Ham makes a great holiday meal. It's easy to cook and leftovers, if any, can be used for sandwiches, ham salad, or flavoring vegetable dishes.
First select the type of ham that you want to cook. It can be a spiral cut, butt section or shank section. I prefer the shank because I feel that it has a better flavor. If using a spiral, you need to cover the ham with foil while cooking to prevent dryness.
Prepare the ham by removing all wrappings. If using a shank cut, remove the plastic covering the bone at the large end. Wash thoroughly.
If using cloves, slice the top of the ham in a criss-cross pattern, leaving 1-inch "diamonds." Press a clove into each diamond.
Place the ham on a rack in a roasting pan. I like to add 2 cups of water in the pan to keep the ham moist while roasting. Add additional water as needed. This also helps with cleanup later.
Roast the ham at 325 degrees for 20 minutes per pound. For example, a 10 pound ham should take 3 hours and 20 minutes. If using a meat thermometer, cook until the ham reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
Prepare a brown sugar glaze by combining brown sugar with pineapple juice. I usually use the juice from the canned pineapple rings. Fifteen minutes before completion, remove the ham from the oven and baste with the brown sugar glaze. Using toothpicks, attach a maraschino cherry to the ham and then place a pineapple ring over the cherry. Repeat until the top of the ham is covered. Baste the pineapple/cherry rings. Return the ham to the oven and cook for the remaining 15 minutes.
Remove the ham from the oven and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes. Carve and serve.
To avoid burns, use oven mitts when removing or returning the ham to the oven.