Memorize the Christmas Story–Begin Now

Despite all the books and blogs and plans to keep Christ in Christmas, it makes the most sense to me to get back to the original story and engrave that in our children’s hearts.

I was in fifth grade when I memorized the Christmas story, and I can still recite it today. My recitation ability is not a free pass into heaven (Jesus did that.), but it does keep the truth of Christmas close to my heart throughout the year and the years.

If you help your children learn the Christmas story, they will remember it almost word for word for the rest of their lives. It will be a reminder in their middle years and a comfort in their golden years, and chances are strong that they will teach it to your grandchildren.

Here’s where to find the Christmas story. Open your Bible…or your Bible app.

The birth story is in Luke 2.
The magi story is in Matthew 2.

Select which of the following sections of the story you want your family to memorize, or tackle them all:

Matthew 1:18-25; Matthew 2:1-12; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 2:1-20.

Here are a few tips to help memorize as easily as possible.

10 Tips for Memorizing the Christmas Story

  1. Break it down into sections or even verses.
  2. Start early to avoid stressing over Scripture.
  3. Set it to music. Here’s an example in English Standard Version.
  4. Make it part of your routine. Read it over before bed, in the morning, after lunch and before naps if you’re lucky enough to get one…I mean if your children still take one.
  5. Involve the youngest children with a verse or two, if that’s all they can handle. A great one for the littles is “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”
  6. If it seems too overwhelming, give each child a few verses to memorize instead of the whole story, and switch it up next year.
  7. Have your kids copy the verses down by hand to engage more senses in the memorization process.
  8. Have family members read the verses into a recording device or find a recorded version and play it back several times a day, reciting along as they can.
  9. Set a weekly goal with a weekly recitation day.
  10. Set an ultimate goal of reciting on Christmas Eve or day or reciting for relatives, if that will motivate your child. If that will terrorize them, never mind.

Homeschool Helps:

We made this Scripture Memory Box for our memorization. Check it out on our family’s YouTube channel, (I know it’s confusing. I’m The Simple Homemaker, my husband is Stephen Bautista Music, our second daughter is The Art of Marissa Renee, and together we’re The Travel Bags. There is no quiz.)

Memorization, recitation, and copywork are all effective educational tools. Even spelling lists (which don’t exist in my family) can be swapped out in favor of the Christmas story. Focus those subjects on Luke 2 and Matthew 2 for the next few weeks of school leading up to Christmas.

It’s one of the greatest Christmas gifts you can give to your children.

How do you help your family memorize Scripture?

A Few Easter “Necessities” for a Simple Celebration

Top Easter Posts from The Simple Homemaker--for real people in real life homes.

In case you’re wracking your brain trying to remember how on earth to boil eggs, what on earth to do with those eggs, and what in tarnation (wherever that is) to serve on Easter, I’ve got a few reminders from years past.

The Jelly Bean Gospel: You can buy this, but why not make it with your kids.

Jelly Bean Pinnable

How to Boil a Perfect Egg: This tutorial from our entertaining firstborn works every time.

Perfect Hardboiled Eggs (1)

This simple tip will, sadly, break the tradition of your children going to church with dye up to their wrists.

Use a Whisk To Remove Eggs from Boiling Water or Dye Pinnable

Creative Easter Egg Design: It ain’t Pin-worthy, but it is fun!

PicMonkey Collage (1)

How to Peel Hard-Boiled Eggs: Everyone has a method–this is ours.

Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs Pinnable

Deviled Eggs and Egg Chick Recipes: Too fun to eat–not!


Egg Chicks pinnable

Recipe for Egg Salad: Stick with the basics, or transform the humble egg into a work of culinary art!

Egg Salad Sands

How to Bake a Ham: Cheapest ham, best results.

Ham Pinnable

How to Keep Potatoes from Browning: A simple make-ahead tip.

How to Keep Potatoes From Browning


Easter Recipe Round-up: Just pick something from each category and you’re all set…except you still have to make it.


10 Ways to Use Up Easter Eggs: In case you have 9 dozen, like we do.

Use Up Easter Eggs

And if you still need an Easter basket idea, it’s not too late to get this Faith Builder’s Bible from Amazon (affiliate link):

Faith Builders Bible -- A Review by a Homeschool Mom and Her Son

And it’s never ever too late to give your children a sense of the Resurrection…even after Easter.

Sense of Resurrection Feature

Have a blessed Easter, don’t eat too much chocolate, and remember what the empty tomb really means–Jesus (God) lived and died for you, and then He came back to life. Why? So you could do the exact same thing. Don’t try to figure it out–we can’t love like that. Just appreciate it.


