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Sunday, December 4, 2011

“Special Menus Index, Pt. XXII: Christmas Menu 2011, Pt. I—Holiday Baked Ham with Rhubarb Sauce—deliciously Different”

The Grateful Dead’s ninety-fifth album, “Fillmore West 1969,” was released on November 25, 2005 just like the complete one we offered yesterday and was another great edition of the retrospective live album series! We love it and think you will, too, so go out and buy it by using the handy link to Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer and get it now! You won’t be disappointed!  Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.


Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 383 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!


                                                   STINKBUG 2011


Chef Fritz Schlependrecht

END Commentary 12-05-2011

Copyright © 2011 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,956.



Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Monday, December 05, 2011 by Chef Fritz Schlependrecht


 Special Menus Index, Pt. XXII: Christmas Menu 2011, Pt. I—Holiday Baked Ham with Rhubarb Sauce—deliciously Different

Bakersfield, CA, 12-05-2011 M: I’m very pleased to be the first outside author to be invited to write for the Elemental News of the Day, I am very proud that Stinkbug chose my letter of introduction and my recipes to become a part of this worthy blog site and no less to be given the coveted the Special Menus Index to do the CHRISTMAS 2011 series of posts.  That is a high honor and I am hopeful that I won’t let either him or you, the readership, of this blog down.  I think I have a great week of material lined up for you and it’s going to commence with a Baked Ham with a Rhubarb Sauce, something that is slightly out of the ordinary but being out of the ordinary means that it’s good!  

My father, Chef Fritz, Sr, owned a German restaurant in Southern California and that is where I apprenticed to become a chef.  It was a hard life as my father was a tough disciplinarian and he always expected the best which is what I delivered or at least tried to deliver.  I spent my early years with him and then moved to Bakersfield in 1982 and became a sous chef at one of the top hotels here alongside the Highway 99, the major thoroughfare north and south through central California.  In all the time I labored here, I think I met Stinkbug on a few occasions, most notably at the Chefs de Cuisine of Greater Bakersfield where he and I were both members.  It was a hectic life being an ACF member and working for the hotel and this meant that we only crossed paths at chefs’ dinners and at the occasional meetings.  Needless to say when I became aware of his blog and saw his offer, I was hopeful he’d remember me and would give me a chance and much to my pleasure, he did and here I am.

            CHRISTMAS DINNER 2011 MENU

I.                   Holiday Baked Ham with Rhubarb Sauce

II.               Scalloped Potatoes

III.            Candied Yams

IV.             Glazed Carrots

V.                Gingered Rutabagas

VI.             Green Beans Americana

VII.         Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

VIII.      Chicken Noodle or Rice Soup

IX.             Spice Muffins

X.                “P. P.” Muffins

XI.             Jellied Apricot and Cottage Cheese Salad

XII.         Stuffed Pink Pear Salad

XIII.      Cranberry Gelatin Salad

XIV.       Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie

Our recipe for today is the beginning of our Christmas 2011 Week, a week or two early so that you can learn the recipes and then to prepare them well-before the holiday commences.  I mean, it would be extremely difficult to learn a recipe on the same day you had to make it which is why our holiday series will always run a week or two early in order to give our readership the necessary time to formulate it in their minds.  This one is a tasty ham dish topped with a sweet-and-savory rhubarb sauce.  I think you will enjoy it, my friends, so if you’re ready, let’s begin:


Yield:  6-8 servings / Mis-en-place: :

4-5 #
Smoked ham, whole, boneless

Brown Mustard

Ground cinnamon

Ground cloves

Kosher salt

Black pepper

Celery scraps

Yellow onion scraps

Carrot scraps

Leek scraps

Pineapple rings
Juice reserved
Whole maraschino cherries sans stems

Light brown sugar

Freshly minced parsley


1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Remove the ham from the wrapping and rinse it off underneath cold running water; set aside.  Preheat a standard oven to 375°F or a convection oven—fan “on”—to 325°F.  Spray a large roasting pan with a tight-fitting lid with PAM or some such other food release spray. Score the ham with a sharp knife about an eighth of an inch deep in a crisscross manner, spacing the lines about one-quarter-of-an-inch apart. Rub it with the mustard on all sides and then sprinkle heavily with the ground cinnamon and cloves and then lightly with salt and pepper.

