Dear Sun Spots: Easter will be here soon. I have a frozen ham I want to cook. Do you or any Sun Spots readers have any suggestions on how to keep meat moist? I have tried cooking one before but the meat is always dry. – Ann B., South Paris.

Answer:
In addition to responses from readers, Sun Spots discovered some cooking tips online at www.decaturdaily.com. According their article, it helps to keep the ham basted or glazed during baking to ensure a moister and less tough meat. Hams come cooked or partially cooked.

Some are closely trimmed, meaning all of the fat has been removed from the outside surface of the ham. The closely trimmed ham can be basted with juices or seasonings or glazed 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, but it shouldn’t be scored before baking. If you scored a closely trimmed ham, the juices would flow out too quickly and the meat would dry out. Hams should be refrigerated before and after cooking. Frozen ham will maintain quality for up to two months. You and your family might like to try the following recipes to go along with your holiday meal.

Peach-Glazed Smoked Ham: Ingredients: 1 half, fully cooked, smoked bone-in ham (7 pounds); ½ cup peach jam, 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard; ½ teaspoon ground ginger; rosemary sprigs for garnish. Method: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove skin and trim all but ¼ inch of the fat from the ham. Score fat, just through to the meat, into ¾- to 1-inch diamonds. Place ham on rack in medium roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer into center of ham, being careful that pointed end does not touch bone. Bake 1½ hours. In the meantime prepare glaze. In a cup mix jam, mustard and ginger until blended. Brush glaze over ham. Bake ham 30 minutes longer, or until thermometer reaches 140 degree Fahrenheit. Place on warm, large platter. Let stand 15 minutes; keep warm. Slice and serve with vegetables of choice (Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes go well). Serves 12.

Monte’s Ham also located online at www.decaturdaily.com, Ingredients: one 15-pound smoked (partially cooked) bone-in ham, 1½ cups orange marmalade, 1 cup Dijon mustard, 1½ cups firmly packed brown sugar, 1 tablespoon whole cloves. Method: Trim tough outer skin and excess fat from the ham.

Place ham, meat side down, in a large roasting pan and score, making crosshatch incisions with a sharp knife. Insert meat thermometer into center of ham, being careful not to hit the bone.

Roast at 300 degrees for 2 hours. remove ham from oven and increase heat to 350 degrees. Glaze: Combine orange marmalade, mustard and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Stud ham with cloves, sticking 1 clove at the intersection of each crosshatch, then brush with glaze and return to oven. Cook ham about another 1½ hours or until thermometer reaches 160 degrees, brushing with glaze at least three times. Transfer to a cutting board or platter and allow to rest for about 30 minutes. Carve and serve warm or at room temperature. Serves about 30.

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