Creativity Cooks

Collage ~ Cooking ~ Creativity … inspired by three generations of women

Memorial Day Deviled Eggs

on 05/29/2012

This past Monday was Memorial Day and it was really hot, sunny, what some might call the perfect beach day. I call it a day I wish for winter. But that’s just me, anything above 65 degrees and I’m complaining. I love shoveling snow? Needless to say it was the kind of day for cold foods. Salads. Deviled eggs…yes, absolutely!

I remember Memorial Days of my childhood, how chilly it was in the morning and how anxious we kids were to dress in our summer clothes and play outside from the moment we awoke. I was a very ‘serious’ child, full of conscience and gravity, especially about this particular holiday. I seemed to feel, very strongly, about how wrong it was to be at war and how sad and pointless it seemed to lose so many lives to conflict. Even as an 8-year-old I carried the weight of it ~ which in 1965 meant I was “too interested for such a young girl” in the conflict in Vietnam. My way of acknowledging all those dead soldiers and the hope for no more war carried me right out to the steps of our front porch to watch the first rose of the season bloom in the late morning sun. Every year only one rose was ahead of the others, one red rose that bloomed right next to where I would sit, on the cold step, waiting patiently for the sun to reach us and warm us – the rose to the point of its protective petals opening to let that first rose have its moment. This might have gone mostly unnoticed, had it not been for my sense of gravity and my sense of hope along with my insistence of sitting on the cold, cement step. My mother thought I was crazy to go out in sleeveless shirt, shorts and new sandals in the chilly morning, demanding I wear a sweater and bring yesterday’s newspaper to sit on, lest I get ‘piles’, whatever that was.

There I sat, waiting and thinking. My 8-year-old mind was full of battle scenes and worrisome thoughts about what soldiers had to go through in a war. My 8-year-old heart was full of sadness for all the death and destruction war caused. Head in my hands, near tears, I waited to feel the warmth of the sun as it crept across our tiny yard toward me and the rose-bush. I am sure I must have hummed or even sang the words to one of my favorite songs, Peter, Paul and Mary’s version of “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?” while I watched and waited. That song usually brought tears, or sobs…so serious I was, so burdened under the weight of what was happening so far away. Neighborhood kids were still inside watching cartoons, overhearing their folks talk about plans for the afternoon barbecue; who would bring what, how many hot dogs and what’s for desert. There I sat, on the cold step, mournful.

When the sun reached us the rose began to warm and respond to its inner sense of timing. As a second-grader I hadn’t taken the science classes that would have assured me the rose was just doing its natural thing. I was sure this red rose was blooming for the soldiers. Red for the shed blood and blooming in hope of a brighter day to come, one where war was just a memory, never a reality. As the rose opened my hope renewed and my mood lightened. I ran to tell my mother, who was in the kitchen boiling potatoes and cooking macaroni.

Memorial Day is usually the first barbecue holiday of the season, with all the summertime foods that come with such an event. Our family favorite is Deviled Eggs and we don’t care when the season begins, we will make them anytime. My daughter’s graduation the week before heralded a plate of delicious eggs that were gobbled up in no time. It seemed only fitting to make them again – it felt like July outside – what is summer repast without Deviled Eggs? Saturday evening found me boiling 8 gorgeous brown eggs for 12 minutes and setting them on a rack to cool. I mixed my simplest ingredients in a bowl: 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard, 2 tbsp. mayo (mine is homemade, French style), 1 tbsp. minced fresh parsley, sea salt and pepper to taste. I peeled, cut in half and de-yolked the eggs, putting the yolks in the bowl with the mustard/mayo mixture and smashing them with my pastry cutter/blender but a fork will do, just mash it together well. Using one of my Nana’s ice tea spoons, I spoon the mixture into each egg half and put the eggs in a container with a lid for chilling in the refrigerator. I especially like to eat them when they are just made and still room temperature. I thought I might include a picture of the last remaining egg (actually now it’s in my stomach) complimented on the plate by the sweet potato salad I made last night.

For the record, my 4th of July eggs might be spiced up a bit ~ with a tsp. or two of curry powder, or with fresh dill and chives. I might even go all out if I am bringing them to a party by topping my ‘dilly’ eggs with tiny capers and thin strips of smoked salmon. These will go fast so I should consider making a larger batch and keeping some at home!

Let me end this by saying how much I appreciate and acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of our soldiers and veterans. Gratitude is not enough payment for their suffering or the loss of life. Ending war might be.

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