2.      Place it into the prepared pan and surround it with all of the vegetable scraps.  Place it inside your preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes uncovered; then, add the water and reserved pineapple juice and clamp on the lid and continue baking for another 2-2.5 hours or until the ham’s internal temperature reads 165°F when tested dead-center with a quick-temp thermometer.  When it does, pull it out.

3.      Top the ham with as many pineapple rings as is possible using more if need be.  Fill each ring with a whole maraschino cherry and return to the oven uncovered.  When the pineapple rings are warm, top it with the brown sugar and pack it as tightly as possible. 

4.      Using a ladle, scoop up some of the ham’s juices which have augmented the water you added earlier and slowly dribble it across the top to melt the brown sugar—gradually! Continue doing this until the sugar’s melted and there’s a crusty glaze atop the ham.  Remove it from the oven then and sprinkle with the parsley flakes.  Allow it to rest for 4-5 minutes and then prepare to slice it.

5.      Using a very sharp slicer, slice the meat in a crisscross manner and place it into a bake dish sprayed with PAM.  When all is layered, top with the bits and pieces of pineapple and cherries and pour whatever pan drippings remain in the roasting pan across it.  Then, it’s time to take it to the table for presentation and serving purposes.  You can also take it to the table in its entirety and carve it there; whichever way works for you is the one you should utilize.

This is a classic recipe for baked ham.  I prefer boneless smoked hams but other ones work just as well.  The great thing about doing ham for the holidays is that you can cook it the night before and slice it and then the next day, reheat it covered in a 375°F oven—covered with some liquid—until it reads 165°F.  Then, you can serve it with your other entrees and sauces and will spend less time in the kitchen.  Leftovers can be chilled or frozen but should be cooled down as quickly as possible to below 45°F. This is the low-end for the Danger Zone, 45°F-140°F, the optimal temperature for the development of harmful bacteria.  Always be careful with your food!

Okay, here’s the Rhubarb Sauce, actually a pie filling to which (if you follow the closing comments) you’ll add some cherry juice to thin it down.  Let’s do it and then we’ll add a couple of comments:


Yield: about one quart / Mis-en-place: 30 minutes:

Frozen cherry rhubarb, in its own juices


Granulated sugar

Almond extract

Kosher salt

Red food color

Ground cinnamon

Pineapple flavoring

Lemon juice

Clear gel or cornstarch


1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! You can use fresh rhubarb but it must be washed, trimmed, and ALL green removed because whether you know it or not, the green is poisonous and not fit for human consumption.  Amazing, isn’t it? Frozen is preferable because it actually doesn’t shrivel up to nothing and also because it has juice on it if you can find it that way. Either way, have it ready and if frozen, drain it and keep the fruit chilled.

2.      Place the water into a large saucepot and place over a medium flame.  Combine the remaining ingredients together in the bowl of an electric mixer and combine at low speed.  Add some of the hot water—just enough to moisten and to dissolve the clear gel (preferable) or cornstarch—and then stop mixing.

3.      Add the rest of the liquid out of the saucepot and blend well.  Spray the pot with PAM or some such other food release spray and then pour the liquid back into it from the mixer through a fine-meshed sieve.  Force through any remaining blobs of gel or sugar.

4.      Bring the heat up to a high simmer-low boil and stirring constantly, cook it until the gel has thickened and has become clear.  Stop then and remove from the stove.  Add the rhubarb gently by folding it in with a kitchen spoon. When all combined, use for pies, cobblers, or dilute it with a little cherry juice or nectar and use it as a sauce.