St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast Recipe: Shamrock Eggs

Did you know that the British-born St. Patrick was kidnapped and enslaved by the Irish?  Eventually he escaped.  In later years he became a missionary, and whom did he serve?  The Irish, his former enslavers.

Pause for effect.

In honor of St. Patrick’s selfless love, here is a recipe for shamrock eggs.  I don’t see a connection either.

(Shamrock Eggs are adapted slightly from this recipe for bell pepper ring eggs at Meatless Monday.)

St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast Recipe: Shamrock Eggs


St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast Recipe: Shamrock Eggs

  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 4-6 eggs
  • oil* or butter (mmmmmm, butter)
  • water
  • salt and pepper to taste


Slice the pepper into 4-6 rings.

St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast Recipe: Shamrock Eggs

Bribe matching small people to remove the seeds and other guts.

St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast Recipe: Shamrock Eggs

Heat the oil or butter (mmmmm, butter) in a pan set on medium-low-ish heat.

Drop the pepper rings, heretofore known as shamrocks, into the pan.

Crack an egg into a bowl and pour it gently into a shamrock. Repeat for each shamrock, or crack the eggs straight into the shamrocks.

St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast Recipe: Shamrock Eggs

Drop a couple tablespoons of water into the pan and cover immediately to trap in the steam.  If you have a glass cover, watch for the eggs to firm up, or just lift the cover and peek after about 3-5 minutes. This will create the perfect sunny-side up eggs. (Thanks to Jan the Pepper Jam Lady in Yorba Linda for that tip!) Cook longer for more firmly set yolks.

St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast Recipe: Shamrock Eggs

That’s it! Serve with Screaming Baby Biscuits and a pint of Irish ale. Oh, wait…breakfast.  Never mind the ale.

St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast Recipe: Shamrock Eggs

If you love green peppers, you’ll like these eggs.  If you don’t like green peppers, these will make you gag.  I’m nothing if not honest…to a fault.  Speaking of being honest, I don’t drink Irish ale for breakfast…or at all.

*My cooking oil of choice is coconut oil for its health benefits.  When I don’t want the coconut flavor, I opt for expeller-pressed ultra clean, which has no noticeable flavor.

Here’s the short and sweet printable version.

St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast: Shamrock Eggs
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 2-6
A charming and healthy shamrock shaped egg dish with only a few ingredients.
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 4-6 eggs
  • oil or butter
  • water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Slice peppers into 4-6 rings. Remove seeds and core.
  2. Heat oil or butter in a pan on medium-low heat.
  3. Toss the pepper rings into the pan.
  4. Crack the eggs into the pepper rings.
  5. Splash a couple tablespoons of water into the pan and immediately cover.
  6. Cook for 3-5 minutes for soft eggs, longer for a firmer set.

What is your go-to St. Patrick’s Day breakfast re.cipe?

Special thanks to Donna and Ann from Apron Strings for the original recipe.

Linked up to Weekend Whatever, Pennywise PlatterFat Tuesday, Hearts 4 Home, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Food Trip Friday

How To Make Green Food Coloring

This post may contain affiliate links, which helps support this blog and my obsessive chocolate habits.

If you rarely use food coloring or have an “everything in moderation” kitchen philosophy, you’re probably completely happy saving time (and stress) by using store-bought food coloring.  If someone in your home has an allergy to dyes in food, or you simply want to avoid it, then these 10 methods for how to make green food coloring have your name written all over them.

How to Make Green Food Coloring

Please be aware that when you make your own food coloring, you will not achieve the same brilliant green you get from store-bought dyes. Even most of the natural dyes on the market will not result in a brilliant green.

Because you are using natural products which are not uniform (naturally), your results will vary dramatically each time from “not bad” to “not happening.” To improve your chances of success, check out the tips at the bottom before you proceed.

How to Make Green Food Coloring

How to Make Green Food ColoringMash, process, or otherwise obliterate half an avocado. (Yes, please peel it first.) This will lightly color a cup or two of frosting or a similar white substance.  Avocado has an understated flavor, so it won’t dominate the dish.  Think of it as a culinary wallflower.


How to Make Green Food ColoringPuree 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen spinach.  Boil it in 4 cups of water and then simmer for several hours.  When it is concentrated, strain out the spinach—it’s the liquid you want. Add the concentrate to your recipe.  Avocado will work as well.


