1/2 hours.
- Remove ham from oven and peel back the foil but don't move the ham. Brush remaining glaze over ham and return to oven, uncovered, for another thirty minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to sit at room temperature for about ten minutes or so before cutting. If you need to serve it later you can cover it with foil to keep it warm and let it sit on your stovetop. I suggest cutting it within half an hour of removing it from the oven because that is about as long as you'll be able to stand waiting once you smell it.
Never be afraid to try. Remember, amateurs built the ark.
Professionals built the Titanic.
Don’t you just love how the perfect quote can put a smile on your face and set your life in perspective in an instant? I’d love for you to add your favorite positive, uplifting, or motivational quote to our collection or to browse the ones that have been left by other members of our beloved Southern Plate Family. There are well over a thousand so far but we need yours, too! Don’t worry if you think your quote might have already been submitted. If I get a quote submitted multiple times, that is just a sign to me that it bears repeating! Click here to visit our Quote page.
I wonder what your Sunday dinners were like growing up and I can’t help but wonder what they are like now. Do you take time to sit down with your family at home? Do you go to a restaurant and let someone else do the cooking so you can just focus on your time together and have a little time off from the kitchen? Most importantly, I want to know what your favorite Sunday dinner was as a child, your dream menu and who cooked it for you. I love sharing my memories with you but I dearly love getting to hear yours as well so I hope you’ll share in the comments section of this post.