5.      Always cool to below 45°F if saving for later and keep it refrigerated in a sanitized airtight container.  The filling will remain usable for 4-5 days and then must be either used or discarded.

This is the classic rhubarb formula that everyone knows and loves; well, at least the rhubarb fans! It does make a beautiful pie and can be combined with fresh strawberries to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie.  This is the ONLY way that strawberries can be used in a HOT pie or cobbler.

To serve your Baked Ham with Rhubarb Sauce, you can ladle the sauce over the sliced ham or accompany the meat with the sauce in a large tureen, bowl, or in large goosenecks.  Whichever way you choose to go, you will find that it will be the best ham in the best presentation possible and everyone will be knocked out of their minds with gastronomic pleasure! Trust me, this is a no-fail dish!

As my new friend, Chef Hooter shared with you all yesterday and all of my companions before me; I have had a great time today and as always enjoy my opportunities to write for the Elemental News of the Day. We urge our readership to write to us and leave comments and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously don’t pay anything but you will be given a full byline and that’s worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it’ll be fun! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so I’m told.

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people don’t care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It’s sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

Well, I am rather excited about being the new guy here at the Elemental News of the Day and again, I want to thank Chef Stinkbug, he’s the nicest fellow I’ve ever met and I am glad that he’s made room for me much less given me the Christmas holiday to write about.  It allows me to present several different sides of myself and to do a complete menu for the readers of this blog.  Cooking is one art form in which most everyone can participate and to have the freedom with which to do it.  I love to cook and I am so glad that I’m here with you, please leave your comments and do become followers of our blog; it’s now more than ONE year old!  I am proud of that fact.   Anyhow—all we ask of you, dear readers, is that you please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by the Grateful Dead and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com.  We are allied with them and are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!    

Thank you, my friends!

Chef Fritz

Chef Fritz Schlependrecht

American Culinary Federation, Inc., CMC

This is me in 1985 at an American Culinary Convention back in 1987 taken as a collage of sorts.  I began my culinary career at age 10 working under my father, Chef Fritz, Sr., at his German restaurant in Southern California.  I moved to Bakersfield in 1982 and went to work at one of the hotels and remained there for the next 24 years prior to retiring.  Now, I spend my time writing culinary articles for various magazines enjoying the good life.  I’ve dedicated my entire lifetime to promoting the foodservice industry and in educating the young folks.


END Commentary for Monday, December 05, 2011 by Chef Fritz Schlependrecht

Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.


This original essay was authored by the one-and-only Chef Fritz Schlependrecht

Recipes created by Chef Fritz Schlependrecht on November 24, 1973 in Bakersfield, CA.



“Stinky” of the Elemental News of the Day for the best of the news, politics, sports, foodservice, hotel and restaurant business, the end times, the end of days, the apocalypse, armageddon, and whatever else happens to pop up!




This is #911 a 16” x 20" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “Canyon Creek." It's among her more beautiful works and is available for sale. You can see much more of her work at her Website, located at http://www.beverlycarrick.com or at Brian Carrick's Facebook page. At her Website, you will see not only more original oil paintings but also lithographs, giclees, prints, miniatures, photographs, and even her award-winning instructional video entitled, "Painting the Southwest with Beverly Carrick." Beverly has been painting for more than 60 years and is known around the world. Her work hangs in private and public galleries and is followed by a great many fans that circle the globe. We urge you to go to her Website NOW and view her work. It's possible that you will find something you like and will want to buy it for yourself, a friend, a loved one, or a neighbor! You will not be disappointed so please: do yourself a favor and go there IMMEDIATELY! Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day!

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Assistant Editor: Moses Scharbug III

Proofreader: Amos Mosby Caruthers.

Beer: Smokehouse.



Fritz Schlependrecht, Special Menus, The Grateful Dead, Holiday Foods, Culinary History, Fine-Dining, Home-Cooking, Holiday Traditions, Gourmet Cooking, Ham, Rhubarb,

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