All hams into the pool!
After a week of waiting in a cool spot in the basement, the ham moved onto the next stage.
I removed the muslin bag to get it ready for several days of soaking. Why the extended bath?
The ham is almost mummified, with rock-solid flesh. Except for a large bump of fat that's still pliable, the ham feels like an enormous brick. It will need three days under cool water to drain off extra salt and to rehydrate.
No mold on the skin, but plenty of salt. I scrubbed it with a hard bristle brush under cool running water, turning the ham over several times to get it clean.
With a 16-pound, slippery, hard and unwieldy piece of meat, that's no easy task. Maybe that's where the expression "ham-handed" came from. The ham hit the bottom of the sink a few times.
On the other hand, maybe the expression comes from the way your hands smell after handling one. Even after several washings, I trailed hickory smoke.
The ham is soaking in a cooler now, the only container large enough to hold it submerged.