The Deviled Egg Went Down to Georgia

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By Andrea Goto

In my world, eggs have three uses; they’re good for scrambling, dyeing or throwing. Which is why every Easter I’m faced with same dilemma: what to do with the three-dozen hardboiled eggs I painstakingly dyed with my daughter?

Mom suggested deviled eggs.

You can’t eat an egg that’s been sitting on freshly fertilized grass, steaming under the Savannah sun for three hours after some runny-nosed kid drops it into a basket that’s been collecting dust in an attic for twelve months. I am, after all, the girl who puts liquid hand sanitizer at every entrance into my home (my daughter calls it “magic soap” but my husband calls it “paper cut finder”). Which is why we dye three-dozen eggs, but hide plastic ones for the Easter egg hunt. Let’s face it, there’s no incentive to find hardboiled eggs. No kid wants to crack open an egg and suck down a warm, pasty ball of yolk. But you fill your yard with hermetically sealed plastic eggs holding individually wrapped Tootsie Rolls and you have yourself a salmonella-free cage fight.

Even if you aren’t concerned about the salmonella factor, you may question the old schoolishness of deviled eggs. Like shag carpet and green bean casserole (yes, the one topped with tater tots), deviled eggs are so 1970s. The urbanites who bring crostini and prosciutto-wrapped melon to the cocktail parties snicker at my mom’s potlucky deviled eggs. But while their crostini stales and prosciutto dries, Mom’s empty egg plate spins like a 45.

So I take Mom’s advice and pull up Paula’s recipe for Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs, which only calls for six ingredients and takes 15 minutes to prepare. With my eggs already hardboiled, I’m halfway there.

That is, until I realize that Brad and Angelina could buy five more kids in the time it takes me to peel 36 eggs.

One hour and 48 minutes later (I timed it) my hands are so torn up from peeling that I can barely mash the yolks. Then comes my first deviled-egg dilemma: Miracle Whip or mayonnaise? Where you stand on this issue says as much about you as your political affiliation. I converted to Miracle Whip when I got married, but my parents have remained staunch followers of mayonnaise. When they came to visit, they purchased a squeezable off-brand vat of the stuff and it has remained untouched in my fridge ever since. I’m a practical girl, so I opt to make my army of eggs from the cast-off mayo.

Not counting the nearly two-hour Peelapalooza, the recipe comes together quite nicely. I invite my husband—a lover of all things retro, such as Wham! and Carrie Fisher—to take the first bite.

“Holy hell that’s hot!” he says.

Surely he’s mistaken. I try a bite and my mouth nearly ignites.

But why would Paula do me wrong?

I go back over the ingredients one by one. When I pull the off-brand mayo from the fridge, I discover my error. This mayo is horseradish sauce. Who would buy a 55-gallon drum of horseradish sauce and leave it in my fridge? My parents.

We eat up all 36 eggs with the help of some friends and a big glass of milk to cut the burn. If Paula’s eggs are traditionally deviled, mine are downright satanic.

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Reader Comments:

54321

I am highly annoyed at the recent "so called" scandal that involves Paula -- Someone or someones are just jealous of her success !!! The companies that chopped her are just cowards and cannot stand the heat --- SO ANNOYING!!!! I'm STILL ON PAULA'S SIDE ----

By Judith miller on July 12, 2013

I loved this story. This girl told a great story while being really funny..I loved it !! My family loved deviled eggs and when I have the entire crowd over for Sunday dinner they expect those deviled eggs. Paula sure has taught me a few tricks forst of all my using my hand insted of a fork to mash all the egge yolks (that a heck of a lot better than my old way which was a fork) and then after adding the mayo (I am a true Southern girl nothing works in my house except Dukes mayo)putting it into a plastic baggie and cutting a tip off the corner.This works great for not only egged but cupcakes also…Thanks Paula..we love u here in SC.

By Pam on April 10, 2010

So funny!  I love cooking and what do I love even more?  Someone who can laugh at herself and have fun cooking!

