Recipes for stuffed eggs can be found back to when Ancient Rome was at its height. The domestication of chickens however goes much further back so that is probably not the beginning of deviled eggs. Deviling was a term applied first to meats and meant highly spiced. By the 1500’s deviled eggs was a well known term, medieval European texts including references to eggs with raisins, cheese and sweet spices. They are an easy to prepare, easy to eat option for picnics and gatherings such as Litha and Lughnasadh.
Eggs represent possibility and although we often connect them to spring celebrations, in many cultures, eggs are related to myths that travel the entire Wheel of the Year. Many consider eggs the perfect magical symbol of not just new life but all of it.
You will need:
eggs for boiling
2 Tbsp. fresh herbs per six egg yolks ( thyme, chives and parsley, finely chopped were in this batch)
2 tsp. mayonnaise per six egg yolks
1 tsp. granular mustard per six egg yolks
salt to taste
Being able to collect ingredients and create what inspires you is such a blessing when so many just do not have access to options. Hold gratitude in your heart for any work is done in the kitchen for yourself and others. Take a moment before beginning and let go of the running commentary in your head. Come in to the present moment, wash your hands, watching any nigglies fall off your fingertips with the water and begin.
I have a little gadget that pokes a hole through the shell and helps the egg not split open. If you have one also, lovely.
If not, place the raw eggs in a pot of room temperature water. Put a lid on the pot.
Turn the heat on to a medium-high and once the water boils and leaving the lid on, take the pot off the heat and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
Once cooled, run the eggs under cold water and let sit for a few more minutes before peeling.
The issue is the strength of the albumen inside the egg. As the egg ages, it looses strength, making hard-boiled eggs easier to peel.
No need to get frustrated. James Beard always suggests boiling a dozen eggs and leaving the whites of four eggs unfilled, giving more filling to the rest of the egg halves.
Others suggest adding the “problem children” egg whites into the deviled portion again increasing the volume of the filling.
I find keeping the eggs moist by dipping them in the water from the pot helps as does not trying to take off large portions all at once.
I have decided I am a hand girl, even though these eggs were done by machine. I feel there is better control of the mixture. If however you like an extra smooth and creamy filling then a machine might be your answer.
Add the egg yolks, any whites you choose to offer up, freshly chopped herbs, mustard, salt and mayonnaise.
Pulse until the mixture is mixed to your liking. Taste to test and tweak to your preferences. Paprika, pepper, curry are all additional options.
When ready, the filling can be transfered into the egg white by a small spoon, a sandwich bag with a corner cut out or a piping bag with a fancy tip. The piping bag works best when making a large number.
If the hole in the sandwich bag is small the finished egg will look more like the picture below. Snip off a larger amount of the bag and the filling will look a little more like an iced cupcake.
The traditional garnish for devilled eggs is chives and paprika but there are sooooo many more options these days.
Consider, bacon bits, finely chopped tomatoes, fish eggs, parsley or any number of things you might find in an omelette.
According to Patti Wigington of Thoughtco.com, amongst British sailors it was common to always crush up the shells after eating a hardboiled egg. “It stopped evil spirits–and even witches!–from sailing the seven seas in the shell cups, and sinking entire fleets with their sorcery and magic.”
Gardeners love the shells too. They can be used to add calcium to the soil. They also deter some bugs from doing damage, as well as deer who apparently do not like the smell of the albumen. Instead of popping them in the compost/garbage how about putting them aside for someone who loves to garden?