05 April 2012

The Devil and His Eggs

The story is nearly universal.  Human beings are enslaved by evil forces and they cry out for help.  A prophet, a redeemer, or a savior, an individual with close ties to the divine, reaches out and delivers them from their sorrow, leaving the evil forces vanquished in his wake.  The people sing for joy and promise to live henceforth in peace.  Being human, however, they fail to do so on a regular basis, and so they continue, throughout history, to cry out for help.  We want to be good.  We want to get along.  We want a tiny taste of the divine.

The story has been told around human tables almost from the beginning of time, and it crosses religious lines.  It's present in Judaism, Christianity, and Hinduism, and maybe also in other religions with which I am less familiar.  I think sometimes that the story tells us more about ourselves than it does about the creating force of the universe.

You might be celebrating a major feast this weekend.  I know I am, and I need to go to a potluck dinner tonight. I stared at the signup sheet for the dinner for a while before deciding on what to bring, and then I just wrote, "Jennie: Deviled eggs."

There are some people who profess to hate deviled eggs, but I must say that I have never, ever in my life brought home a single leftover deviled egg from a party.  I think that, secretly, deep within our human hearts, we long for a good deviled egg just as much as we long for redemption.  So here's how I make them.

Hard boil at least a dozen eggs.  Use the failproof method found here.  Cool the eggs and slice them lengthwise (end to end), and pop out and reserve the yolks.  You'll have a big plate of empty egg whites:

Put the yolks into a large mixing bowl and add about 1/8 cup each mayonnaise and prepared mustard for every dozen yolks.  Beat them at high speed until creamy but stiff.  You can adjust the consistency, if necessary, by adding more mayonnaise and mustard in equal parts.  Some people add little bits of celery or dill, or onion powder or some such, but trust me, the best eggs are the simplest ones.  When the yolks are all whipped up, they will look like this:

Dig out your pastry bag (or if you don't have a pastry bag, a gallon-size ziploc with a corner clipped off).  Fold the top of the bag over your hand like this:

Then, using a spatula, fill your bag with the yolk mixture.  Don't fill it too full, or it will start to come out the top when you begin piping the filling.

Pipe the filling into the egg whites.  You'll be amazed to see how easy it is to make them look pretty.

Once they're all filled, you can garnish them.  The most traditional garnish consists of a sprinkling of paprika.  I like this, but only if the sprinkling is very light.  Too much paprika overpowers the eggs.  Some people garnish the eggs with a little sprig of dill.  I saw a posting on Pinterest where someone gave the eggs little eyes and a beak, to make them look like chicks, but let's not get crazy here.  We're making food, not toys, and we don't have all day, for heaven's sake.

Speaking of heaven.  Whatever you are celebrating this week, be it Easter, Passover, or merely a change of season, I wish you, within your celebration, a tiny taste of the divine.  Enjoy.

1 comment:

laurie said...

well I think your eggs look beautiful and sound delicous, there will be no left overs for sure.I make them for Sunday as well, I make the same but I add a little green relish to ours,