I went shopping for a couple of the ingredients I needed before starting this recipe. When I came home, my husband looked into my shopping bag: sliced ham and a package of Jell-O. “Nothing good can come of this,” he said, shaking his head. He was right. If only I had listened…
In this recipe, a cream cheese, horseradish, and relish mixture is spread over slices of ham, which are in turn rolled up and suspended in pineapple gelatin. There is no way around it: it tastes awful.
I know that ham and pineapple is a classic combination, but this is as far from a Hawaiian pizza as you can get. It’s almost like an avant garde art installation entitled How Not to Make Food. (Side note: Should I be selling tickets for this? Picture it… you step forward past the velvet rope, take a single bite of this dish, then weep at the existential horror of it. Fin.)
Everything about this recipe was all wrong. The texture. The taste. Everything. And meals like this inevitably end with my stomach staring sullenly at me while hissing, “This is why we can’t have nice things!” And then my stomach just continues to stare at me, because, really, what choice does it have (seeing as how my stomach inside of me and that is the only sort of view a stomach gets)? My stomach isn’t alone in these sentiments. My mouth also spends a good deal of time wondering why I put it through such ordeals week after week. I can’t blame either of them for their resentment.
As you can see from the picture below, I kind of made a mess of one of the corners as I was unmolding the ham rolls in aspic, but I take comfort in knowing that I wasn’t the one who ruined it. This recipe was hot mess long before I got to it.
Ham Rolls in Aspic
1 (3 oz.) package of pineapple jelly powder
1½ cups boiling water
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
1 (4 oz) package cream cheese
2 tablespoons pickle relish
1 (6 oz.) package of sliced cooked ham
Dissolve pineapple jelly powder in boiling water. Add vinegar, lemon juice, and salt. Pour jelly mixture into a 9½” x 5½” loaf pan to a depth of ½ inch. Chill this and remaining jelly mixture until syrupy.
In a small bowl, mix thoroughly the cream cheese, horseradish, and pickle relish. Spread 1 to 1½ tablespoons of cheese mixture on to each ham slice. Roll ham loosely, jelly roll fashion and fasten with toothpicks. Arrange in loaf pan so toothpicks are upright. Pour remaining jelly mixture over ham rolls; chill until firm. Remove toothpicks and unmold.
To unmold: Loosen edges with sharp knife. Dip pan in hot water for a few seconds or cover bottom of pan with hot, damp cloth.
The recipe featured in this post is from the Canada Packers Festive Feasting pamphlet. Date of publication not shown.