The Corruption of the EggsImage

It is the day after Easter. Which means a gigantic rabbit has completed his yearly visit to my home and left too much chocolate candy, wayward plastic Easter grass all over the floor, and more than a dozen pastel-colored eggs in the refrigerator. Eventually, the chocolate will be eaten and the grass will blow under the sofa, but the last development is more of a call to action. It is time to take the purest of the pure—a hard-boiled egg—and corrupt it with mayonnaise and spices.

The day I moved back home to Louisiana, my mother showed up on my doorstep and presented me with a deviled egg tray. She said, “You are back in the South. You will need one of these now.” I secretly scoffed at this. I took one look at its scalloped edges and branded it as a completely non-versatile kitchen instrument and placed it in the back of the cabinet.

About a month later, I was invited to an impromptu board game party and the only things in my refrigerator were a collection of condiments and a dozen eggs. So I did what any good southern belle would do, I got out my special tray and went to work. Before the first game of Yahtzee was complete, all of the eggs were gone.

Deviled Eggs

My dyed then deviled eggs minus the signature tray. Unfortunately at the time of press, it was discovered that a southern belle of lesser means had absconded with my crystal platter.

True, recipes for deviling eggs exist on the Internet, but no one uses them. They simply make them just like their mama did. I could never imagine showing up to a family gathering with some kind of fancy modern deconstructed deviled egg. People would whisper about how my years spent in New York City had left me with an intolerable amount of elitist snobbery that needed to be beaten out of me.

So while I will not post a recipe for deviled eggs, I will make some suggestions as to how to spice up the old family recipe.

1. Make your eggs look pretty by piping the filling back into the egg white by using a pastry bag with a large stainless steel star-shaped pastry tip.
2. Add some spices into the mix. Pick from sriracha, horseradish, habanero, wasabi, curry powder or chipotle. Sometimes adding just a little minced onion can really do the trick.
3. Top or add a protein: crumbled bacon or sausage, prosciutto or leftover Easter ham. Go the shellfish route and add some shrimp or crawfish or go high end with a little caviar on top. (Stay away from chicken and other fowl! It is too “mother and child” and there is something a little incestuous about it.)
4. Add avocados to the yolk mixture to make them even creamier.
5. Take a healthier route: use only 2/3 of the egg yolks and substitute non-fat Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise.

If you still have an inclination for an elevated deviled egg, I suggest the bayou eggs at Restaurant IPO in downtown Baton Rouge (421 Third Street).  They devil theirs with crawfish and tasso and then top them off with perfectly fried oysters.

And now for an Easter story from my misspent youth.

In second grade, my family moved from Clinton, Mississippi to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  It would be an understatement to say things were different there.

My first Easter in Florida, I received my typical offerings from the Easter Bunny: candy, a chocolate bunny, a ceramic figurine, and a stuffed animal. The next day I returned to school to find the rest of the children had received cash, entire outfits, and video games from the Easter Bunny.

I was in shock. I went home and asked my mother if I had been bad. Why had the Easter Bunny slighted me?

Her reply, “You are still being serviced by the Mississippi Easter Bunny and the Mississippi Easter Bunny is poor! He doesn’t have all that Walt Disney World money like the Florida Easter Bunny does. The Mississippi Easter Bunny does the best he can with his limited resources.”

Important lessons about economics were learned that day, and I secretly wondered if I would be considered a Florida resident the next time the Easter Bunny hopped by the house.