Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Devil in the Details


Religion, faith, belief. These are personal to everyone. I wouldn’t even consider addressing those in a blog post.

However, traditions. Do you have them? I’m Christian and I married a Jewish man. It was an interesting dilemma raising a child who wanted all the “fun” things of the combined religions. We celebrate Christmas, but we light the candles for Hanukkah.

We don’t have an Easter dinner, but I go to church, and then we have an Easter brunch.  Until our son was grown, we always had an Easter egg hunt. And on Passover, if we did a Seder (which was never the long version), we hid the afikoman.

A few terms you might like to know:

Matzah, [matzoh, matzo] or “the poor man’s bread,” is bread that hasn’t risen, made from a simple dough. When the Exodus happened, and the oppressed Jews left Egypt, they relied on faith to carry them through. They didn’t have time to make leavened bread.  By eating matzah, they bring faith, healing, and humility into their personal lives.

Finding of the afikoman: In the Seder, the matzah was set aside to be eaten as dessert, or the afikoman. In many families, the head of the household will hide the afikoman. The children seek for it and win money or candy when they do.

Fun fact about Easter: Why an Easter egg hunt?  The egg was a symbol of rebirth in Pagan religions, and Christians it as a symbol of the rebirth of man.  The egg was likened as the tomb of Christ. The notion of the Easter Bunny bringing the eggs started as early as the 17th century.

One of my son’s favorite things was decorating Easter eggs. And why not? It was a lovely, colorful mess. But what do you do with the dozens of eggs you make? You can’t settle for just one dozen, right? I couldn’t. We always made two. Luckily, we happen to like egg salad and deviled eggs.

Why are they called deviled eggs? Well, I checked out the Internet (my favorite source of misinformation, and this sounds right so… William Underwood, back in 1868, created a meat company and introduced a number of meat products, to which he had added spices; he called the process devilling.  Nowadays, to be considered deviled, a food has to have a kick from something like Dijon mustard, hot sauce, cayenne pepper or chopped hot peppers.

My recipe does.  Enjoy!

Oh, and I’m sharing how to make the perfect boiled egg. It’s an art.



8 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Paprika, for garnishing
Sweet gherkin pickles sliced, for garnishing


To boil eggs perfectly…put cold eggs in saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil (takes about 5-7 minutes). Turn to low and simmer-boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour off hot water. Rinse eggs with cool water. Then add a bath of ice water. Let cool completely (about 20 minutes).

Peel eggs. Halve 8 eggs lengthwise. Remove yolks and place the yolks in a small bowl.

Mash the yolks with a fork and stir in the mayonnaise. I use Best Foods. Add the pickle relish, mustard, and spices.  {Taste test}

Fill egg whites with yolk mixture. I like to pile mine a little higher. Garnish with paprika or pickle slices. Store covered in refrigerator.

PS  Use the exact measurements, otherwise the mixture can get too runny.

Daryl Wood Gerber also writes as Avery Aames, 
author of the Agatha Award-winning,
nationally bestselling CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY SERIES 

The 1st in A Cookbook Nook Mystery series is coming July 2013!!
You can pre-order the book HERE.

The 4th in A Cheese Shop Mystery series is out
You can order the book HERE. 

You can learn more about me, Daryl by clicking this LINK. "Like" my page on Facebook and "follow" me on TwitterAnd if you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list
 so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests! Also, you probably know by now about my alter ego, Avery Aames. Chat with Avery on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. family members don't like pickles so I add a dash of old bay seasoning - gives it a kick!


    1. Cheli, adding old bay seasoning sounds great. Nice!


  2. I use a method for boiling eggs that Julia Child published many years ago. You prick a hole in the large end of each egg (I use a push pin). Bring the water to a boil and carefully put the eggs into the boiling water. Boil 10-12 minutes (longer if the eggs are cold). Immediately lift the eggs into an ice water bath and crack the shells with a spoon. Let them cool completely. The shell slips off easily.

    1. Patricia, I'd heard about that method, but the though of sticking a pin into an egg...I'd be afraid it would all ooze out. Huh! Learning something new every day. Thanks! And thanks Julie Child. :)


  3. "The Devil in the Details" Clever title.
    What is it about deviled eggs that is so irresistible?
    We used to take some of the hard boiled eggs (known as HB or Harry Belafonte eggs) and add them to a white sauce. This is served over toast, sprinkled with paprika.

    1. Libby, that's sounds easy and delish. I remember my mother doing something like that over spinach, like a quickie Eggs Florentine. Yum. I've been writing all morning. I'm hungry for lunch.

      Daryl /Avery

  4. Avery/Daryl - Love a good deviled egg recipe, thank you. Great use for the leftover Easter eggs. And thanks again for the tip on gluten-free matzo. I even saw "spelt" matzo this year, a popular ancient grain with the "let's eat healthier foods" crowd. Of course, I bought some, lol!

    1. Cleo, you are welcome. Truly, the matzo was delicious. Crispy and buttery. I was totally surprised and will use this cracker with cheese in the future. I'm going to stock up. ;)


  5. I think deviled eggs are probably the most under-represented dish. People *love* them, but one rarely sees them at parties anymore. Seems like they always fly off the plate when someone makes them. I'm coloring a lot of eggs this Easter. We eat a lot of eggs!

    What an adorable picture!


    1. Isn't that the truth? They always go at a party, but I think some people are worried to eat too many eggs. Recently, studies have changed that opinion, but health concerns carry over. I loved deviled eggs and feel I'm getting my protein while enjoying a quickie meal.

      Thanks re: the picture. Isn't he cute? So lively. Still is.