It was about four years ago when I was first introduced to Grandma Elizabeth’s famous deviled eggs. Hard boiled vessels were filled with tangy, fluffy yolks, and I was hooked. I looked forward to them at holiday dinners and for the next few years, my husband, brother-in-law and I worked on perfecting our skill of schmoozing with guests while discretely hovering over the tray to be sure we had dibs. Sometimes, we would even sneak one or two on a cocktail napkin to reserve for our private stash.
Even when she wasn’t feeling well, this determined woman did everything in her power to get her signature dish on the table. A few months ago, after a long legacy of cooking, Grandma Elizabeth left this world. While she passed along many fond memories, there was one tangible item to reconnect us all: her secret recipe for deviled eggs. She shared it with me when my husband and I got engaged, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized just how privileged I was to have it in my possession.
On Sunday morning, with my mother-in-law in mind and her mother in my heart, I whipped together these delicate appetizers for the first time. I smiled up at the sky to let Grandma Elizabeth know I was honoring her. I had big shoes to fill, and was sure hoping I would do her justice.
When my mother-in-law walked into our kitchen that Mother’s Day, I handed her a single filled egg on a tiny, white plate. A tear streamed down her cheek as she clutched the dish between her hands. She closed her eyes, took a bite, and nodded. I knew she felt her mother’s presence with her on that meaningful day. It was proof how a taste or aroma of food can instantly transport us. I was transported too.
These may be called deviled eggs, but I have no doubt they were sent from an angel. With love (and permission), I share this very special family recipe with you:
6 hardboiled eggs sliced in half lengthwise (Trust me, you may want to double the recipe)
3-4 pimento stuffed green olives
1 1/2 tablespoons of mayonnaise (or more)
2/3 teaspoon (or less) yellow mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil and peel eggs. Allow to cool.
Remove pimentos to save for garnish. Finely chop olives.
Slice eggs in half and remove yolks from whites. Place yolks in a bowl and store whites in a safe platter.
Mash the yolks well and add salt and pepper.
Stir in mayonnaise and yellow mustard.
When yolk mixture is well mashed, add chopped olives and fill the egg whites.
For a modern twist on this dish, I nixed the traditional star-tipped piping bag and rolled the center into a ball for a tongue in cheek yolk presentation. (Okay, maybe I had some technical difficulties with my traditional star-tipped piping bag…)
Garnish with pimentos.
Eat and enjoy…and feel the love!