HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese? Share your food adventure

Ever have ham loaf?

lynnlato Apr 13, 2009 06:16 PM

I have a recipe that was written by my grandmother. It's titled Mrs. Whipple's Ham Loaf. This has been a staple in our family for generations. It's a combination of ground pork, ground ham, breadcrumbs, eggs and milk. Formed into a loaf and glazed w/ a brown sugar glaze (w/ cider vinegar, dry mustard, ground cloves & water). It's sooooo good and was always served w/ scalloped potatoes, green beans and pineapple souffle. Simple comfort food. The Italian deli, back home in PA, sells the loaves ready to bake. I've never seen ham loaf anywhere else and few folks I've met have heard of it. But those that have had it (or are from my hometown) seem to love it.

I no longer live in PA and so I have family bring me frozen loaves when they visit. I've spoke w/ a few butchers in the area and they cannot (will not) grind ham to blend w/ the pork. A NY butcher recently opened up shop here and he said he'd make the loaves if I give him the recipe.

Anyone familiar w/ ham loaf? What are it's origins... is it a PA dutch thang? How do you serve it and with what sides?

  1. b
    Bryan Pepperseed Dec 30, 2012 04:15 AM

    The recipe I have for "Glazed Ham Loaf" is from a 1958 book called 'Cooking with the Groundhog'. As part of a compilation by The Adrian Hospital Auxiliary of Punxsutawney, PA., it was submitted by a Mrs. W. North McCreight of Dubois, PA.
    Here's a link to the same recipe (second recipe listed) written by M. G. McCreight in 2010

    1. p
      patcook Dec 27, 2012 12:19 PM

      I just came across your post and I just made the ham loaf yesterday for family. Here's my recipe:

      HAM LOAF

      1 lb. Ground Ham (I grind mine in a food processor)
      1 lb. Ground Fresh Lean Pork
      1 C. Plain Breadcrumbs
      2 Eggs
      1 C. Milk

      Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Form into a loaf. Place into a shallow baking dish. Pour glazing mixture over ham loaf. Bake in heated oven for 1 1/2 hours, spooning glaze over ham loaf occasionally. Note: If glaze begins to get too thick, thin it with more water.

      3/4 C. Weak Vinegar (1/2 White Vinegar, 1/2 Water)
      1/2 C. Light Brown Sugar
      1 t. Dry Mustard

      In a small bowl, mix together vinegar and water, brown sugar and dry mustard.

      4 Replies
      1. re: patcook
        lynnlato Dec 28, 2012 07:06 AM

        Your recipe is nearly identical to my family recipe. I hope they enjoyed it! I am craving some ham loaf right now!

        1. re: lynnlato
          adorabella Nov 22, 2013 12:59 PM

          Lynnlato, I just came across your post about the ham loaf and am unable to find where you shared your recipe. My mother is from New Wilmington, PA, and is dying to get her hands on a Ham Loaf. She moved down south to Natchez, Ms, where we are now, and they do not have such an item down here though I have tried to find a store with it. Would you mind sharing the recipe with me here ? I would love to make it for her for the holidays as a surprise! Thank you so much in advance!

          1. re: adorabella
            lynnlato Nov 22, 2013 06:43 PM

            adorabella, gladly I will share it with you. Here ya go:

            Mrs. Whipple's Ham Loaf

            1 lb ground ham
            1.5 lbs ground fresh pork
            1 Cup bread crumbs
            2 Eggs
            3/4 Cup Milk

            Mix the above ingredients together and shape into a loaf. Baste with:

            1 Cup brown sugar
            1 T vinegar
            1 tsp. dry mustard
            pinch of ground cloves
            1/2 cup water

            Place loaf in an 8x8 pan, pour glaze over top and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 1.5 hrs., basting occasionally.

            I hope she enjoys it!

        2. re: patcook
          rainey Nov 22, 2013 01:49 PM

          Sound similar to the recipe that my m-i-l had tho I do remember hers was 1/3 smoked ham, 1/3 ground pork and 1/3 ground veal. She also topped hers with a vinegared glaze.

          I will give this a try. (Don't mind *at all* giving up the veal!) I hope it meets my husband's expectations. He loved this so much and it broke my heart to lose the recipe.

          Thanks so much!

