Thursday, December 31, 2009

Clifty Farm ~ My Favorite Country Ham

The first time I ever saw a Clifty Farm country ham was in 1982, at the Sunflower Food Store in Iuka, Mississippi. I was a meat merchandiser for Lewis Grocer of Indianola, MS, at the time. The market manager had a display of more than one hundred country hams. Based on my experience, I thought he’d made a big mistake ordering so many hams for Christmas. The meat departments of the much larger stores might need twenty or so country hams for Christmas.

“We’ll sell those and more,” he commented, laughing at my limited knowledge of his customer base.

That same Christmas, the store owner gave me one of the Clifty Farm hams, and after trying it, I’ve been sold on the product ever since.

Though I still work for the same company, I no longer advise market managers of ways to merchandise products and maximize sales. However, I still use the meat cutting skills I learned as a teen working in my dad’s store in the 1950s.

Each year for the past dozen or so years, I buy several country hams, Clifty Farm of course, take them home, remove the skin and bone, and slice them on a commercial meat slicer. The slices are then vacuum sealed in packs weighing approximately 22 ounces. The finished product makes nicely appreciated Christmas gifts for friends and family. I always tell the recipient, or include a note in the package, that the ham is a product of Clifty Farm.

Friends rave about the taste of Clifty Farm country ham. This year, a neighbor friend whom I had not previously gifted with country ham was greatly impressed.

“It’s the best ham I have eaten in a long time,” she wrote in an email.

At sixty-seven, I may not have many more ham-giving years in me, but as long as I am able, I’ll be buying Clifty Farm country hams, slicing them at home, and blessing others with them at Christmastime.

PS: The photos were made in my home to show the various steps I go through to slice and package these wonderful hams.

Step 1 ~ Removing the skin (pictured above)

Step 2 ~ Skin and Bone removed.

Step 3 ~ Slicing a country ham.

Step 4 ~ Top view of Slicing Process with Hobart slicer.

Step 5 ~ Slices on waxed paper awaiting packaging.

Step 6 ~ Vacuum sealing with FoodSaver.

Step 7 ~ Packs are ready for gift bags.

Article and photos by Wayne L. Carter/ all rights reserved.

1 comment:

Meal Planning with Connie said...


I know your friends, neighbor and relations love receiving this ham. My dad gives all his siblings and children a half moon of hoop cheese for Christmas. This year he gave us all a ham, too. I've been terribly intimidated by that big ham, and it has been in the fridge and must be eaten this week. I am going to show Larry your pictures. I know they will be very helpful to him!
Best wishes for a great week!
God bless ~ Connie

About Me

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I'm a native of Pontotoc, MS, and graduated Pontotoc High School in 1960. I received a BS degree in Mathematics from The University of Mississippi in 1965. My wife Barbara and I have two children and five grandchildren and one great grandchild. We make our home in Pontotoc.