The Devil with Deviled Eggs

I swore to my husband a couple of years ago that I would never again promise to make deviled eggs for Easter. I reminded him of that today as I swore over the hard-boiled eggs that refused to peel. Eggs that were destined for deviling for tomorrow’s Easter festivities.

He reminded me that I swear that every year.

This year, the festivities have moved from a large family gathering at my sister’s to a smaller, more pandemic-friendly event at my daughter’s. In an overly optimistic overture, I offered to bring deviled eggs. Dear son-in-law quipped that I couldn’t come unless I did.

I only have to cook—and peel—a dozen eggs.

Now, you must know that I can cook and easily peel a hard-boiled egg any day of the year except right before Easter. There is a reason for that. The eggs are fresher at Easter time. Everyone is buying eggs. Lots of eggs. The turnover of eggs at the supermarket is quick. Any chicken owner will tell you fresh eggs are not for boiling. Boiling is for eggs that have been sitting around awhile. Fresh eggs do not peel well.

If I actually used all the knowledge I have stuffed into my head, it would be astounding what I could accomplish. For example, I could have bought my eggs a week or two ago. And saved them just for Easter. After I cooked them and plunged them into an ice bath, I could have—should have—peeled them right away.

That was my intention last night as the eggs sat in their icy bath. But then I got sucked into a book and then it was bedtime and I didn’t feel like doing it at 11:00 at night.

“It will be alright,” I said to myself with a feeling in my gut that reminded me of Eve promising Adam that they could eat that apple.

So I took the eggs out of the icy water, placed them back into their carton, and stored the carton in the fridge.

And today I have a hard scrambled mess. I soaked them in icy water. I ran them under running water while I peeled. I tried scooping them out with a spoon, like an avocado. To no avail. To make matters worse, I was a little hyper-caffeinated so my hands weren’t super steady. Which made me anxious, so I wasn’t being very patient. And—you have to be past a certain age to understand this— I couldn’t see the fine difference between the membrane and the white of the egg. I had to take my glasses off and hold the eggs at just the right distance to get a good look.

It was a lost cause.

While I vacuumed the house to burn off nasty adrenaline, my husband zipped off to the store for more eggs. And then he made a hasty exit to do yardwork. He has survival skills. He knows when to retreat to someplace safe.

I googled “fail-safe instructions for hard-boiled eggs that will peel.” I searched for “fail-safe” that I haven’t tried before. Because those other “fail-safe” methods failed.

This time, instead of putting the eggs into cold water and bringing to a boil, I plunged the eggs directly into boiling water, adding a teaspoon of baking soda. Four of them immediately cracked, sending a trail of albumen into the water. This did not bode well.

The eggs are now sitting in their cold water bath. I will give them the prescribed hour and then I will peel them.

And we have success! The shells slipped right off. A dozen beautiful, peeled eggs. Well, except for the seam where four of the them cracked. No worries, I will try to cut the egg at the wobbly seam.

Now, after a devil of a time with the shells, comes the easy part—deviling the actual eggs. To the perfectly golden-yellow flaky yolks I add some mayo, a generous dollop of Dijon mustard, a splash of Tabasco, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper—all to my taste, of course. I will assemble them on site tomorrow.

I have had victory over the deviled eggs. And, in spite of all the vows I muttered, I did not actually use any bad words or even yell at my husband. I would feel really bad to have had Jesus die for the sins I committed while trying to celebrate his resurrection, his victory over the actual devil.

Hallelujah! He is risen!

I will celebrate with a deviled egg.