So, now that Easter is over, I have three cartons of colored, boiled eggs in my refrigerator.
Pretty, aren’t they?
I love boiled eggs, but using three dozen up is a bit of a challenge, unless you transform them into something else.
The first thing that came to mind was deviled eggs. Everyone loves them and they’re super easy to make.
I actually had a hard time finding a recipe for deviled eggs in my vintage cookbook collection. This surprised me, because I was able to find a recipe that dates to Ancient Rome on FoodTimeline.org. It calls for the yolks to be mashed and mixed with pepper, garlic, anchovies, olive oil, and wine. The mixture is piled back into the boiled white. Sounds yummy! You can also find recipes in Medieval European cookbooks, which call for the eggs to be stuffed or “farced” with raisins, cheeses, sweet spices, or suet! I think I prefer the Romans’ recipe.
The term “deviled” came into vogue in 18th century England and was applied to a variety of foods. It generally referred to foods seasoned with mustard, curry, cayenne or other fiery spices. (Side note: I have made egg salad with curry-it is fantastic!!)
I finally settled on a recipe I found in a book I got as a parting gift when I left my TV news job last July. A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband by Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen Cowles Lecron was published in 1917 and is hilarious. It’s written like a novel, in chapter form, following the cooking trials and tribulations of Bettina, a newly married housewife who spends a lot of time and energy making lunches and dinners for her husband Bob, and a variety of friends and family who come to visit them in their new home. It’s very quaint, slightly silly, and amusing to my feminist sensibilities. This recipe comes from the chapter where Bettina serves a Fourth of July picnic.
A note about the recipe-I added mayonnaise because without it, the yolk mix was dry and crumbly and I was sure my family wouldn’t like it. Store mayo was a new concept in 1917, so it makes sense that it wasn’t included in this recipe. But your modern palate might prefer it. The mix does have a bite to it, thanks to the vinegar, but I rather liked it! I would leave out the salt next time, but I left it in the recipe as an optional item.
Half the eggs and remove the yolks.
Mash everything together. I was lucky-my parsley came up again this spring in my garden in a perfect row, so I had fresh parsley for this recipe!
This is what it looked like without the mayo.
6 hard-boiled eggs
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley or 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt (Optional)
3 tablespoons mayo (Optional)
Shell the eggs. Cut lengthwise in half, remove yolks, and mash them.
Add the vinegar, mustard, butter, parsley, and salt and mayo, if you desire.
Refill the egg whites and serve. Enjoy!