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Buried with Ham


A common English custom is to hold a Funeral Tea at a nearby restaurant or the home of one of the mourners or relatives right after the service. Ham has been such a traditional component of Funeral Teas that it’s typical for mourners to ask if the deceased is "being buried with ham."

In the book Death Warmed Over: Funeral Food, Rituals, and Customs From Around the World learn how 75 different cultures from various countries and religions around the world use food in conjunction with death in ritualistic, symbolic, and even nutritious ways.


  • 7 Pounds pork picnic shoulder, bone-in
  • 2 Cups brown sugar
  • 1 Cup honey
  • 6 Ounces can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 Teaspoon whole cloves


Place the ham in a large, deep bowl and add enough water to cover the ham. Add the sugar and stir. Cover with foil and soak at least 2 days in refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Completely line a roasting pan with heavy-duty foil. Drain the ham and set it in the pan. Uniformly stick the cloves in the ham. Pour the honey and the orange juice all over pork.

Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 6 to 7 hours or until done. Every hour, unwrap the ham and baste it with the honey mixture. When done, uncover the ham and bake at 450 degrees about 15 minutes to crisp the skin.