        3. g
          genoviese Sep 10, 2012 07:44 PM

          Wish I could've answered you sooner but fate has brought us together! My husband who is originally fro Franklin PA loves this dish and i being from Milwaukee, WI had never heard of it till I met him. I believe this dish was brought to the forefront in PA and Ohio because of its strong Amish and Dutch heritage. Anyway you'll be happy to know that Gahr's supplies most of Pa with this dish and ships it online! I found this and your thread looking for places to buy online. Gahr'shamloaf.com is the site you'll want to visit~! There are also quite a few delicious recipes out there if you"re feeling adventurous but will need a food processor to grind down the cooked ham. Good Luck and happy hamloaf eating!!!!

          1. w
            woodboatman Jul 31, 2012 06:51 AM

            I grew up in Ohio and we had ham loaf as a child. I've lived in Maryland for 30+ years and the butchers here will not grind ham. I found an Amish guy at a local farmers market who sold me ham loaf mix but it just wasn't the same and didn't have as good flavor as what I get in Ohio when I go home to visit. I order a bunch when I visit Ohio once or twice a year and freeze it when I get back to Maryland. It freezes well. People either love it or hate it. Marylanders have never heard of it and usually say it sounds gross. However I love it and so does my family and it's really easy and fast to make. And cold ham loaf makes great sammies!

            1. c
              chattahoochee Jul 15, 2012 03:59 AM

              I grew up in the suburbs south of Pittsburgh and ham loaf was a staple at our house in the 50's and 60's. I loved it. My mother was Slovenian. Not sure if she picked this recipe up from another nationality group or if everyone in the neighborhood made this economical dish. Thanks to the OP for jogging my memory, I pulled out my mom's old recipe (hadn't looked for it in at least ten years) and made it last night. Here are my take-aways: It's best if the ham is processed through a food grinder but lazy me, I used the food processor instead. The processor worked fine, but texture is a little better with a grinder. Also best if made in a loaf pan rather than free form (my standard method for meatloaf) as it does get a little too brown. I didn't use a glaze, but I'm betting that would be great. Otherwise, the taste was wonderful! Also from my memory as a kid, leftover ham loaf makes a great sandwich the next day. And for those of you who like your food to look appetizing (duh), beware. My son lovingly refers to this as 'the pink loaf.'

              Ham Loaf

              1 lb. ground smoked ham
              1/2 lb ground pork
              1 cup fine bread crumbs
              1 egg
              milk to moisten
              1/4 cup minced onion
              1/2 cup minced celery
              1/4 tsp pepper
              salt to taste, if needed

              Mix ingredients. Press firmly into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes.

              1. iL Divo Jul 13, 2012 08:48 AM

                lynnlato, I'm not sure about this as I've not heard of it ever before, the ham loaf, but will say I love how it sounds and moreso what's served with it.

                now I'll read replies...........

                ok, so the butcher you found will make it if you give the recipe to him, yea, bet he would make it and then make a bazillion dollars off of your tried and true recipe. my opinion, I'd not share with the butcher.

                try another method for having one made first, like a friend that you trust.

                are you a familiar cook? meaning how do you do in a kitchen? have you tried making it yourself since you have the recipe? I'm sure several of us would try but it'd be presumptuous of us to ask for the recipe.

                It'd be great if you tried making it and then posted back, I'd love to know how it turned out.

                bet it's wonderful.

                is the ground pork and ground ham cooked or raw form? do you have the actual recipe or is it simply as you wrote here? I ask because wonder if you've tried looking online for a similiar sounding recipe.

                looking up, I'm sure you've seen this but in case you haven't..........


                3 Replies
                1. re: iL Divo
                  lynnlato Jul 13, 2012 10:57 AM

                  Hi il Divo! I never did share it with my butcher. But it is written, just as I shared it here. And it's cooked ham and ground fresh pork. I think the marry of the two products (raw & cooked) is an issue for some butchers so they just don't typically offer it.

                  I have a meat grinder attachment for my KitchenAid mixer and I do cook a lot, but I've just never attempted it myself. I suppose it's because it's so much easier to buy it from the butcher back home. I really need to get off this stupid computer and get to work on trying this. You may have given me the nudge I needed. I'll report back!

                  1. re: lynnlato
                    sandylc Jul 13, 2012 11:30 AM

                    Your recipe is unique from others with the fresh pork in it - all others I've seen have only ham. I think yours would be extra special with that added touch of fresh pork.

                    1. re: sandylc
                      LauraGrace Jul 14, 2012 07:07 PM

                      My mother's recipe is just like lynnlato's and the fresh pork makes it so much more moist than just the ham by itself. Since we make them into meatball shapes rather than a loaf, the pork helps them to hold together.

