"Cure" for hams

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Ham Cure Recipe from Martha Hamilton Sharp Gregory
Ham Cure Recipe from Martha Hamilton Sharp Gregory

Growing up in New Jersey, my Kentucky born and raised mom and I would journey back to the ancestral homestead, the farm, every summer and Christmas to visit family, relax, eat and remember our roots.  My grandmother made everything – bread, jam, ‘salad dressing’, cottage cheese and ham. She grew up in Madison County, Kentucky and moved to Washington County after marrying my grandfather in the late 1940s. Living on a farm in rural Kentucky, food was raised and made. There were cows, hogs, chickens at one point, fruit trees and a vegetable garden. When I visited the farm as a child and young adult, I remember the giant black specked metal pot on the stove where Grandma would cook the ham after it had cured, hung in the barn for months. Having this country-style ham when we visited during the summer was always a treat and nothing like the ‘city-ham’ I had growing up in New Jersey at Easter. This ham was drier and saltier and so much better. Served with biscuits or on Sunbeam white bread with Miracle Whip, nothing beats the memories of having home-cured ham with my family on the farm. I still visit Kentucky every summer and Christmas, and although my Grandma and mom are gone, I still eat ham on homemade biscuits or bread with family and feel at home. 

Place(s): Kentucky

– Carolyn Wallace

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant