I was raised in a household of egg lovers. Mama couldn’t cook, and didn’t, but she could scramble, poach, soft or hard boil an egg all day long. My father had taught her when they were first married. Eggs and hamburgers she had hands down. But deviled eggs must have fallen into the cooking domain because she didn’t know the first thing about them. Nor was this dish served in Puerto Rico. Consequently, I didn’t have my first one until maybe late in grade school? Junior high? I don’t remember. I do, however, remember where I was and with whom. I was at my best friend’s house, Ann, and we were standing in the kitchen of her house. Her mother, Mrs. A., had prepared classic southern style deviled eggs for the family. It was summertime because Ann’s brothers, Trey and Steve, were home from college. One went to Annapolis and the other the Citadel. Both Ann’s parents were from South Carolina and being that Mrs. A. cooked…well, there were always homemade southern delicacies at her house. I don’t mean to get off point but all morning I’ve had the hardest time writing this post. I’ve been on Facebook, Instagram, texting, watching youtube videos…I even cleaned out the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator. I’ve had an unsettling, somewhat resentful feeling while trying to write all this and I’ve figured out why. Ann was my best friend growing up. We went to kindergarten through high school together. Adventures galore, we had sleep overs, dance contests and parties at her house when her parents were out-of-town. I loved her. She loved me. But we drifted apart during the college years, her family retired to North Carolina and we lost touch. I got along just fine with her parents. They were friendly and fun and always included me in everything. But about, I don’t know, maybe 10, 15 years ago my mother and I were talking about Ann and I mentioned to Mama how I’d love to see Ann again and how fond I was of her. That’s when Mama said, “Yes, Ann was a lovely girl. Her mother didn’t care very much for ME, though.” “What?”, I asked. “What do you mean? What happened?” Mama answered that Mrs. A. had never liked her, avoided her at social functions. When Mrs. A was forced to call our house she “talked down” to my mother. All those years I never knew. I knew Mama had faced plenty of discrimination here. With her heavy Spanish accent she dealt with it almost on a daily basis. But my BEST FRIEND’S MOTHER? I was livid. Livid with impotent rage. I wanted to jump on my broom, fly to North Carolina and…well, never mind. I think you’ve got the picture. Anyway, my first deviled egg was eaten in the A’s kitchen. And it was fabulous. Mrs. A. might have been uppity towards my mother but she could certainly cook. Smooth and creamy with the sweet bite of relish, she had the classic down pat. But I ain’t forgetting how she treated Mama. She can keep her damn recipe because here’s mine.
Deviled eggs. The first to disappear at a cocktail party or cookout. Some folks won’t admit it but deviled eggs are heaven on earth. And these will do you proud. A few years back I decided to add some heat to these little jewels. Add more or less Sriracha as your taste dictates. They are truly sublime!
Classic Southern Deviled Eggs and Sriracha Deviled Eggs
- 6 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise, I use only Duke’s
- 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Slice eggs in half lengthwise.
- Being careful the whites don’t tear, remove the yolks and place in a small bowl. Set whites aside.
- Using a fork, mash the yolks well, completely breaking them up.
- Add the mayonnaise, relish, mustard, salt and pepper and stir well until there are no lumps of yolk and the mixture is creamy.
- Taste for salt and pepper.
- Spoon the yolk mixture into the center of each egg white.
- Cover and store in the refrigerator until serving.
- Serve eggs well chilled.
If preparing Sriracha Deviled Eggs replace the relish and mustard with 1 tablespoon Sriracha, (or more if you wish), and 2 tablespoons freshly minced chives.