If God is in the Details…

What’s in these Deviled Eggs?

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. And terrified everyone.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. And terrified everyone.

I have a confession to make, my friends. Yes, in a world of sea spurt sashimi and microgastronomy, of foaming Martinis and thrice-smoked, monkey-picked teas, I reserve a place of honour in my heart for three unreconstructed relics of the 50’s and 60’s, refugees from Grandma’s Betty Crocker cookbooks: olives from the jar, pickles from the other jar, and good old deviled eggs.

Deviled Egg Chick

Deviled Egg Chick

It’s a short story, and a familiar one: The Cousin, The Sister and I were invariably the youngest attendees at family gatherings on my dad’s side, and as such could not partake of the cocktail hour with the adults. Well, it was my dad’s family, so let’s say the cocktail four hours. And as growing children, we had an abiding, nay, almost a physical, need to be fed regularly, but etiquette constrained us to eat somehow without spoiling Aunt Margie’s carrot and marshmallow aspic and other “delights” destined for the main meal. And naturally, preparing proper hors d’oevres would have prevented my aunts from partaking in the cocktail hour(s) to the fullest extent, so in response, and in defence of their right to get well into the CC before having to face Aunt Margie’s aspic, they made a deal with us.

We could eat olives, pickles and deviled eggs. Filling, fancy (hey, someone went to the trouble of fishing those pickles out of a jar for you), proteinaceous, and trying to figure out if pickled onions were “pickles” or “onions” could keep three small girls occupied for a surprising amount of time.

This is all just to let you know that the irredeemably bourgeois deviled egg is near and dear to my heart, not that I can be bothered to actually make them. But if you’re not as incorrigibly lazy as me (probably the result of a childhood diet consisting largely of olives, pickles and deviled eggs) this article in the Awl has AWL the information on Deviled Eggs that you will ever need, and then some.

 

Deviled Egg O Rama
From left to right: Miss Grandma’s Backyard (Potato Salad Egg with Apricot Fizz); Mademoiselle Alsace-Lorraine (Creamy, Lemony Egg with Reisling-Plum-Rosemary Punch); Miss Soul Custardy (Vanilla Custard and Chocolate Egg in Phyllo with Peach-Cayenne Coffee Frappe); Senorita El Trionfo de la Revolucion (Chicken Liver and Havana Club Egg served with Barbadian Rum); Miss Piggie (Egg with Jowl, Side and Belly Bacon served with Mint Julep); Jury Award Winner: Miss Spicy German (Red Curry, Sweet Chili, and Spicy Chili Eggs with Home Brewed Double Wheat Ale).

Each summer before the mosquitos start to flourish, my husband and I host a garden party and Deviled Egg Pageant. The entrants, though not all Southern, exemplify the seersucker-shrouded bloodlust that makes summer in the South both delicious and dramatic.

As long as the weather and space permit, a Deviled Egg Pageant allows you to entertain dozens of friends and neighbors while preparing little more than a plate of ham, perhaps, and a pound cake. Your kitchen remains cool and spotless while the guests enthusiastically do the hard work.

The keys to a successful pageant are clear rules and a dress code to set the tone. (Here is a Google Doc of our house rules; take what you like and leave the rest.)

If you don’t have the space or inclination to host such a contest, preparing pageant-worthy deviled eggs is a sure way to “win” whatever parties or picnics you may attend in the summer. Here are some lessons from our pageant kings and queens.

Well, you have to click over the link to read the whole thing it is unquestionably the most epic post on Deviled Eggs you will ever see. As for me, I’m off to check out the Urban Spoon listings to find a place that has these little bites of nostalgic heaven on the menu.

A last word: don’t let your creativity go insane: sundried tomatoes, bacon,  curry or caviar, yes. Even vegan (let’s face it, tofu is more like eggs than any other actual food).

Caviar deviled egg is NOT redundant, it's self-referential

Caviar deviled egg is NOT redundant, it's ironically self-referential

Food dyes, no.

Blue curried deviled eggs

Blue curried deviled eggs: yeah, if I'd made those, I'd delete the web page too

See you on National Deviled Egg Day!

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