Easter with a Canned Ham!

family memories, family story, genealogy, Easter

Easter egg hunt 1968


Easter this year was a quiet day. With my older kids in far away lands like California and Florida there were just four of us at the dinner table with me, my husband, daughter and dear family friend. I fixed a very traditional Easter meal with ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, pineapple up-side-down cake, you know the drill. So after our delicious meal my daughter took off for parts unknown, her bedroom to be exact and the three adults reminisced about Easters past.

Coloring eggs, eggs hunts in the yard, new clothes were all talked about and then we hit on everyone’s all-time favorite – the canned ham!! Yes we all had memories of our moms at the kitchen counter with that oval shaped tin. Watching her delicately but deliberately rock that metal key back and forth to get it off the side. Then the task of hooking that key on the metal tab of the can. As kids we’d inch closer to see this sight but Mom would tell us to stand back!! Who knew what would happen if this canned ham went berserk!!

Of course halfway through twisting that key around the can, the metal seal would ball up and break! Then my mom would have to call my dad and soon he’d come from the garage with a pair of needle nose pliers to finish getting the metal seal off the canned ham! All of this giving credence to my mom’s earlier warning to us kids to stand back!

Once that canned ham was opened and the lid pried off there was that delectable half-inch of jelly on top!! Oh man! I can still see my mom scrapping the slippery, gooey mess off the ham and plopping it in a pan. After she scored the top she’d sprinkle it with brown sugar, push a few whole cloves in the top and into the oven our canned ham would go!!

When that baby was done, that ham got a pineapple slice on top and was served!! Oh boy I can still see it today! Our Easter ham in the shape of an oblong oval, three inches tall with a lone pineapple slice on top!

Fast forward to today. We laughed and laughed as we added additional canned ham memories to the story. Who knew the appeal of a canned ham in the 1960s? But you know what? We all loved our canned ham experiences and had a lot of fun remembering!

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