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Ham Days bring back fond memories

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By Susan Lowery

When I first bought land and moved to Kentucky in 1973, I lived in Taylor County on Tallow Creek Road, which is closer to Lebanon than Campbellsville. So, I usually did my grocery shopping and such in Lebanon.

I didn't really know anyone at first, so my weekly trip to the grocery store or laundromat was the highlight of my week.

One Saturday in late September 1974, I came to town for my regular chores, but I also needed to buy a rocking chair.

I headed to Border's Furniture store on Main and Proctor Knott, and low and behold, the street was blocked off.

There were picnic tables set up and a pretty good crowd was enjoying country ham, eggs, fried apples and all kinds of good stuff.

Charlie Borders, rest his soul, told us we had landed in the middle of Country Ham Days, and he bought breakfast for my husband Walt Rose (and that's another story) and me, right after he sold us a rocking chair.

We sat down at a table full of strangers, and within 15 minutes they weren't strangers anymore. We were invited to an upcoming party, my husband got a job offer, and I agreed to help strip tobacco for one of my new friends. (I didn't know any better.)

Looking back on it, this was the day that I made the decision to stay in Kentucky for good. I've been to Ham Days since then, but that first one was my favorite.

  Lillian Marshall's Country Ham Balls 2 c. finely ground cooked country ham 1 c. fine fresh bread crumbs 1 egg, beaten 3 T. milk 1/3 c. light corn syrup 2 T. vinegar 1 t. Worcestershire sauce 2 T. prepared mustard 1/4 t. ground cloves

Combine ham, crumbs, egg and milk. Form into 1-inch balls. Place close together in baking dish. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over ham balls. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen. Recipe is easily multiplied, and may be refrigerated or frozen, then heated at serving time.

  Ham Jam 3/4 c. cold water 1 (1/4 oz.) envelope unflavored gelatin 1/2 c. orange juice 1 t. grated orange peel 1/4 c. lemon juice 1 t. grated lemon peel 3/4 c. honey 10 oz. ham, cubed

Combine water and gelatin and allow to soften for 5 minutes. Microwave or boil on stove till gelatin is completely dissolved. In food processor, put all ingredients including hot gelatin mixture. Process until ingredients are pureed. Pour into mold or bowl and chill till firm. Serve with biscuits, rolls or crackers. Makes 2 1/2 cups.