                2. j
                  jujuthomas Jul 13, 2012 07:31 AM

                  never had ham loaf until a few years ago. DH got a BBQ cookbook with a ginger glazed ham recipe in it, and a day-after ham loaf on the next page. it is fantastic. hmmm... gotta get DH to fire up the bbq now and make that ham! :-D

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jujuthomas
                    Berheenia Jul 13, 2012 10:16 AM

                    Just noticed that the latest issue of Saveur has a recipe that I would like to try


                    1. re: Berheenia
                      jujuthomas Jul 13, 2012 10:33 AM

                      that looks good! Our recipe uses ginger preserves and maybe some mustard... it's been too long. :)

                  2. r
                    rgilberts Jul 12, 2012 04:48 PM

                    California here, but I grew up in Franklin, Penna, where we had Wayne's Meat Market and they always sold hamloaf mix there..........but they have been closed for years. Last trip to Penna in 2011, at a farmer's market, a vender was there selling hamloaf mix and they do mailorder....fortunately, I had their magnetic business card on my refrigerator so here is the info: Gahr's Hamloaf Company (oven ready) Betsy & Mike Gahr, 150 Hines Lane, Frankin, PA 16323 ph: 814/437-3179 gahrshamloaf.com (hope the this is still good). and, yes, I think the hamloaf originated with the Penna Dutch community.

                    1. k
                      karenmoore Mar 13, 2012 08:15 AM

                      I know I'm getting picky here, but I just made my recipe for ham loaf and it seemed to be just a little bit drier than I remember it. I'm wondering if the reason is that pork these days is bred and fed to be so much leaner than the "old pork" used to be? I've read on various recipe sites that people have had that complaint with older recipes. I think that next time I'll either grind my own ham or pork with just a little bit of bacon or adjust the cooking time as the FDA has said that we no longer have to cook pork until it's well-well-done. I wonder if anyone else has had this problem? One friend said that she adds a little applesauce to any ground pork recipes she makes to increase juiciness - that may be a good answer for this dish. I posted my grandmother's ham loaf recipe a while ago here. Karen

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: karenmoore
                        Haldeman Mar 13, 2012 08:44 AM

                        The ham loaf I made last night was pretty moist...I used 2 eggs and 1 cup milk and 1 cup cracker crumbs then baked it at 350 for an hour, 10 minutes. I bought my mixture at the grocery store, it was already made with 1/2 ground pork and 1/2 ground ham. Maybe less crumbs and more moisture from eggs and milk would help you. Just a thought.

                        1. re: karenmoore
                          PGHGEOLOGIST Mar 13, 2012 11:04 AM

                          You might also want to ask your butcher to grind some pork shoulder for you. Most ground pork that you get at the grocery is pretty lean. Pork shoulder is not. I just made a ham loaf with pork shoulder and it was delicious. If you grind your own ham, be sure not to trim the fat.

                        2. s
                          sandylc Mar 12, 2012 06:55 PM

                          Here is a recipe adapted from Marcia Adams:

                          2 T. minced onion
                          3/4 cup bread crumbs
                          3 eggs
                          1/4 cup milk
                          1 1/4 lbs. cooked, ground ham
                          1 T. freshly ground pepper
                          1 T. dijon mustard
                          1 t. Worcestershire sauce
                          1/4 cup brown sugar

                          Oven 325. Mix together everything except the brown sugar. Pat into a buttered 4 x 8 loaf pan. Pat the brown sugar on top. Cover with foil and bake for 2 hours; uncover for the last 20 minutes.

                          1. e
                            eamcd Mar 12, 2012 04:23 PM

                            During some great family vacations in "PA Dutch Country" (mostly Lancaster County), we were introduced to ham loaf. Sometimes we can get it at the local "Dutch" market that has some Amish bakers and butchers come out.

                            One year we stayed on a farm B&B. The owners weren't Amish, but had lived in the area all their lives. One morning the abundant "country breakfast" spread included ham balls -- which were the same ham loaf mix formed into balls. Then they were baked with a syrup over them. That particular meat mix had a little extra ground clove in it and it was wonderful!

                            I haven't tried making either myself yet, although I did pick up a local cookbook. So I may just have to dig it out and try some of our favorite treats!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: eamcd
                              lynnlato Mar 12, 2012 06:41 PM

                              Someone up thread mentioned the ham balls a while back. That sounds delicious and I like the idea of having it for breakfast - yummmm. My dad used to make ham loaf sandwiches for lunch with the leftovers. He would even sometimes melt a slice of cheddar cheese on a slice of the ham loaf and eat it on a soft bun. Man, all this talk of ham loaf sure has stirred up my appetite. I'm going to have to try those ham balls sometime soon too.

