By Diane Forrest,
I usually try to stay out of bookstores, not because I don't like books, but because I want to buy them all! One day I went into this great bookstore in town and saw on the shelf this great book that I had to buy for my mother. I was so excited, I couldn't wait to give it to her, but as luck would have it, she already had it! So she told me to keep it. The title? "Being Dead is No Excuse...The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral."
Having been born and raised in Mississippi, and never living anywhere else, the only customs I know of are the ones that are practiced here. "Deviled eggs are associated so closely with death, that any time you see the egg platter out, you might as well ask "Who died?' Most Southern families own a China Egg Platter with indentions for deviled eggs. For some reason, it rarely leaves the shelf unless there has been a death. "
I always look forward to Easter because I know there will be ham, potato salad and deviled eggs from the boiled eggs the Easter Bunny hid. The recipe is very simple. I don’t have one written, but I found one from Paula Deen that I will share with you. I think it is mostly just a preference of taste, I like mine with a lot of mayonnaise and a little mustard, salt, pepper and pickle relish. My mother doesn't use as much mayonnaise, so they are a little dryer. You can also use dill pickle relish or sweet pickle relish, I like both, so it’s really just a matter of choice. The hardest part is cutting the egg in half and removing the yolk. You want to be careful not to tear the formed "cup" in the egg white, because you will need it to be attached to refill with the yolk mixture. If they break, it doesn’t matter, just chop the whole thing up and put it in the potato salad.
The second most important part about deviled eggs is the platter they are served on. The eggs are slippery, so if you place them on a regular plate, they will all slide to the center, and are hard to pick up. The egg plate has indentions around the edge for the egg to sit in. They normally hold 12 devil egg halves, and can be very beautiful and expensive, to simple and plain. I have a few egg plates that I just love, and I have been looking for one for my mother's Christmas present this year.
The best thing about deviled eggs is you can make as many or as few as you need. You can just boil one egg or a dozen. So today, on National Deviled Egg day, why not fix some for yourself or your family, you don't have to wait for Easter or a funeral.
Paula Deen's Deviled Eggs
- 7 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
- 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
- Salt and pepper, for taste
- Paprika, for garnishing
- Sweet gherkin pickles sliced, for garnishing
- Pimentos, for garnishing
- Halve 7 eggs lengthwise. Remove yolks and place in a small bowl.
- Mash yolks with a fork and stir in mayonnaise, pickle relish, and mustard.
- Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Fill egg whites evenly with yolk mixture.
- Garnish with paprika, pickles and pimentos.
- Store covered in refrigerator.