Eating deviled eggs on Easter is a paradoxical situation considering the reason for the Easter celebration. However, for us the Easter celebration, which included new shoes, a new dress, grass filled baskets and a celebratory church service, always included the deviling of eggs. Our traditional egg hunt took place after church and in our own yard-both front and back. Quite naturally we used those carefully dyes eggs from the day before, and knew that regardless of the outcome of the hunt, they would eventually land in our stomachs resurrected in the form of deviled eggs. Boiled eggs spoil quickly so we had to eat those eggs as soon as possible and recreating them for lunch was a perfect resolution.
Once we arrived home from church, and still dressed in our Sunday best, the egg hunt was set into motion. We stayed in the house while Mother and Daddy hid the eggs in various and unusual locations throughout the yard. One egg might end up within the crook of a low hanging branch or among a cluster of newly sprung grass. Another egg might sit on the edge of the evergreen bushes or within the lightly tilled dirt of the flower garden. In addition, we could not rule out the possibility of finding an egg in one of the gutters’ down spouts or even inside the doghouse of the current Strange dog. Our parents carefully hid each egg so that a portion of its colored shell peeked out from its unique hiding place, which made it more easily discovered by one of us.
“On your mark, get set, go!” was the usual cry emitted from our parents as we eagerly romped out of the house to find the eggs. When it was just Sissy and me, the competition was great, but when BQ and Yordy joined the hunt, we usually helped our younger brother and sister load their baskets instead of filling our own. Whatever the outcome of the hunt, Daddy was usually following behind us with the 35mm camera in hand.
After the hunt, Mother first counted and then rescued the eggs from our pastel colored baskets. It was important to know how many eggs we found, as we did not want to find one later, still stuffed inside the gutter or doghouse. Rotten eggs emit quite an odor!
Occasionally one of the treasure hunters crushed an egg, which was hidden among clusters of grass, and for obvious reasons, that egg was discarded and not included in the deviling process.
Setting the task of preparing the eggs into motion, Mother cracked each shell against the edge of the kitchen counter top to release the egg from its protective covering. Sometimes the egg had cracked during cooking and if the crack penetrated through to the yolk, the hardened yolk had already started to turn dark and greenish in color. When released, the yolk rolled into the bowl waiting to be smashed into an unrecognizable mound. Mother added salt, pepper, mayonnaise, a pinch of mustard and a small amount of sweet pickle juice to the mound and then thoroughly mixed the ingredients together.
Now it was our time to assist in the preparation. We carefully scooped the seasoned mixture into the halves of each hard-boiled egg white and lay them on the designated plate. Due to their oval shape, it was difficult to line the them up so that the half portions of the eggs did not continually roll in the other direction. Now I understand the invention of the plate solely designed for deviled eggs.
The eggs were now ready for the final touch-a sprinkling of paprika on the top of the yellow filling. When finished, Mother returned the plate to the refrigerator to chill the eggs before eating. Delicious and unforgettable!
Well, unforgettable except for the fact, that one of those eggs, quite recently might have been plucked from inside a gutter, or the dog house, or the garden or the……I’ll never tell.