A good ham can be the centerpiece of a family meal on any occasion. Unless you buy an uncured ham, all hams are already cooked. So, cooking a ham involves getting it hot and adding desirable seasonings to it as it warms. I personally prefer to have the ham pre-sliced and tied back into the shape of the ham. That way when you are finished, it is ready to serve immediately. Also, by slicing the ham ahead of time, any seasonings and juices that you add will penetrate the ham better.

If you are cooking a bone-in ham, slicing ahead of time does not work. You may be a person who likes that unsliced look of the ham when it is placed on the table. With an unsliced ham, you will first need to remove any type of netting or wrapping from the ham before preparing to cook it. Preheat the oven to about 350 degrees. Prepare the roasting pan. I like to cover the interior with foil to facilitate clean up after the cooking, but this is not necessary.

Score the top of the unsliced ham with diagonal cuts so that you create the effect of diamond shapes on the top and sides of the ham. These cuts will let your basting preparation soak more deeply into the body of the ham.

Once the ham has been prepped, place it into the pan that you intend to use to roast the ham. If your pan does not have a lid, you will need to make a foil tent to cover the ham to keep the juices from evaporating during the heating process. Do not put the tent or cover on yet.

Mix up a marinade from pineapple juice, maraschino cherry juice, and a tablespoon of mustard. You will get the juices from the small can of pineapple slices that you will use to decorate the top of the ham, and a small jar of cherries. Put all of the juice from both fruits into a cup or bowl. Add the mustard and mix it together.

Using toothpicks, attach the pineapple slices over the surface of the ham. Just arrange them to suit yourself. Inside of each pineapple slice, attach a cherry. Spoon some of the juice over the ham so that it can begin to soak into it.

Put on the lid or the tent and place the ham into the 350 degree oven. You may choose to use a stand-alone roaster instead of your oven. In that case, it is not necessary to preheat the roaster. Cook the ham about 1 1/2 hours for each 10 pounds. Remove the tent and add more of the mixture over the ham about every 30 to 40 minutes until the ham is finished.

To brown the surface of the ham, remove the lid or tent for about the last 20 minutes. Watch that the ham and attached fruit does not start to scorch. If this starts, the ham is done. Remove it and serve. As long as you do not burn the ham, it is hard to not cook a ham to taste good. An optional way to heat the ham is to lower the heat to about 225 or 250 degrees and extend the cooking time. The lower temperature will reduce the chance of burning and allow you more freedom to do other tasks. Add about 30 minutes on for each 10 pounds.