                              1. re: eamcd
                                Haldeman Mar 13, 2012 08:42 AM

                                I use that same syrup over my ham loaf and baste it during cooking...may try adding ground cloves next time to the syrup.

                              2. s
                                sandylc Mar 12, 2012 02:51 PM

                                I grew up in Indiana eating ham loaf. Marcia Adams, cookbook author who has recorded hundreds of Amish recipes, has ham loaf recipes in her books. It is certainly an Amish recipe, but probably PA Dutch as well.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: sandylc
                                  Haldeman Mar 12, 2012 03:19 PM

                                  Sandylc... the Amish community in PA speak the language Pennsylvania Dutch, so we in Central PA often refer to the Amish in PA and the PA Dutch as the same...not all PA Dutch are Amish, but most PA Amish are PA Dutch....does that make sense? We kind of lump them all together as far as recipes go. My husband's Grandmother was considered PA Dutch, but she cooked the same as most of the Amish in the area.

                                  1. re: Haldeman
                                    sandylc Mar 12, 2012 03:32 PM

                                    That explains a lot! Thanks!

                                2. gingershelley Mar 12, 2012 02:46 PM

                                  I grew up in Seattle, so I don't know what the origin of our family tradition was, but my mom used to make a ham 'roll'; it was ground ham (she had one of those hand grinders you clamp to the pull-out cutting board), onion, green pepper, spices - don't remember what ones - and a little egg to bind it. She would spread that on a biscuit dough crust, roll it up, and bake on a sheet tray. Served with a mushroom soup and sweet sherry sauce on the side. I can still smell that baking...

                                  No recipe in her box, sadly, which I inherited when she passed away when I was 20. I would make it again just for nostalgia. Thanks for bringing up a fun memory!

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: gingershelley
                                    Haldeman Mar 12, 2012 03:12 PM

                                    gingershelley, PA Dutch ham loaf is made with cracker crumbs (I use Ritz), eggs, milk and 1/2 ground ham, 1/2 ground pork...then you make a sauce of brown sugar, vinegar, dry mustard and water to pour over the top and baste it while its cooking. My recipe is definitely a different version than yours...both sound good! I just finished my 2nd helping.... :)

                                    1. re: Haldeman
                                      lynnlato Mar 12, 2012 04:11 PM

                                      I started this thread almost 3 yrs ago and I don't see that I ever posted Mrs. Whipple's recipe. So, for those that may be interested, here it is:

                                      Mrs. Whipple's Ham Loaf

                                      Combine 1 lb. ground ham, 1 1/2 lbs ground pork, 1 cup bread crumbs, 2 eggs & 3/4 cup milk. Mix together and shape into a loaf. And then baste w/ a mixture of 1 cup brown sugar, 1 Tbl. vinegar, 1 tsp dry mustard, pinch ground cloves, 1/2 cup water. Bake for 1 1/2 hrs at 350 degrees, basting occasionally.

                                      1. re: lynnlato
                                        gingershelley Mar 12, 2012 04:47 PM

                                        Thanks for posting! I may try this... pull down mom's old hand grinder :)

                                        This mixture sounds pretty wet - do you make it in a loaf pan, or a free-form roll on a sheet pan?

                                        1. re: lynnlato
                                          Haldeman Mar 13, 2012 08:40 AM

                                          This is very much like my recipe, except I use 1 cup ritz cracker crumbs and increase milk to 1 cup and no cloves....I'll have to try the cloves. thanks for posting!

                                          1. re: lynnlato
                                            LauraGrace Jul 12, 2012 07:44 PM

                                            VERY much like my mama's recipe, which we inevitably use after Christmas to use up the fatty bits of the ham. It's the recipe that comes AFTER fried ham but BEFORE bean soup. ;) However, we always make ham balls rather than loaf -- more lovely brown bits on the outside. And they get baked with a sauce made of crushed pineapple, brown sugar and mustard. I'm sure it was the most de rigeur dish ever in 1965!

                                            1. re: LauraGrace
                                              lynnlato Jul 13, 2012 10:51 AM

                                              Ha! Yes, ham loaf was before bean soup. lol I like the idea of ham balls - the crusty bits are the best!

                                              1. re: lynnlato
                                                LauraGrace Jul 14, 2012 07:05 PM

                                                They really are delicious. I look forward to them every year!

