This Christmas, my Dad sent us a Ready-to-Cook, Bone-In, Corn Cob Smoked Ham from Harrington’s of Vermont:


This was a special gift for two reasons.  First, gift giving used to be my Mom’s domain.  After she passed away in 2012, Dad took over gift giving.  I was impressed — this was a really thoughtful gift, a holiday treat for the whole family to enjoy.  Second, this was a really great ham.  My Dad commented that my daughter would enjoy watching my husband carve it at the table.  He was remembering a Thanksgiving about a decade ago, when my young daughter could hardly wait for the picture-perfect turkey to be brought out in all its crisp-skinned glory.  My Dad, however, had carved the turkey in the kitchen, and when my daughter saw the pile of sliced turkey, she burst into tears.

The ham baked up nicely, and the tantalizing smoky aroma filled the house:


As much as we enjoyed the baked ham, I think we were looking forward to the leftovers even more.  My daughter has set some aside for Spaghetti Carbonara.  The meaty bone will be put to good use in bean soup.  And today I made Deviled Ham Salad for lunch on this lazy New Year’s Day.  I was reminded of how good ham salad is when my friend Karen at Savoury Table recently posted her recipe for Ham Salad with Swiss and Rosemary, which we’ll be trying in the very near future.

Whether you’ve got leftover ham, or just start with a package of ham from the deli section, Deviled Ham Salad is easy and tasty, either as an appetizer with crackers, or as a sandwich filling.  I like to finely chop the ham and pickles in a food processor, making sure not to overprocess, so that the ham salad has some texture.


Recipe type: Pork, Salads, Appetizers
  • 2 cups finely chopped ham
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dill pickles
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Serve with crackers, or use a sandwich filling.


The food processor makes quick work of finely chopping the ham


The canned stuff ain’t got nothing on this!


I found this family of carved wooden pigs at an estate sale.  They have no markings, but I would guess they were made in Mexico.  Cute little guys, aren’t they?

Naturally, they inspired me to make a pork dish, and I thought it might be fun to set them out on the table when I served it.  Well, the kids thought it was hilarious when they found them standing guard over the Shredded Salsa Pork Tacos I made for dinner.  They cracked themselves up rearranging the pigs.  There was pig stacking:

And the pig train:

You might have predicted that the pigs would end up arranged like this:

And because my kids are, in fact, kids, the pigs eventually wound up like this (most likely influenced either by watching our dogs or Sex in the City):

I don’t know whether the kids liked the Shredded Salsa Pork Tacos, but they were laughing so hard at their pig antics that they were gasping.  It was a fun meal.

This recipe is one of the easiest ones I make.  Although I usually shred my own lettuce, dice my own tomatoes and onions, grate my own cheese, churn my own butter (kidding — just seeing if anyone’s reading), you can just as easily pick these toppings up already prepared, cutting your prep time to about 5 minutes.


Recipe type: Main course, Pork
  • 1-1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup salsa or picante sauce
  • Flour tortillas
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Assorted toppings, such as grated monterey jack cheese, diced tomatoes, diced onions, pickled jalapenos, and diced avocados
  1. Trim tenderloin of any silverskin. Cut tenderloin into 2-inch pieces and place in a medium stock pot. Add salsa and beef broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, until pork is very tender and shreds easily with a fork, approximately 1-½ hours. Using two forks, shred pork. Raise heat to medium high and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, approximately 5 to 10 minutes longer.
  2. To assemble tacos, fold tortillas in half and place shredded lettuce in tortillas. Top with shredded salsa pork, and add toppings as desired.


Lined up at the toppings trough: