Every summer we have a Fourth of July party at Mom and Dad's house. The menu rarely changes, but Mom excitedly reminds us that she's made her potato salad, her baked beans and as an extra special treat she sings, "And I'm making deviled eh-eggs!"
The Potato Salad
When I was pregnant with all three boys I begged Mom to make her potato salad. She puts lots of hard-boiled eggs, celery, pickles and just the right amount of mayo. It's not too goopy. Forget prenatal vitamins, just eat Mom's potato salad.
The Baked Beans
Her baked beans are equally delicious. As a young working woman in my early 20s, I was deemed the "Bean Queen" at my office potlucks because I always brought a Crock-Pot of baked beans to share. It was the only food item I knew how to prepare and transport that would feed a large group, thanks to my mother. Brownies, cookies and chips were usually cherry-picked before the potluck sign-up sheet hit my desk. Dumb men.
The Deviled Eggs
Mom's deviled eggs are... fine. There are foods I prefer, but a deviled egg hits the spot once in a while. Having been raised in the Midwest, I don't think there was ever a family gathering, picnic or holiday without a beautifully garnished deviled egg tray. I don't recall one person's recipe out-shining another. The eggs were always dusted with paprika and sprigs of parsley completed the egg tray presentation.
July 4th 2008...
...Mom and I were working in the kitchen. It was late enough in the afternoon that she'd already asked me, "Are you ready for a little wine?" I was. We sipped wine and clanked around the kitchen as we rearranged food, moving it from platter to bowl, seeking the just right serving piece for each snack and hors d'oeuvres. She was ready to plate the deviled eggs...
"Look at my new deviled egg tray. It's even shaped like an egg!"
"Do you have a deviled egg tray?"
"No. I've never made deviled eggs."
"You've NEVER made deviled eggs? It's really easy. You should make them."
"My life's different than your's. I can't think of a single place or event I've been in recent years where I would have brought deviled eggs."
"Because... you don't have a tray. You need to get a tray."
While reading cookbooks recently, I found a simple deviled egg recipe that uses curry powder and capers, two of my favorite ingredients. Mom and Dad travel from Arizona to Utah every year to spend Christmas with us. They usually arrive on my mother's birthday, December 22nd. As a gift to Mom I'm going to prepare the special curry/caper recipe and sing, "I've made deviled eh-eggs," as they walk through the door. And I'll find a way to serve them on a regular plate. Although it's possible Mom's gift to me will be an egg tray... because I need one.
Photo courtesy of Google Images.