                                      2. h
                                        Haldeman Mar 12, 2012 01:53 PM

                                        I am smelling the vinegar of my ham loaf sauce which is in the oven as I type. I live in Central PA, very much raised on PA Dutch type food. Ham Loaf was not something my mother made, but when I was younger and my children were babies, I had an 82 year old coworker who made this all the time and gave me her recipe. Well, I lost the recipe since then, but was in a local store and saw the ham loaf mixture (1/2 ground ham and 1/2 ground pork) already made up, so I thought, I'm gonna try this again. Found a recipe today online and am excited to see if it tastes as good as I remember. Since this is a quick meal, I am serving it with oven-friend sweet potato fries...I love PA Dutch cooking!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Haldeman
                                          lynnlato Mar 12, 2012 02:30 PM

                                          I have 2 ham loafs in my freezer right now and I think it's time to defrost one for dinner later this week. Haldeman, I hope you ham loaf dinner stirs up fond memories for you. Enjoy!

                                        2. s
                                          Stickywicket Jan 29, 2012 02:36 PM

                                          I live in PA Dutch Country (and have all my life). Ham loaf is a staple and it's made just as you described. The grocery stores and butchers around here sell it already ground and mixed. During the 50's and 60's every church, volunteer fire department, and any other service organization you can think of published their farorite recipes for fund raising. To identify a common recipe by it's uniqness, these recipes were title Mrs. Zimmerman's Shu-Fly Pie, Aunt Maisy's Apple Butter, etc. It sounds like Mrs. Whipple's recipe came out of one of these books. Anyway, the origin for ham loaf is unknown. It probabley goes back to the origin of Scrapple. And that's unknown too. Ham Loaf is really good comfort food. My family alway had their's with Hot Lettuce and Mashed potatos. Heven on earth.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Stickywicket
                                            wekick Jan 29, 2012 02:40 PM

                                            Is hot lettuce the same as wilted lettuce?

                                          2. c
                                            cleobeach May 18, 2011 11:45 AM

                                            Another Central PAer chiming in - ham loaf is definately common in the PA German (Dutch) culture, the Amish and Mennonite ones and in the region in general

                                            The local market in my town sells out of ham loaf every week. It is one of those things that if you want it, you better get there Wednesday afternoon when the truck arrives because it is gone by Thursday afternoon.

                                            1. h
                                              HBGigi May 18, 2011 11:17 AM

                                              My recipe is from a clipping I got from the OC Register years ago. I make it to use up leftover baked ham and I especially like it because it doesn't call for ground up fresh pork. It's just ground ham, soft bread crumbs, onion, parsley, milk and seasonings. After it bakes, it calls for brown sugar topping, then heated and lit brandy over the top.

                                              I don't make it very often but we do like it with scalloped potatoes or mac & cheese and a green vegetable.

                                              1. alliegator May 17, 2011 01:22 PM

                                                I'm not sure what the recipes used were, but ham loaf was a regular on my grandmother's dinner table and other relatives and friends had it as well. I remember it being ok but not a favorite. I'd honestly forgotten about it until this thread caught my eye :) Not sure if it's a PA Dutch thing or just something unique to the area.
                                                You guessed it: I'm from central Pennsylvania.

                                                1. p
                                                  PGHGEOLOGIST May 17, 2011 12:56 PM

                                                  My family is Pennsylvania Dutch and I believe that that is the origin of ham loaf. My wife, who is Irish/Italian had never heard of it, but a Pennsylvania Dutch friend in college had. It is a family favorite that my Grandmother used to make every couple of months and I still make it a couple of times each year. She had two recipes. One was 1/2 pork 1/2 ham with bread crumbs, eggs and pepper. The other was 1/4 pork, 1/4 veal, and 1/2 ham, also with bread crumbs, eggs and pepper. Both used a glaze of vinegar, mustard, brown sugar and water.

                                                  1. t
                                                    tomatoaday Jul 27, 2010 12:45 PM

                                                    My husband and I make ham loaf to use up the last parts of holiday hams. We use a kitchen aid grinder attachemnt but I see no reason why a processor pulse action wouldn't be just as effective. Anyhow, I am almost positive that the recipe we use is in the old Craig Claiborne's New York Times Cookbook. I'm not at home or I would check but perhaps you can google the index?

                                                    1. corneygirl Jul 27, 2010 11:08 AM

                                                      We serve hamloaf as a lunch special at the bar I work at. We serve hearty homemade farm style lunches. We are in Iowa, but there is a good sized Amish/Mennonite community so there is probably some similar traditions. We serve it the same as you remember only with bread and butter, but no pineapple souffle.

                                                      FWIW we grind the ham in a food processor and it works out fine.

                                                      Edit: I saw ground ham at the grocery store by the sandwich slices the other day (a lot of ham salad here as well)

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: corneygirl
                                                        wekick Jul 27, 2010 12:29 PM

                                                        I've seen ham loaf ready made in the butcher case in Iowa! I have to make my own. I grind it in a hand grinder though.