How to Make Green Food ColoringRepeat the process above, but do not strain out the original food.  Instead, press it through a sieve or otherwise grind the final result to get it as smooth as possible.


How to Make Green Food ColoringSoak pistachios in water. (Don’t use dyed pistachios, but rather those that have opened and greened naturally.)  Grind them to make a faintly tinted paste you can add to desserts.  Sounds like the makings of pistachio ice cream to me!


How to Make Green Food ColoringSprinkle chlorella, spirulina, or a more suitably flavored green product into the recipe.  Might I recommend parsley, especially stale, finely ground parsley?


How to Make Green Food ColoringBoil the skins from several red onions in a cup or two of water.  Simmer until the water is the color you want.  Some people get brown instead of green. Why doesn’t this make red?  Good question. You should have your children research that.


How to Make Green Food ColoringBoil any green food substance in a cup or so of water for 20-30 minutes.  Strain it and use the green water in place of the liquid in your recipe.  For example, boil broccoli and make rice using the green liquid instead of water or stock.


How to Make Green Food ColoringMake the green liquid as just described. Soak or simmer potato slices or another white absorbent food in the liquid until it is tinted green. (This hasn’t worked for me, but others have had success with it. Salting may encourage a better transfer process.)


How to Make Green Food ColoringIf your recipe calls for milk, simmer spinach, avocado, parsley, whatever, in milk until it turns green. Don’t get distracted! Milk burns easily and must be stirred and kept over a low heat.


How to Make Green Food ColoringRemember kindergarten?  Neither do I.  But I do remember that yellow and blue make green.  Make blue food coloring by boiling red cabbage.  Add a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to turn it from violet to blue. Then add yellow in the form of stale turmeric or saffron…or yellow cake.


These techniques for how to make green food coloring will produce mild food colorings that will tint your light-colored foods green…some even pastel green or army greenDon’t expect the same results as you find in commercial products. Also, don’t be surprised to see this work on lightly colored foods, such as white potatoes or white flour, but only “muddy up” darker foods, such as sweet potatoes or brown flour.

To make the food coloring liquid more brilliant, add 1/2 teaspoon or so of baking soda. This will affect the flavor, so experiment wisely.

Add lemon juice to anything that might brown, such as the avocado, and serve as soon as possible after preparing.

How to Make Green Food Coloring

Many of these recipes will flavor the final outcome.  Since you don’t want your sweets tasting like, say, broccoli or spinach, opt for avocado in icing and other sweets.  Look for foods that complement each other nicely, such as potatoes with parsley, broccoli, or spinach.

Because you will need a larger amount of natural coloring than conventional dyes, the liquid coloring will affect the texture of the dish.  Use less of other liquids until you have achieved the color that you want, at which point, you may wish to add more liquid if necessary.

Finally, to avoid the food coloring issue entirely, give the illusion of green foods by setting a green table—use green flowers, napkins, centerpieces, décor, and naturally green foods (like peas, kiwis, green grapes, lime slices, or M&Ms.) Sprinkle green herbs over savory foods, or cook greenies right into them, like in these Shamrock eggs. (You’re still writhing over that comment about M&Ms being natural, aren’t you? Let a girl dream.)

What do I use, you ask?

How to Make Green Food ColoringWell…to tell you the truth…we use green food coloring once a year (Christmas), and we use the bright, festive, bad-for-you stuff from the store. (You are welcome to comment on how bad our annual splurge is, which I already know, because then I get to share my story about the horribly debilitating effects stressing over healthy eating has had on my health and family. It’s a twisted, ironic, edge-of-your-seat tale the whole family will love.)

But I’m thinking about buying this beauty: India Tree’s natural decorating colors.

Please share your tips for how to make green food coloring below!

If you’re looking for some fun Saint Patrick’s Day recipes, crafts, activities, and more, check out my Simple St. Patrick’s Day board on Pinterest. Simple, green, even a little educational.

Click to visit my Simple St. Patrick’s Day board on Pinterest.

Top photo credit          Green food photo credit

Jelly Bean Gospel – The Story of Easter Told With Jelly Beans

Easter is a fun time for families, but for my family, it is all about our faith, and our faith is all about Jesus.

At Easter it can be easy to get wrapped up in the Easter breakfast and the Easter basket and the Easter ham and the Easter eggs and the Easter buffet and the Easter chocolate and the Easter brunch and the Easter leftovers…and did I mention the food?

This nifty little jelly bean poem reminds the children of the reason we celebrate Easter. It’s essentially the entire Gospel in a nutshell…or in an eggshell.

