Firstly, I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving. It can be a difficult holiday for people with complicated family circumstances.
Secondly, I offer a warning. Take heed. Day-old ham smells like the business end of Holstein. How do I know this? Well, my lovely friend and her husband were supposed to join us for Thanksgiving dinner. Keeping with tradition, I cooked. I usually cook everything. I, however, never make a turkey. I don’t like turkey. I know, I know. It’s unpatriotic. The turkey was almost our national bird and symbol. I blame my mother and her after-Thanksgiving turkey soup that was, by all accounts, the most disgusting, gelatinous hot mess to ever hit a soup bowl.
Anyway, I won’t make a turkey, and my kids won’t eat one either. My ex-husband really loved the Honey Baked Ham. That then became the tradition, but I’m a vegetarian. Another one of my daughters is also a vegetarian. So, there we were. What would the centerpiece be? My lovely friend and her husband suggested that they would bring some smoked ham for the omnivores. Excellent! Unfortunately, my friend got sick on Thanksgiving Day and was unable to attend. Her husband kindly dropped off the ham for dinner.
One of my daughters was all over that smokey meat as was my neighbor who always joins us for major holidays. It was a fine evening of games, good food, and superlative deipnosophy although lessened by the absence of my friend and her husband. I was up and out of the house very early the next morning, and, upon my entrance into the house, I was practically smacked in the face with a disgusting odor. I yelled out, “Why does it reek of farts in here?”
My ham-loving daughter was the only person within eyeshot, and she looked somewhat culpable. “I don’t know,” she casually said.
“For real. I mean it. It positively stinks in here! It smells like someone lit it up for hours! Why?!” I asked again.
I went into the kitchen, and it was then that I saw it. The ham. Sitting on the counter. I stepped closer and smelled it. It may as well have been emanating green vapors. J’accuse, oh guilty pan o’ham!
At that moment, my oldest daughter came downstairs and yelled out, “Sweet mother, why does the house smell like ass?!” She is a colorful personality with the mouth to match.
Sadly, we had to take the ham out back and shoot it. It is no longer with us. And, I had to open almost every window in our house for an hour.
I learned later that one of my kids took the ham out of the fridge after I’d gone to bed and left it on the counter overnight where it sat until the next day.
Ah yes, refrigeration of leftovers is key to preventing bacterial proliferation. So, heed my warning, and always refrigerate your leftovers lest your house smell like ass, too.