A woman had been taught by her mother to always cut the ends off the ham before she put it in the pot to bake it. She taught her daughter the same way to bake ham each Easter.
"Why, Mom? Why do we cut the ends off the ham?" Her daughter asked.
"I guess to let the flavor infuse more deeply into the ham, but let's call Grandma and ask her, just to be sure."
Grandma's reply, "I cut the ends off the ham because that's how I could get it to fit into the pan I had to bake it in. I don't know why you are cutting the ends off the ham."
I had reason to think of this old story when Paula and Kelly joined us in Iowa for the Iowa State Fair. As we drove around outside the fairgrounds looking for a spot in a neighborhood yard to park in, after seeing that all the parking by the campgrounds was taken, Paula asked, "Why don't we try to park inside the fairgrounds?"
A perfectly valid, logical question, and the only response is that for years my dad finagled free parking passes for all of us inside the campgrounds, and then when he was gone we got used to parking in the lot right next to the campgrounds. And when I was a kid parking inside the fairgrounds was always too expensive, but once I became an adult I never investigated how much it actually costs to park inside the fairgrounds.
We've just always cut the ends off the ham.