                                                      2. k
                                                        karenmoore Jul 27, 2010 08:06 AM

                                                        We're from central/western Pa. and ham loaf was always a favorite at our house. We make it with ground ham or smoked pork shoulder (2 pounds) and ground pork (1 pound), 2 eggs, 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs, and 1/3 cup milk. The glaze is 1 can of tomato soup, 2 T. cider vinegar, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 t. dry mustard and ground cloves as desired. Half the glaze goes on before baking at 375 for about 1 hour to 1hour 15 minutes. No problem with the butcher, most sell ground pork, just have them grind a 2 pound piece of ham separately and mix it yourself. Surely they'll grind ham for ham salad? Sometimes they have to grind cooked meats first thing in the morning so put in the order a day ahead. We serve this with a pineapple/bread strata kind of casserole and a green vegetable and pass the extra glaze. Its really good and the ham can be made as a single loaf or individual mini-loaves, adjusting cooking time as necessary.

                                                        1. wekick Aug 17, 2009 01:35 PM

                                                          I love ham loaf and was just thinking about making one. My kids really loved the ham loaf meat balls and I make them the same way you are talking about. The use of a grinder
                                                          is mandatory to me to get the right texture. The food processor is too fine, for me.
                                                          I also have to have the grinder for ham salad and relishes too.
                                                          I live in Missouri and see them occasionally here. I've seen them in southern cookbooks too.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: wekick
                                                            scoooter5 Aug 17, 2009 01:50 PM

                                                            I acquired a Ham Balls recipe from a friend with mid-West roots (Iowa, I think). The recipe he gave me has ground cooked ham, ground pork and ground beef. It, like the recipe laliz refers to, contains ground up graham crackers as the binder.

                                                          2. l
                                                            laliz Aug 17, 2009 12:44 PM

                                                            I remember ham loaf with great fondness ~~ also ham balls (for some reason we called them golf balls and I think I remember graham cracker crumbs in the recipe)

                                                            I grew up in Erie PA

                                                            I seem to remember the ham loaf glazed with cranberries??????

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: laliz
                                                              lynnlato Aug 17, 2009 06:03 PM

                                                              What is this "ham balls" thang? I'm not familiar - but you've piqued my curiousity!

                                                              I just returned from PA - and have two ham loaves, from the butcher, in my fridge - yay!

                                                              (cranberries in the glaze is not familiar to me, but sounds good)

                                                            2. m
                                                              mellibean Aug 17, 2009 12:13 PM

                                                              Yep, many times. I grew up in Ohio (so I guess we were neighbors) and it was served often in the winter especially. It was always served with scalloped potatoes and greenbeans here as well. I remember occassionally it being paired up with mac and cheese. My mom made it and it made regular rounds at my school (moms was better). They still sell prepared loaves of this here in Lancaster Ohio at the Carnival supermarket. Again I see it more in the winter time.

                                                              1. jodymaryk Apr 18, 2009 09:40 AM

                                                                I laughed when I saw the title of your post. My mother, who is gone now, use to make a ham loaf. She was raised in Traverse City, Michigan but moved to Seattle when she married my Dad at 18. Funny, last name was Hipple (similar to your grandmothers name). Anyway, I know I have seen the recipe around but just did a quick search through her recipe box and couldn't find it although I did find a SPAM loaf (gasp) recipe that looked similar, bread crumbs, milk onions, celery, seasonings, ect... Someone mentioned that ham loaf was kind of a joke in their family and the last time my mother made the ham loaf, maybe 20+ years ago, my husband (boyfriend at the time) nearly gagged. It was SOOO salty! She had been a smoker for many years and I think she was losing her tastebuds. I always remember her as a great cook but still can't convince my husband that she was! Anytime I mention her cooking, he mentions the horrific ham loaf! Thanks for the morning chuckle!

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: jodymaryk
                                                                  lynnlato Apr 18, 2009 10:23 AM

                                                                  Ha! Glad it brought back a memory that made you smile. Ham loaf does the same for me. My mom has been gone for many years, but every time I eat it - it reminds me of my childhood and her.