Tell the truths of salvation with jelly beans--you'll definitely have their attention!

Here is what you need:

  • Jelly beans (Note to self: Don’t eat all the black ones this year, or it won’t work. As if I would do that…again.)
  • Plastic eggs, plastic snack bags, little cups, mini baskets, frosted cupcakes, chocolate baskets, gauze and ribbon—anything to contain your Jelly Bean Gospels.
  • A version of the Jelly Bean Gospel poem printed out.

Here is what you do:

Step 1 – Put one jelly bean of each color, along with the Jelly Bean Gospel poem, in the container. (If it’s a cupcake or chocolate basket, lay it under or beside the treat.)

That’s it! There is no step 2. I love simplicity!

I go through this process with my children instead of printing up the poem. They have to search out the words and meanings themselves. It’s meaningful, and we can call it school. Wink.

Here is my version of the Jelly Bean Gospel poem:

Black is for the sins I’ve done.

Red is for the blood of God’s Son.

Purple is for the death of The King

Green is for life when Christ rose again

White is for my sins forgiven

Yellow is for my home in heaven

Pink is for my joyful face

Orange you happy for God’s grace?!

I like to stop with yellow. The last two lines are a little hokey. I don’t like to turn an amazing message that has stood on its own two feet for all time into a hokey jelly bean groaner…and that last line is a groaner. Sorry.

Here is my Jelly Bean Gospel for readers with Bible access:

Black – Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23 (sin and death)

Red – Romans 5:9 (blood)

Purple – John 19:19 (King)

Green – Matthew 28:5-6 (life)

White – Isaiah 1:18 (forgiveness)

Yellow – John 14:2-4, Revelation 21:21 (heaven)

Pink – Romans 15:13 (joy)

Orange Ephesians 2:8-9 (grace)

You can exclude the keyword, and let them discover it themselves if you prefer, or substitute other Bible verses.

Adjust this poem however you see fit so you can save and eat all your favorite jelly beans. I first saw this concept years ago at our church, but there are 184,000 versions online (I make 184,001), so do a quick search for other options. I wrote my own, because some of the others didn’t make sense, and my kids would ask, “But WHY is orange for sins?” and “I don’t WANNA be tickled pink. I’m a boy. I wanna be tickled BLUE.” and “The fifth and sixth jelly beans don’t rhyme. That’s so lame.” I just didn’t want to go there, ya know?

Hey, if you have any questions about my faith, please ask me. I’m happy to share my faith…but I will not share my black jelly beans.

And now, a pressing question: what is your favorite color of jelly bean?

For more simple Easter ideas, visit my Easter Pinterest board entitled Simple Easter Ideas.


How to Keep Potatoes From Turning Brown

This post goes out to Facebook fan Jessica. Good luck and have fun with your first major Thanksgiving cooking!

How to Keep Potatoes From Browning

I love to prep as much of my major cooking ahead of time as possible, especially for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. (I’ve even fed the family breakfast before bed to get a jumpstart on the next day. Note to self: bad idea.) Sometimes my prep backfires, like when my pre-peeled potatoes turn brown.

How to Keep Potatoes From Browning

If I were to ask my husband about that phenomenon, he would draw on his pre-med training and say something all science-y, like the browning is caused when the polyphenol oxidase enzyme is released from the potato’s cells upon cutting. The enzyme immediately begins reacting with the oxygen in the air to turn the phenol compounds within the tuber brown in a process called oxidation.

Oxidation, shmoxishmation. I just call it ugly. They’re still perfectly edible, mind you, but they aren’t perfectly pretty. I like my taters to be pretty before I mash them into an unrecognizable pulp.

Here’s how you can get a jump start on your potatoes without the ugly.

How to Keep Potatoes from Turning Brown

How to Keep Potatoes From BrowningPeel and rinse the potatoes. (So far so simple.)


How to Keep Potatoes From Browning

Place them (whole, sliced, or diced) in a bowl, pot, bucket, trough, whatever, and cover them completely with water. Completely! Taters in, air out.


How to Keep Potatoes From BrowningStore the bowl in the refrigerator. (I cheat on this step if I don’t have room in the frig. Shhh.)


That’s it! Told ya it was simple. Simpler than that whole polyphenol oxidase thingie.

How to Keep Potatoes From Browning


I only do this overnight. Some people claim you can do this up to three days in advance as long as you replace the water and rinse the potatoes daily. Some people might be right about that. (See the comment section for other opinions.)

