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It’s just ham, y’all

We are having gammon for Thanksgiving this year. I think this might be the first time ever I’m not having turkey on Turkey Day, but Uncle B was the first to point out that we have two turkey holidays a month apart and then don’t eat it again for a whole year.

Looked at that way, it diminishes the specialness of…one or the other holiday, somehow.

I have been puzzled over the exact meaning of “gammon” ever since I moved here – especially when I learned it’s also called boiled bacon. Delicious!

It’s just ham, though. Upper leg of pig (nowhere near bacon, but whatever). We’re going to pressure cook it.

Pic nicked from Wikimedia, with proper attribution.

With it, we’re having homemade dinner rolls and the traditional pease pudding – an unremarkable starchy side dish that does well with pork (do follow the link if you’d like to take a peep at pease pudding and faggot).

Speaking of Christmas turkey, I ordered mine yesterday. I know your turkeys have gone through the roof this year, but you can console yourself they’re still substantially more expensive in Jollye Olde.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 23, 2022, 8:12 pm

The smallest free-range bronze turkey I could order was nine pounds in weight. He said if he could get one that was exactly nine pounds, it would cost £56, which is $67.51 at this moment.

On the other hand, gotta say, these are seriously fancy turkeys.

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: November 23, 2022, 8:23 pm


Is that a whole shank or butt portion OR is it a spiral pre-cut?

I happened to run across this entertaining cooking segment the other day which is right on target with the pressure cooking of the ham.


Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: November 23, 2022, 9:31 pm

$7.50/!b? Ouch! Frozen whole turkey can be had for 59¢/lb around here. Even Whole Foods has it for $1.99 ($2.99 for “organic”).

Comment from Armybrat
Time: November 23, 2022, 10:31 pm

Got a butterball 49¢/lb. it’s brining now. We’ll fry it tomorrow. Got a second turkey to throw in the freezer at that price.

Comment from BJM
Time: November 23, 2022, 11:42 pm

‘Tis the season…for Dungeness crab….that’s what we’re having…accompanied by cold beer, crunchy sourdough, a tub o’drawn butter and a green salad. The salad usually gets eaten the next day with cold crab leftovers.

The dogs keep visiting the laundry to sniff the crabs in their comfy overnight Yeti bed.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: November 24, 2022, 12:41 am

$1.09/.99 lb. We got 2 because there’s no such thing as too much turkey.

Unless you buy it at the new Butts store over in Plano, where the cheap ones were $2.49/lb.

And we’d be very worried
if you misspelled that as gamine or gamin.

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: November 24, 2022, 1:11 am

Enjoy it while you can. I rather expect that next year, such goodies are going to be unavailable/unaffordable. We are having turkey at my son’s place tomorrow. For years we have avoided the two turkeys in a short time problem by having prime rib and cioppino for Christmas dinner, which we will be having here. And once again, I expect that this will be the last time that the they will be available or affordable possibly for the rest of my life.

Subotai Bahadur

Comment from M
Time: November 24, 2022, 1:54 am

Turkey for Thanksgiving, ham for Christmas and prime rib for New Years. MUST have ham for Christmas to go with the scalloped potatoes.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: November 24, 2022, 3:18 am

Happy Thanksgiving to Badger House, and to all of Stoaty and Uncle Badger’s friends.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: November 24, 2022, 3:27 am

We’ve got four of us family here in Florida, one in North Carolina, and another pair in Michigan. We get fairly frequent visits but the distant three, being savvy travelers, stay away from airports to avoid holiday insanity. As a result we have already had Thanksgiving dinner (always turkey), we four locals will take advantage of Publix’s yearly standing rib roast sale (this year it’s up two bucks at $9.99/lb) for a follow-up dinner next week. We’re still plotting Christmas and New Year’s Eve which we’ll celebrate the 4th of January because that’s my BIL’s birthday.

In other words, we observe the actual holidays qua holidays, and then use them as loose excuses to EAT MASS QUANTITIES on some nearby date.

p.s. Tomorrow, the actual U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, will see just the two of us having leftover pizza. But we really LIKE leftover pizza!

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: November 24, 2022, 2:09 pm

Re: gammon. You have mentioned gammon before, Stoaty, and it’s a word that always made me curious. So last night I hopped down the bunny trail to see if gammon was related to the word gams, as in an attractive pair of lady-legs. The Online Etymology Dictionary is a favorite resource, and sure enough, this is what it said about gams:

gams (n.) “legs,” 1781, low slang, probably the same word as gamb “leg of an animal on a coat of arms” (1727) and ultimately from Middle English gamb “leg,” which is from French (see gammon). Now, in American English slang, especially with reference to well-formed legs of pretty women, but this was not the original sense.

gam (n.)”a leg,” 1781, see gams. Called “cant” in the oldest citation.


American soldiers stationed in England during WWII apparently picked up on “gammon as ham as legs” and applied it to their pin-up girls and airplane nose art. My second-father Pop frequently said in reference to my mother, “Look at the gams on that Doll.” And she did indeed, have spectacular legs (think of stupefying Jones). Pop was stationed in the UK early in the war and was D-Day+3.

Though the usage could date from WWI. More research is needed 🙂

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: November 24, 2022, 9:17 pm

From the OED:

gam (1) n. Sc.
[Perh. onomatopœic. Cf. gamp v.
   The formation may have been partly suggested by some of the many words with initial ga- that refer to prominent or ugly teeth; cf. gabbed, gag-tooth, gang-tooth, gap-tooth, gat-tooth, etc. An adj. ‘gam, overlapping and twisted, applied only to the teeth’ cited from a Banff Glossary (Jam. 1880), may perh. have arisen from the attrib. use of the n. Etymological connexion with gum (Sc. obs. gume, OE. góma) seems to be phonologically impossible.]

1. In pl. Large teeth, tusks.
2. (Perh. only arch. and confounded with gum.) The mouth.

gam (2) n. Naut.
[Perh. a dial. var. of game n., or adopted from some Scandinavian equivalent; cf. Da. gammen, Sw. gamman, Icel. gaman, sport, amusement, pleasure; but the Da. and Sw. dicts. do not record any technical sense as current among whalers.]

a. A herd or school of whales. b. A social meeting of whalers at sea.

gam (3), n. slang.
[Prob. the same as gamb.]

A leg.

gam (4), n. Brit. slang. Draft entry June 2007

An act of fellatio.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: November 24, 2022, 9:22 pm

One more from the OED:

gammon, n.
Forms: 5–6 gambon(e, 6 gammound, gamond(e, (Sc. gawmond), 6–7 gammond, gamon, 9 Sc. gammont, 6– gammon.

[a. ONF. gambon (mod.F. jambon) ham, f. gambe (mod.F. jambe) leg.]

1. The ham or haunch of a swine. Also transf.

2. The bottom piece of a flitch of bacon, including the hind leg; also, a smoked or cured ham.

3. Sc. dial. Gammonts, gammons, the feet of an animal; often those of pigs, sometimes called petit-toes.

4. Comb., as gammon-faced, gammon-visaged adjs.; gammon-essence

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: November 24, 2022, 10:28 pm

Where’s the entry describing it as the name of one of the rubber monsters that fought rubber Godzilla in the middle of Tokyo?

Godzilla vs Gammon!

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