It’s been a rough few weeks, as I have previously mentioned. But I get a break tomorrow.
I’m getting together with friends and heading to a local amphitheater for some Shakespeare and supper on the lawn. Yes, it’s summer in South Florida. I know it’s hot outside, and even after 6 p.m. things don’t cool down a whole lot, even near the beach. But with good food, good friends and enough bug spray and adult beverages, all will be more than well. It will be excellent.
Everyone is contributing different foods: tiny sandwiches, fruit, crudites and dip, exotic chips. But my personal plan is to eat myself into a deviled egg coma. Margaret makes the deviled eggs for all occasions, and they are rich, and stupidly addictive. She makes different-flavored varieties, and no matter how many of her artery-clogging creations she brings, none go home with her.
Where did this most favored morsel get its start, anyway? And why do we like them?
According to The Deviled Egg Gourmet, no one person gets credit for their invention. The idea for stuffed eggs has been around since ancient Rome, and the term “deviled egg” has been in use since the 17th century. They are classic party food and perfect finger food. They can be expensive calorie and fat-wise, yet they don’t feel like it because they seem so small; just a mouthful. You can keep them simple, with mayonnaise, mustard and seasonings. You can dress them up with curry, capers, pickles, bacon, paprika or just about anything else you have in the fridge or pantry. I am happy to forgo most food for a day, and put in hours of exercise, for the privilege of partaking in bite after bite of firm white outside and creamy yellow filling, enhanced with just about any seasoning or additive. I don’t know why I like them, or why I am not picky about flavorings. There is something both childish and childlike about deviled eggs. Eating them is like going back to your grade-school lunchroom, brown bag and all, when choices in food, friends and fun were simple and obvious, unclouded by technology and adult concerns.
This time tomorrow, the play will no longer be the thing. The coolers will be packed, chairs folded, trashed gathered. And I’ll be feeling a little bit of cholesterol-induced guilt and shame, but a whole lot more of “devilishly good eggs, weren’t they?”