Saturday, October 24, 2009

Deviled Eggs

The older I get the more I miss my great-grandmother, Marie. She was incredible. She passed away when I was 18.
As a child, I was very blessed by spending my days at my great-grandparent's house, rather than a daycare. I know how special this was because many people never even get to meet their great-grandparents let alone see them 5 days a week. Grandma was a firey Irish, Catholic woman who always made her opinion clear, especially in conversations with my grandfather. She also made it abundantly clear that she loved me to death. She read Little Red Riding Hood to me so many times that she probably could recite it in her sleep. She taught me how to prune and pick flowers from her rose bushes (after a five-leaf cluster), and place them in a glass on the kitchen window sill above the sink. She would let me play in that sink for what seemed like hours. I would put a stool up to the counter so that I could splash in the soap bubbles, and fill and pour out measuring cups full of the steamy water. However, Grandma didn't hesitate to shove a fresh bar of Caress in my mouth after I got angry with her and called her a name. All done with love.
For the most part Grandpa was the cook, and what a cook he was. From fresh baked breads, which made the most incredible toast, to soups, roasts, casseroles, and cookies. He grocery shopped every day. While eating breakfast, he would often ask us what we wanted for lunch or dinner! I used to think he was crazy, and now I find myself thinking about it too. So he was the daily chef, but on Easter and Thanksgiving, Grandma and Grandpa would both be in the kitchen, with the doors closed. The holidays always felt different in that house. Oh, the smells coming from that kitchen. The china placed just so on the white linen covered dinning table. It was very different from the work week. Occasionaly, I'd sneek past the double doors to watch as she basted the Ham with Sprite, or stirred something on the stove. One specialty that appeared only on Easter was her deviled eggs. She never had a recipe that I knew of-just a little grandma magic. When she slipped away, so did the recipe. For the next few years, Easter came and went, but without the deviled eggs.
After searching through many cookbooks I decided to try them for myself, but it didn't pan out. Something was not quite right. I tried onions, onion powder, garlic, vinegar, etc.. Finally, Easter 2006, after consulting with various family memebers. I got it-well, as close as it gets. So, without further adieu, my (grandmas's) deviled eggs.

Deviled Eggs

12 large, hard cooked eggs
2/3 c. Miracle Whip
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1 tbsp. dill pickle juice
salt and pepper

Peel eggs, slice in half lengthwise, and remove the yolks. In a small bowl, smash yolks with a fork until fine. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Fill a piping bag (or a plastic freezer bag with a corner cut off) with the yolk mixture, and fill the whites. Sprinkle with paprika for garnish.

I know, after all that build up, it's a very simple recipe, but it's a great one. The secret is using Miracle Whip rather than mayo, and adding the pickle juice. Note that the pickle juice and mustard measurements are approximate becuase I ususally just add some and taste until they are right. I do have a few tips though. For easier peeling, boil the eggs and refridgerate them overnight before peeling. I was in a hurry this time and peeled them after refridgerating for 3 hours, and I did notice the difference. Also, tap the eggs on the counter to crack the shell all the way around, and peel under cold running water. Even though I do measure the Miracle Whip, they do turn out a bit different each time. This time I think my yolks were smaller than normal and the proportions were a bit off. Not perfect, but very, very good. Enjoy.


Meghan Marie said...

I'm so over come with emotion right now...and I'm sobbing. I read this to Todd just now. Thank you Amy. Sometimes I forget some of the things we used to do with clipping those roses. They were the most beautiful rose bushes I've ever seen. And what about that pretty gold and pink bathroom. We would joke that it was like the princess bathroom. Things are coming back to me now... :] Do you remember our desk that faced grandpas? He would pass us old junk mail and let us use the shredder. Remember playing dentist in the basement? We would play near the work bench...walk down the stairs and turn right. Back there, where we weren't allowed when dad was working. Remember the bumpy ceiling in the living room and the box of grandpas cuff links? Or the yellow quilt that she made with her mother on the bed we would take naps in? Amy, that quilt still smells like grandma. It's closed up tight in a plastic comforter bag. I miss her too. She taught me how to read. I think she would be proud of your deviled eggs, and of the amazing woman you are. She's smiling down on you sister, and I know she misses you too. After she passed I used to talk to her in heaven. I'd lay in bed and cry and have whole conversations with her about what I learned in school, what I did that day, etc. I can't wait to see her again.

Amy said...

Oh, Meghan, you're welcome. This was so much fun. Thank you for your memories. I was just thinking about her red, velvet jewelry box that she would let us look through over and over, while trying just about everything on.

Meghan Marie said...

haha yes! I wonder if we ever lost