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Two questions- one about country ham and one about dressing...

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It has fallen on me to fix a country ham (Smithfield) and the dressing for Christmas dinner on Sunday. What I need to know is how much stuff can I do in advance? I have the run of my kitchen all by my lonesome until Friday afternoon, then I am supposed to carry everything three hours away to my in-laws on Friday night.

From there it will be pretty hectic- too many cooks in a very small kitchen trying to fix everything else for a group of 25-30 hungry people.

I *can* get into the middle of all that, but it would certainly be preferable to have most, if not all of my stuff done!

The ham (17 lbs) needs to soak for 24 hours, then it needs to simmer for a little over 7 hours. Then I need to pull the skin off, glaze it, and put it back in the oven for 15 minutes. Should I just go ahead and do everything while I'm still at home, and then refrigerate from Friday night until lunch on Sunday? Should I do it *all* after I get down there so we can have ham fresh from the oven? Or should I do part of it here (just the soaking and simmering) and then stick it in the oven down there two days later?

I'm at a loss!

As far as the dressing goes, I'm just making a standard sausage/cornbread dressing. It was my idea to just mix all the ingredients while still at home and then bake it down there, but if someone has a better idea, I'm all ears!

Thanks in advance for your response!

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  1. While I am on the topic, does anyone know where I can buy a big roaster to cook the ham in? Just realized that the roaster I have isn't big enough...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Clarkafella

      Why don't you buy an aluminum one at the grocery store or Target?

      1. re: alysonlaurel

        Well, I was going to do the simmering on top of the stove and I don't think that the aluminum things would handle it. It is supposed to simmer for more than 7 hours...