Ham It Up!

Ham, Taters & Cheese Casserole

It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving, a chilly, rainy day with no scheduled events or plans (other than to kick back on the couch and watch my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes take on Xichigan!) It was a couple hours before kick-off and, still dressed in my nightgown and robe, I opened the fridge to consider what might be a good lunch option. The entire second shelf was still filled to capacity with ham … ham, ham, ham! Ham on the shank that still needed to be removed and another container, two-thirds full of thick ham slices, left over from our family Thanksgiving meal on Thursday. Friday’s lunch, of course, had consisted of a delicious ham sandwich, but the thought of ham sandwiches again on Saturday just wasn’t an appealing thought. And then I remembered a wonderful recipe that would fit the bill and be a perfect meal for a chilly, rainy day!

Ham, Taters & Cheese Casserole
(Serves: 4-6)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cubed peeled potatoes
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
  • 7 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, bring the potatoes, carrot, celery and water to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook about 15 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  2. In a large skillet, saute the ham, green pepper and onion in 3 tablespoons butter until tender. Add to the potato mixture. Transfer to a greased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the remaining butter; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add the milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; add cheese and stir until melted.
  4. Pour over the ham mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

My husband and I were able to fill our plates and enjoy this hearty, delicious meal as we watched Ohio State beat Xichigan! What a perfectly wonderful afternoon to “ham it up”!

Food for Thought
FOOD FOR THOUGHT

The phrase “ham it up” evokes thoughts of funny silliness and laughter, doesn’t it? And this particular “ham it up” moment definitely brought a smile to our faces and joy to our tummies because it was centered around some great food! But there is a source of joy … a fullness of joy … that is available to us all day long, year after year and into eternity! The One Who created us wants us to laugh, to be joyful, and to have a merry heart! His Word says so!

“God has made laughter for me.” Genesis 21:6

“A joyful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22

“A glad heart makes a cheerful face.” Proverbs 15:13

“You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.” Psalm 4:7

And why?

“Our mouths are filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy … because the Lord has done great things for us.” Psalm 126:2

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

I pray today and the rest of your life are filled with the laughter and joy that can only come from Him!

–Cheri Henderson

 

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