Since You Asked: 'Two people and a ham' is too much

We're hosting a few extra guests for Easter dinner this year. I'm in the habit of baking a ham because it goes over well as leftovers, but I don't want to eat it at every meal for a week after the holiday. How big should the ham be to feed 10 people for dinner?

— Barb L., Medford

Ham can seem like an endless source of leftover meals. Hence, the old adage about the definition of eternity being "two people and a ham."

Fortunately, you have many more mouths to feed, so a high-quality ham can be a good investment for several days of meals. Any type of roast meat usually is. Buy a bone-in ham to stew later.

The bone, which contributes to the ham's total weight, makes this a trickier meat to calculate by per-person servings. People usually eat 6 to 8 ounces of meat at a sit-down dinner that has other side dishes. So with most meats, you figure on a half-pound, or about 8 ounces, per person.

With ham, however, you should calculate in excess of the standard rule. Buy a 7- to 10-pound ham for 10 people. If you didn't want any leftovers, spiral-sliced hams yield very little waste. In that case, a 7-pounder should suffice.

Some spiral-sliced hams come preglazed or with a packet of glaze included. If you've never made your own, it's easy to whip up from maple syrup or brown sugar, prepared mustard and orange-juice concentrate (use it straight from the can).

Send questions to "Since You Asked, A la carte" Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; e-mail to

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