Others add a splash of lemon juice to keep potatoes from turning brown. This is a good practice for something that might be sitting in open air. Scientifically, however, the browning occurs when the potatoes come in contact with the oxygen in the air, which is an impossibility when the tubers are immersed in water whose oxygen is firmly bonded to hydrogen and won’t be oxidizing any taters. I save my lemons for lemon pie. Mmmm…pie.

I know you’re all itching to know why potatoes don’t turn brown after they’re cooked. Well, if I were to bother my pretty little head about such things, I would tell you that heat denatures the enzyme, rendering it inert, so it no longer reacts with the oxygen to transform the phenol compounds. (Heat kills enzymes.) But all that science just gives me a rash. Winking smile

Another alternative: crockpot mashed potatoes

How to Keep Potatoes From BrowningMy dear blog friend Stacy from Stacy Makes Cents has a recipe for crockpot garlic mashed potatoes in her e-cookbook, Crock On. Crocking your taters would entirely free you up from even having to think about them. It would almost be like having a personal chef make the potatoes for you, and all you had to do was eat them. Crockpots are neat like that.

Read my review about Crock On here, or, if you want the recipe for crockpot mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving and don’t want to bother with any ol’ reviews in case it talks about phenols and denaturing enzymes (which it doesn’t), buy it now for $5, or get it on Kindle. That’s how I’m making our mashed potatoes this year.

One more Thanksgiving tip:

Brine your turkey! It’s simple and makes all the difference for a juicy bird. Here’s how.

Jessica, I hope this tip for keeping potatoes from turning brown helps you out! Happy Thanksgiving! (Have a question? Submit it in the contact me section.)

What’s your best Thanksgiving dinner shortcut?

Truth in the Tinsel Advent Experience

How To Bake a Ham – My Simple Recipe and Guide

I love a good, juicy ham on Easter and Christmas (and any day in between). Too often the hams we’ve had are dry, expensive and sickeningly sweet, even when we bought the high-priced, big name hams from the ham store. It’s enough to make a person sit down and cry into her taters. Therefore, we took it upon ourselves to find the cheapest, tastiest method of preparing ham that we could…just for you. You’re welcome.

How to Bake a Ham – A Simple Guide

A Simple Guide to Selecting, Baking, and Slicing a Juicy, Affordable Ham

(photo credit)

What do I need?

  • a ham
  • pan
  • one cup water (optional)
  • aluminum foil
  • meat thermometer
  • oven
  • optional ingredients for an optional sauce – ours only requires brown sugar and a sauce pan

Which ham should I buy?

The most convenient ham is, naturally, the spiral-sliced. Our experience with spiral cut, however, is that they dry out very easily. Because they are already cut, the heat has more surface area from which to draw moisture. Nothing can prevent moisture loss to some extent, not even the reams of aluminum foil we use to try and prevent its drying out.

For that reason, we buy unsliced ham, which, to our delight, is cheaper. I like the shank, because it is often the cheapest of all and not too difficult to slice. You can also grab yourself a nice butt which will work just as well for the same price or just a few pennies a pound more, depending on your store. According to our old butcher, the shank and butt are essentially the whole ham (which is the leg) chopped in half to form the separate cuts. With such little difference, I go for whichever is cheaper. (Here’s more than you ever wanted to know about ham cuts.)

Watch for a sale around the major holidays and you’ll really score big with your ol’ pigskin.

How do I cook the ham?

  1. Preheat your oven to 350.
  2. Put the ham in a pretty (okay, so it doesn’t have to be pretty) roasting pan with the bone side down, fat side up.
  3. Add one cup of water to the pan. (Some experts say not to do this, but I do it…so there, experts!)
  4. Cover it completely with aluminum foil. But aluminum foil will kill you! I know, but this ham is so juicy, you’ll die happy.
  5. Cook to the proper temperature as explained below, and immediately remove it from the oven.
  6. Let the ham rest covered for 20 minutes or so before slicing, so the juices redistribute throughout the ham.

How long do I cook the ham?

If the ham is pre-cooked, heat it to an internal temperature of 110-140 (Fahrenheit) and pull it from the oven, depending on how warm you want your ham. (If it’s fully cooked, you can theoretically eat it cold.)

If the ham is not pre-cooked or only partially cooked, heat it to 150-155 (Fahrenheit) and pull immediately. I know the meat police say 160, but it will continue cooking 5-10 degrees after you pull it. I pull at 150. If you wait for 160, you may have a dry ham. You’ve been warned.