                                                                  As for Mrs. Whipple - I have NO IDEA who she is. It's just the name of the recipe on the recipe card my grandmother wrote. I'm not sure if she's was a celebrity back in the 1940's... I've tried to research it online and have come up empty. Although, I did find a "vintage recipe" for "Mrs. Whipple's Restaurant Salad". The only Whipple I recall is the "please don't squeeze the Charmin" guy. :)

                                                                2. chef chicklet Apr 16, 2009 07:37 PM

                                                                  Not in years, my Dad had a meat slicer, and grinder so we had homemade sausage and ground meats for lunches and dinners. (took me years to eat those links in packs) But they always had a ham for one of the holidays, or New Years Eve, and they grind what was left. We'd have ham loaf and he'd serve it with a sauce. I sure wish I had that recipe now, I have left over ham.
                                                                  Can I grind ham in a food processor? I don't have the attachement for my KA.

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                    lynnlato Apr 17, 2009 05:12 AM

                                                                    I have the meat grinder attachment for my KitchenAid, but I don't see why you can't use your food processor - just use the pulse button. If you'd like, I can post my families' recipe. Its very simple and is the same recipe used by the Pennsylvania butcher where I buy my loaves.

                                                                    1. re: lynnlato
                                                                      chef chicklet Apr 17, 2009 01:37 PM

                                                                      YES! I would love it, I have no idea where to begin with my Dad's recipe, other than I think used to see the Coleman's mustard...

                                                                      1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                        lynnlato Apr 17, 2009 01:52 PM

                                                                        I emailed it to you. OMG, Coleman's mustard - my mom swore by that stuff. LOL

                                                                        1. re: lynnlato
                                                                          chef chicklet Jul 27, 2010 11:54 AM

                                                                          Lynn I swear I never saw this! Would you mind emailing it again, I took my address off for awhile because I was getting emails that were on the weird side, hopefully that won't happen again. Thanks!!! I use coleman's mustard, it makes a great addition to beans, etc/

                                                                  2. Boccone Dolce Apr 16, 2009 07:24 PM

                                                                    But I have had Pimento Loaf. TOTALLY different. Possibly not piggy. I have to be in the mood for it.

                                                                    1. jillp Apr 14, 2009 04:42 PM

                                                                      The recipe I had for ham loaf was from a fund-raising cookbook compiled the Congregational Church of Terre Haute, IN, circa 1970. Evelyn Paige's recipe contains both ground ham and veal, if I remember it correctly. I'm not a meat loaf fan, either, but ham loaf is indeed a different thing.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: jillp
                                                                        lynnlato Apr 14, 2009 05:22 PM

                                                                        Ham blended with veal, eh? Interesting. I've never had anything that deviated from my family's recipe but yours sounds intriguing. Do you still have the recipe?

                                                                        1. re: jillp
                                                                          rainey Apr 18, 2009 01:18 PM

                                                                          My husband's mother used to make a ham loaf back in the 60s that had equal parts of cured ham, fresh ham (pork) and veal ground together. He *loved* this stuff.

                                                                          I made it for him once from his mother's recipe. I thought I tasted like Spam but he was in ecstasy. Still, I wish I had the recipe now to make it for him again.

                                                                        2. a
                                                                          ajcraig Apr 14, 2009 04:24 PM

                                                                          Ham Loaf. That brings back memories. Somewhere I actually have a recipe that has is a ham loaf topped with a layer of spinich mixed w/ mayo and onion and then topped again with a layer of cheesy mashed potatoes. The whole thing baked in one massive mound. It was comfort food squared, or what we call "goo food". Hmmmmm....I wonder where that recipe is...

                                                                          1. k
                                                                            karykat Apr 14, 2009 11:41 AM

                                                                            I talked to my mother about her recipe. It used cooked ham that was ground up in a meat grinder. It may have had some ground pork in there too. There was an apricot glaze that was great. She also said she served a horseradish cream sauce on the side. (Which I'm sure I didn't eat as a kid.)

                                                                            Her recipe came from North Dakota or Wisconsin friends -- but who knows where it originated.

                                                                            1. Katie Nell Apr 14, 2009 10:10 AM

                                                                              I'm not sure if I've ever tried it, not being a huge ham fan myself. Ham Loaf is kind of a running joke in our family, and I'm afraid my great aunt is the butt of the joke! She loves her Ham Loaf and has apparently forced it upon many family members through the years. However, the joke was on me... when I went to do the family cookbook, she only submitted two recipes- Ham Loaf and Liver Sausage Loaf! Neither sounds very appealing! We're a midwestern family- she lived in central Kansas at the time when she acquired the recipe.

