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Life without ham is unthinkable

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POSTED: January 31, 2014 4:00 p.m.
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Ham can be the centerpiece of many style meals.

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Can you imagine life without ham? Me either. There would be no ham and eggs, just eggs. There’d be no country ham biscuits, just biscuits.
Ham is such a versatile meat. It’s perfect as an entrée or used to season soups or veggies, especially greens and beans. I have to laugh, though, when I see how ham is sometimes promoted.
I’ve seen restaurant menus that advertise two types of breakfast hams — country ham and city ham. Really? I’ve driven through and actually lived in a few large cities and never once recalled seeing a hog farm. Well, I admit I have been downwind of some alleyways that suggested a hog farm was nearby.
So-called city ham is probably cured with salt, sugar and other spices that do wonders for my health. City ham is not smoked, which is why I prefer country ham. If you’re going to raise my triglycerides, you may as well fill me up with carcinogens, too.
I love a country-ham biscuit. I think Hardee’s was the first chain restaurant to offer this delicacy, but Southern diners and hunters’ cafes were stuffing slices of country ham into fresh-baked biscuits back when I was a kid (and that was a long time ago). A ham biscuit was about all Daddy gave us time to grab for breakfast when we stopped en route to an area he’d signed out for hunting at the Marine Corps base.
Black coffee was all he wanted, but my brother and I needed something to stick to our ribs. A greasy ham biscuit was just what the doctor ordered. After eating a ham biscuit and sipping down a Styrofoam cup of coffee with a copious amounts of cream and sugar, I could sit in my deer stand all day.
Quite often, it was all day, since Daddy didn’t seem to have a need for lunch, either. We tended to stay in the woods until he was ready to go home, which usually was around dark. My growling stomach would have scared away all the game had I not had that ham biscuit.
In addition to Hardee’s, when I’m on the road in the mornings, I like to stop by Bojangles for a ham biscuit. When I’m in the Tarheel State, I can visit a Biscuit Kitchen or Biscuitville for extra-large ham biscuits. Biscuitville gives growing boys like me the option of ordering double meat, which means twice as much country ham on a biscuit that is already larger than other breakfast biscuits.
When I was in the Army, I sometimes went home after morning PT. I’d stop off at the Biscuit Kitchen in Spring Lake before returning to Fort Bragg. They offered a made-from-scratch, whole-wheat biscuit stuffed with country ham. It was sort of dichotomy, I know, but I thought of it as a healthy way to eat unhealthy.
I don’t get to enjoy ham biscuits as often as I’d like. For that matter, I only get to eat a spiral ham on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. I guess it’s written somewhere in the fine print on my marriage license. Someone is always making sure I don’t get to eat the fatty foods I prefer.
Oh sure, I still slip in a ham-and-cheese sandwich once in a while. I don’t mind a little prosciutto on my pizza. And if I order an omelet, it has to include ham (and bacon, sausage, onions, green peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes and cheddar cheese).
I might live a week or two longer if there was no more ham in this world, but why would I want to?

 

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