My great grandfather, who lived in Southern Maryland, loved to make a stuffed ham at Christmas. It's a tradition we haven't kept up, mainly because stuffing a ham is an event on its own. We decided this would be the year we would make my great grandfather proud. We made it a family event - my grandmother got the ham, my mom got the greens, and we stuffed it together. I took pictures of the process in case you feel like attempting to stuff your own!

This is the recipe that we use as a guide. We've had this recipe clipped from the Baltimore Sun for years.

A Southern Maryland ham is stuffed with lots of earthy, thick greens: kale, collard, and cabbage.  We also add in onions and celery. 

My mom is removing the tough veins and stems from the kale and collards.  We like to leave the pieces rather large.  My grandmother prefers to chop hers up fine in the food processor.

Yeah...you don't want to chomp down on one of those things!

We had three bowls filled to the brim with kale, collard, and cabbage.  They seem to multiply!

We had some new wooden spoons, so we're going to use them to help push the greens into the ham.  Sometimes, if we don't have the spoons, we'll use wooden dowel sticks.

A large amount of cheese cloth is also important.  We'll wrap the stuffed ham in this.

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We need to combine all the greens together and since there isn't a bowl big enough to do the job, we used a laundry basket lined with a trash bag.

Gran and Mom layer the green with the spices, onions, and celery.

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The ham is the star of the show!  This is a 20lb corned ham.  My grandmother trimmed off the skin and left about 1/4 - 1/2 inch of the fat for flavoring. 

After the ham is trimmed, deep X's are cut into the meat. 

The greens mixture is jammed into the holes just created.

My grandmother and mother used their fingers and the ends of a wooden spoon to stuff the greens mixture deep into the holes they've created on the top and bottom of the ham.  It's quite messy but fun!

The stuffed ham is placed inside of cheese cloth. Extra greens are packed around the ham and then tied up inside the cheese cloth.

The ham goes into a ginormous pot.  During the year, this pot is used for steaming crabs, but right now it's all about the ham!

As you can see, we still had some greens left over.  These got tossed into another pot with some water and ham flavoring to cook down.

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This was such a fun, "making memories" kind of day. I love my grandmother and am so glad that the three generations could do this together.

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Sweet Designs said... @ January 3, 2009 at 11:36 PM

Oh, beautiful photo. Came over here from flkr/Pioneer Womans flkr. I down loaded your action even though I don't have Photoshop (yet), I hope to soon though. I must admit, it sounds really intimidating to do (photoshop). But anyway, I just wanted to drop by and check out your blog which is great. Thanks for doing the "action" for everyone.

Sweet Designs said... @ January 3, 2009 at 11:39 PM

Great photos of your cooking, and a great and touching photo of your and your "generations" of great ladies :)

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