It’s another Blogiversary!

Today celebrates my 6th year of my Insanely Normal blog.

Image result for blogiversary

It’s been fun, although a little slack, and I know that I have said it time and time again, but that can now change…  I have a lot more time to be able to publish, and I have all sorts of ideas!

So, without further ado, let’s revisit my top three posts…

At number 3…

This post has somewhat amused me since I published it in 2014.  It was a review (a negative one at that!  And badly wrote, haha) about a local franchised café.  I can remember visiting the place – it was bloody awful, and I imagine nothing has changed, because I’m still receiving messages agreeing with my post!  You can read about the Pound Café in Huyton here.

At number 2…

2015 seems to have been the year that brought in most of my subscribers (hello stalkers!), and top of the shot (again), was my Christmas Ham post!  My second most popular post in 2015 was for my slow cooker sausage casserole…  With just under 10,000 reads throughout the year, it definitely got the attention it deserved, ha ha.  You can try the slow cooker sausage casserole recipe here.

Drum roll please, because at number 1…

Every Christmas, I make a ham.  It’s by far the best thing I have ever made, and you all seem to agree, as the amount of views that post has received is amazing!  I first published the post in 2012, and it seems to be a recipe that is used right throughout the year, as it’s always my most read…  My “best” stats for this recipe was on 1 December, 2016, when I had a little over 4,000 views – just on that day!  You can read my Christmas Ham here.


So, it seems that my stalkers like recipes and negative reviews!  Ha ha.  Yes, those were my top three posts in the past six years, and other posts in my top ten include more recipes, a holiday post, and how parenthood drives me crazy.

So, here’s to more exciting times – more recipes, more random stuff, and I may even through in a mini-comp somewhere…

How to cook a Christmas Ham – Repost

We have decided that we are going to my parents house for Christmas this year, however I have opted to cook the meats.  This year, we have decided on a large ham joint, and a topside of beef.

As this post has been so popular in the past few days, I thought it only right to “repost” it, of a sort, and share how I make it.

My mum has bought a rather lean, 2.7kg (6lb) gammon joint.  I don’t bother to soak my ham before cooking.  The boiling part draws out the majority of the salt, so that’s all I need.  Here’s how to cook it:

Ingredients:

Gammon joint (size is up to you, but please follow the cooking schedule carefully)

5 tb sp Honey

1 tb sp Brown Sugar

Paprika

Black Cracked Peppercorns

3 sticks of celery (optional)

1l Apple Juice / Coca-Cola* / Cherry Coca-Cola* / Irn Bru

Water

Method:

1.  Place your ham ‘standing on one end’ in a large boiling pan.  Chuck in the celery sticks (if you wish).

2.  Pour 1l Apple Juice (or Coca-Cola or Cherry Coca-Cola) over the ham, and top up with water.  Make sure that the ham is fully covered.  This will be the first time I am using apple juice to boil the meat in…  Normally, it is recommended to use Cider, but I think as I am expecting, and we have a 3 year old, we’re substituting the alcoholic part for something as equally yummy.

3.  Put the lid on the pan and bring to the boil.

4.  Once the meat has started to boil, turn down the heat to a simmer and follow the instructions for how long you need to set your timer for…

Weight Boiling Time
450g (1 lb) Allow 45 minutes
450g – 1.5 kg (1-3 lb) Allow 1 – 1 1/2 hours
1.2 – 2.7 kg (3-6 lb) Allow 30 minutes per 450g (1 lb)
2.7 – 4.5 kg (6-10 lb) Allow 3 – 3 1/2 hours
4.5 – 6.3 kg (10-14 lb) Allow 3 1/2 – 3 3/4 hours
6.3 – 8.1 kg (14-18 lb) Allow 3 3/4 – 4 1/4 hours
8.1 – 9.5 kg (18-21 lb) Allow 4 1/4 – 4 1/2 hours

Because my ham is a 2.7kg weight, I’m leaving mine for 3 hours.

5.  When your timer beeps, switch off the heat and remove the meat from the liquid (pour the liquid away – I know…  Such a waste).  It’s at this point that you need to set your oven to 190C /170C fan /gas 5.

6.  Pat dry the meat using some kitchen towels, and allow to cool slightly.  You don’t want to burn your fingers on the next part!

7.  Using a very sharp knife, remove the skin…  If your meat has a lot of fat, remove the majority, leaving a thin layer (approx 1/2cm).

8.  Place the ham into a aluminium / tin foil lined roasting tin and score the fat in a criss-cross, all over the top and sides.

9.  Now we need to mix the basting paste.  In a bowl, or jug, add the honey, brown sugar, 2 tsp Paprika powder and some black cracked pepper (to taste) and mix it all together with a fork.

10.  Using a basting brush or spoon, cover the mixture over the ham, ensuring to ‘get in the criss-crosses’.  Any left over honey mixture will not be used, so get rid of this.

11.  When the oven is preheated, place the ham (UNCOVERED!) in the middle of the oven for 30-35 minutes.

12.  Allow the ham to cool before carving…

If you’re like me, it’s best to leave it to cool completely.  I’m actually in the process of cooking my ham now (it’s in the pot, and the topside of beef is in the oven) for Christmas dinner tomorrow.  Yum yum…

Serve with whatever you like…  Potatoes, veg…  On a piece of bread…  On it’s own…  Oh my…  I’m drooling at the thought, and the smell.  Well, my house smells all Christmassy!

Merry Christmas everyone x

My Christmas Ham

It’s my turn to host Christmas dinner for my parents this year.  Last year we went to theirs, so it’s only fair.

I’ve bought a very yummy looking 2.7kg (6lb) gammon joint.  Boy am I looking forward to it!  I don’t soak my ham before cooking.  The boiling part draws out the majority of the salt, so that’s all I need.  Here’s how to cook it:

Ingredients:

Gammon joint (size is up to you, but please follow the cooking schedule carefully)

5 tb sp Honey

1 tb sp Brown Sugar

Paprika

Black Cracked Peppercorns

1 and a 1/2 Onions (red or white – I used red because it’s a Christmas colour!)

1l Coca-Cola* (or Cherry Coca-Cola*)

Water

Method:

1.  Place your ham ‘standing on one end’ in a large boiling pan.

2.  Dice 1 onion and place it in the pan.

3.  Pour 1l of Coca-Cola (or Cherry Coca-Cola) over the ham, and top up with water.  Make sure that the ham is covered.

4.  Put the lid on the pan and bring to the boil.

5.  Once the meat has started to boil, turn down the heat to a simmer and follow the instructions for how long you need to set your timer for…

Weight Boiling Time
450g (1 lb) Allow 45 minutes
450g – 1.5 kg (1-3 lb) Allow 1 – 1 1/2 hours
1.2 – 2.7 kg (3-6 lb) Allow 30 minutes per 450g (1 lb)
2.7 – 4.5 kg (6-10 lb) Allow 3 – 3 1/2 hours
4.5 – 6.3 kg (10-14 lb) Allow 3 1/2 – 3 3/4 hours
6.3 – 8.1 kg (14-18 lb) Allow 3 3/4 – 4 1/4 hours
8.1 – 9.5 kg (18-21 lb) Allow 4 1/4 – 4 1/2 hours

Because my ham is a 2.7kg weight, I’m leaving mine for 3 hours.

6.  When your timer beeps, switch off the heat and remove the meat from the liquid (pour the liquid away – I know…  Such a waste).  It’s at this point that you need to set your oven to 190C /170C fan /gas 5.

7.  Pat dry the meat using some kitchen towels.

8.  Using a very sharp knife, remove the skin…  If your meat has a lot of fat, remove the majority, leaving a thin layer (approx 1/2cm).

9.  Place the ham into a aluminium / tin foil lined roasting tin and score the fat in a criss-cross, all over the top and sides.

10.  Now we need to mix the basting paste.  In a bowl, or jug, add the honey, brown sugar, 2 tsp Paprika powder and some black cracked pepper (to taste) and mix it all together with a fork.

11.  Using a basting brush or spoon, cover the mixture over the ham, ensuring to ‘get in the criss-crosses’.  Any left over honey mixture will not be used, so get rid of this.

12.  Chop up 1/2 onion and add to the roasting tin.

13.  When the oven is preheated, place the ham (UNCOVERED!) in the middle of the oven for 30-35 minutes.

14.  Allow the ham to cool before carving…

If you’re like me, it’s best to leave it to cool completely.  I’m actually in the process of cooking my ham now (it’s in the pot) for Christmas dinner tomorrow.  Yum yum…

Serve with whatever you like…  Potatoes, veg…  On a piece of bread…  On it’s own…  Oh my…  I’m drooling at the thought, and the smell.  Well, my house smells all Christmassy!

Merry Christmas everyone x

 

*It is very important that you use ‘real’ Coca-Cola or Cherry Coca-Cola.  I have used the cheap alternatives in the past, and my ham never turns out as good.