Use a meat thermometer! Insert it well into the meat, but not touching the bone. if you don’t have a meat thermometer and you cook meat, buy one. If you don’t want to buy one, you’ll be cooking roughly 20-30 minutes per pound, but I won’t guarantee that your stove doesn’t run hot and that you won’t be eating a football. In that case, I wash my hands of your ham.

This is my meat thermometer:


You can buy one here.

What do I do about a glaze?

I won’t even go there! Okay, maybe just a little. There are as many ham glaze recipes out there as there are cooks to prepare them. Personally, I don’t like to be knocked out by an overwhelming shot of sugar, bourbon, cloves, or pineapple when all I really want is a nice big mouthful of meat. I want to taste the ham! Is that so wrong?!

Are you with me? It’s okay if you’re not, because you can do a quick search on any recipe site for half a gazillion glazes. Here are 68 glaze recipes from my favorite recipe site, Read the reviews and pick your favorite…but might I recommend you keep it simple?

Because my husband likes the option of a subtle sweetness with his ham, and others in my family like the option of eating ham without going into a diabetic coma, this is the method he whipped up:

The Simple Homemaker’s Husband’s Simple Ham Sauce

  1. Pour the pan drippings into a saucepan.
  2. Add 1/4 cup or so of brown sugar or honey (depending on how sweet you want it and how much juice you have).
  3. Heat it on the stove stirring to dissolve the sugar or honey, and testing for the sweetness level you’re looking for.
  4. Adjust with water if it’s too salty or thick, and sugar or honey if you want a sweeter juice. Taste as you go and adjust gradually.
  5. Serve it on the side as an optional au jus.

It is simple and delicious, but doesn’t coat the ham with sugar, which many people in my family can’t (or won’t) eat.

baked ham 2

(photo credit)

How do I slice a non-sliced ham?

  1. Insert your knife parallel to the bone and cut entirely around it. (Remember, the two L’s in the word “parallel” are parallel to each other, if you forgot your basic math.)
  2. Slice perpendicular to the bone to make nice slices that should fall away from the bone. (You will be cutting into the length of the bone, not the end…obviously.) Do this on either side of the bone.

There will be quite a bit of meat left on the bone, just as with the store-bought spiral cuts. I like to gnaw on this when nobody’s looking remove this meat later with a small knife and use it for any number of recipes needing diced ham, including scrambled eggs, bean or potato soups, fried rice, quiche, breakfast potatoes, salad.

Save the bone and toss it into a soup, crock of beans, or pot of jambalaya.

Here’s the boring printable version of how to bake a ham:

How To Bake a Simple Ham

Author: Christy, The Simple Homemaker
Prep time:
Total time:
A simple, juicy, affordable ham that will not put you into a diabetic coma…at least, I hope it won’t.
  • a ham
  • pan
  • one cup water (optional)
  • aluminum foil
  • meat thermometer
  • oven
  • optional ingredients for an optional sauce – ours only requires brown sugar and a sauce pan
  1. Preheat your oven to 350.
  2. Put the ham in a pretty (okay, so it doesn’t have to be pretty) roasting pan with the bone side down, fat side up.
  3. Add one cup of water to the pan. (Some experts say not to do this, but I do it…so there, experts!)
  4. Cover it completely with aluminum foil. But aluminum foil will kill you! I know, but this ham is so juicy, you’ll die happy.
  5. Cook to 150 using a meat thermometer if your ham is uncooked or partially cooked. If it’s fully cooked, warm it to your desired temperature, but no warmer than 140 or you may dry it out. Blech.
  6. Immediately remove it from the oven.
  7. Let the ham rest covered for 20 minutes or so before slicing, so the juices redistribute throughout the ham.
  8. Remove the drippings to a saucepan over low heat. Stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar or honey, taste, and add more if desired to sweeten the juices to your desired sweetness. Serve on the side so everybody is happy!


I hope your ham turns out as juicy and delicious (and affordable) as ours! Good luck!

Let me know what you think, including your best pointers on how to bake a ham…a simple ham.

But if you talk about scoring the outside in cross hatches, stuffing cloves all over, dousing it in bourbon, and then adding pineapple and maraschino cherries, I’ll know you didn’t really read this post and don’t embrace my “simple” philosophy. (Wink.)

I’m embarrassed to admit that I have no pictures of our own hams. Years of ham baking and experimentation, and nothing to show for it but full tummies. Special thanks to all the photographers credited above…but our hams look juicier. A-hem.