Christmas Ham for Dr. Seuss

In a tiny cookbook called "Christmas 1-2-3" Is a recipe for ham just made for you and me You bake the ham for hours until its juices run and add a smear of mustard to make it much more fun. A slick of sugar-coating makes it taste so fine; its hint of fragrant cinnamon makes it smell divine.

There's magic in the air.  Whether you celebrate Christmas, or not, there's a good chance you feel a bit of electricity -- streets are lined with decorations, families reunite, supermarkets are bustling, champagne is chilling, a scramble for last-minute gifts (including Radically Simple!) and anticipation fills the air.  But you too might be filled with anticipation if you haven't planned your Christmas menu.  Why not try my delicious glazed ham --the world's simplest recipe -- alongside your favorite mashed potatoes (white or sweet orange) and a big bowl of Brussels sprouts with dried cranberries that glow like rubies.  It's radically simple and very delicious.

Glazed Christmas Ham

10-pound smoked ready-to-cook ham, shank portion 1 cup coarse-grain mustard 1 cup cinnamon-sugar*

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place ham on a shallow roasting pan and add 1/5 inch water to pan. Cover ham with foil and bake 15 to 16 minutes per pound for a total of about 2 hours and 40 minutes. (Adjust cooking time if your ham is more or less than 10 pounds.) After 2 hours and 15 minutes, remove ham from oven and increase temperature to 450 degrees. Pour most of fat from pan. Using a sharp, thin knife, remove the rind, except for area around shank bone, and most of the fat. Score the fat by cutting diagonal slashes across the skin to make a diamond pattern. Cover the surface thickly with mustard, then heavily coat with cinnamon-sugar, patting down if necessary. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and return to oven for 25 minutes, until sugar melts and hardens. It will become a bit crackly. Present on a large platter, decorated as desired. Carve and serve while hot. Serves 12

*You can buy cinnamon-sugar or make your own by mixing 1 cup granulated sugar with 1-1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon.

Brussels Sprouts with Sun-Dried Cranberries 1-1/4 pounds Brussels sprouts 1 cup sun-dried cranberries 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts and remove any bruised outer leaves. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add Brussels sprouts and boil 10 minutes. Immediately drain in a colander under cold water. Dry them on paper towels. When ready to sauté, place cranberries in a small bowl and add boiling water to cover. Let sit 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Cut sprouts in half through the stem end. Melt butter in a very large sauté pan. Add sprouts and cranberries and cook over medium-high heat until sprouts are tender but still green with areas of golden color. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Serves 6