                                                                              1. kpaumer Apr 14, 2009 09:48 AM

                                                                                You can still buy ham loaf at the local farmer's market here in Central PA. It is sold already made at local suprmarkets such as Karn's. Also it is sold at the farmer's markets, Roots, West Shore FM (where there are Clyde Weaver's Deli meats, THE BEST!! ) and the Mennonites at the Broad St. market.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: kpaumer
                                                                                  lynnlato Apr 14, 2009 10:03 AM

                                                                                  Good to know its still popular in central PA. When I go home to Williamsport to visit, I always pick up a couple at Tony's Deli on Washington Blvd. Interestingly, I am not a fan of meatloaf, but love hamloaf. It's a completely different thing. Pork and ham? What's not to love? :)

                                                                                  1. re: kpaumer
                                                                                    annex Apr 16, 2009 06:44 PM

                                                                                    I know you could also buy pre-made ham loaf at butchers in Western NY, too. My grandmother would drive to some butcher near Lake Erie to get it. Some Amish in the area, though not as many as PA.

                                                                                  2. lynnlato Apr 14, 2009 07:39 AM

                                                                                    Bon Appetit published a ham loaf recipe in 1998. Here's a link:


                                                                                    There's not much info about ham loaf and its origins on the 'net. However, it does appear that it may be a PA dutch/amish thing as many of the recipes have those words in the recipe title.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                      restless Apr 14, 2009 09:29 AM

                                                                                      We had hamloaf growing up frequently. I grew up in PA Dutch country. I think my mom bought the ham loaf mix already prepared at the local grocery store, owned by Mennonites.

                                                                                      1. re: lynnlato
                                                                                        wekick Oct 29, 2010 01:43 PM

                                                                                        Gentrified ham loaf---orange marmalade and dijon mustard

                                                                                      2. s
                                                                                        silverhawk Apr 14, 2009 07:07 AM

                                                                                        i'm from iowa and we used to have ham loaf when i was a kid--ham loaf or ham balls. this was simply a way of using up leftover ham that was in pieces mom could no longer slice.

                                                                                        my go-to reference for old-time recipes is james beard's <american cookery.> predictably, this wonderful source book contains recipes for both ham loaf and ham balls.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: silverhawk
                                                                                          wyogal Mar 13, 2012 09:00 AM

                                                                                          Great cookbook.

                                                                                        2. b
                                                                                          Brunhilde Apr 13, 2009 08:55 PM

                                                                                          We have a cookbook that is basically a collated collection of recipes gathered by a local woman, most of which seem to be from the post-war canned goods as king era. It has recipes for tuna in gelatin, and bean and olive bake, and similarly unappetizing things. It also contains a recipe for "Upside Down Ham Cake". It's the same ingredients as you listed, plus pineapple rings. We've never tried it, nor anything else from this cookbook.

                                                                                          There's also a recipe for pancakes, layered with ground beef, sour cream, asparagus, and american cheese. It's called "Fiesta Pancake Stack".

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Brunhilde
                                                                                            King of Northern Blvd Apr 14, 2009 06:30 AM

                                                                                            Wow! That collection of recipes sounds Horrifying! :)

                                                                                            1. re: King of Northern Blvd
                                                                                              snoboardbabe77 Apr 14, 2009 07:01 AM

                                                                                              I know exactly what you are talking about (I'm in Minnesota). My grandmother used to make "ham balls" with those exact same ingredients. There was a butcher/company either in MN or Iowa that came in blue and white packages called "moon's ham loaf" - and she mixed it to make meatballs that she'd broil first in the oven and then transfer to a crockpot. We had them every time we visited her. I've only known about Moon's...you could try googling it.

                                                                                            2. re: Brunhilde
                                                                                              lynnlato Apr 14, 2009 07:35 AM

                                                                                              Yea, can't say that I'd try anything in that cookbook either - ew. However, hamloaf I know is a far stretch from the "Fiesta Pancake Stack" you described.

                                                                                            3. k
                                                                                              karykat Apr 13, 2009 08:24 PM

                                                                                              I remember my mother making a ham loaf. I think it had a glaze on it -- maybe pineapple? I do remember liking it as a kid.

                                                                                              She is German Wisconsin. I don't know where she got her recipe -- maybe from a friend. I will ask her what's in it and where she got it.

                                                                                              1. s
                                                                                                somervilleoldtimer Apr 13, 2009 06:56 PM

                                                                                                I have no idea, even thought i grew up in PHilly. BUt i will say I do love ham salad, with some sweet pickle and red pepper thrown in there.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: somervilleoldtimer
                                                                                                  lynnlato Apr 13, 2009 08:11 PM

                                                                                                  I am a fellow ham salad lover too. I also stock up on this at my PA deli "back home". Never heard of ham loaf, eh? See, to many it is a mystery. :)

                                                                                                Show Hidden Posts