By Ginger on April 09, 2010

Mrs. Paula, I love you show and you. I watch it every day when I come home from school. You are my role model because, when I grow up I want to achieve the things you have: 4 T.V. shows on Food Network, Cook Books galore, Cookware and Bakeware, Magazines, also millions of fans!!
-Allison (you biggest fan)

By Allison Schmittou on April 06, 2010

I ENJOYED YOUR HOME COOKING,I ALWAYS WATCH YOUR SHOW IN TV IN FOODNETWORK ABOUT COOKING AND I LEARN A LOT OF YOUR COOKING,,
PAULA CAN YOU GIVE ME A CERTIFICATE THAT I STUDY YOUR HOME COOKING ON LINE,,

By LOUELLA WILLIS on April 02, 2010

Love it!
My best advice for boiling and peeling eggs was from an old Navy cook-while they are boiling jiggle the pan or shake it if you don’t know how to juggle-then dump the hot water and let sit in cold until able to handle.  Happy Easter and may God Bless Ya’ all!

By Nora Hendry on March 31, 2010

Great story!!  My family raised chickens when I was young, we always had very fresh eggs.  When making hard boiled eggs, mom used to let the raw eggs sit out on the counter all night, to age them enough to let them peel easily after cooking.

By Kay on March 31, 2010

Loved this story, reminded me of the time my niece made my brother-in-laws Green Chili recipe, and instead of using Green Chilis she used nothing but jalepenos.  We cut the batch 3xs and it was still hotter than hell.
Brown eggs normally peel easier than white eggs, but the best way to peel eggs is to refrigerate them overnight. They also need to be cooked precisely. 3 Minutes at a full boil take off heat cover for 10 minutes and rinse with cold water.

By Tamzilla on March 30, 2010

I enjoyed the story very much, couldn’t stop laughing. Now when the wife makes deviled eggs this weekend for Easter, I’ll have to explain why I’m laughing so much.

By Henry on March 30, 2010

That was heeeelarious!

By Gammie on March 30, 2010

I love this deviled egg story. I love them, but I never try to make them. Even with all the various sure-fire tips, I can’t peel boiled eggs for the life of me.

By Connie Bratten on March 30, 2010

that was too too funny i had to share the story with my son…...

By mary hrbek on March 30, 2010

That was a great post 8) Easter Deviled Eggs were also a tradition at our house, as long as we found the eggs before the dog did.

By curiousdomestic on March 30, 2010

You have made my day! Haven`t laughed so hard in a while.To pill my hard boiled eggs,as soon as i take them off the heat i run cold water on them and let the water flow as i`m peeling them.. perfect every time. and yes the fresher the egg the harder they are to peel.. HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!!!!

By Pat Davis on March 30, 2010

Best story ive heard in a long time. Every time I fix devil eggs Ill think about this. Very funny.

By Sallie Crocker on March 30, 2010

I am the person who always brings eggs as well. I i use a couple of Paula’s tricks..Using one whole egg to make the yolks go father and puttin the mix into zip lock bags to pip into the eggs. makes them real purdy..I also mix the yolks and my other ingred. in a food processor so its reall smooth. I leave half the mixture in the processor and add pickled jalpenoes and mixx again then pipe that into eggs.. yummy

By TRACY TOTEN on March 30, 2010

I absolutely love this story.  Sounds like that is something out of my closet.  I am still laughing.  I can just see the expression on he husbands face.  Poor man!  But I must admit, they do sound tempting.

By Elaine Andrusia on March 30, 2010

Brown eggs are harder to peel because they are fresh from the Farm, not commercially laid like your white eggs. Growing up around chicken farms, they have to feed the chickens multitudes of steroids and hormones that make the egg shell thinner, and when your mass producing an egg, well lets just say some folks have seen an egg plant much closer than others..if yall get my drift..

By Mark Cowart on March 30, 2010

Oh man I love this story. I agree with peeling them under stream of cold water. Thank you for the laugh

By Shannon on March 30, 2010

I am an “old fashioned” southern belle and I remember my grandmother instructing me on the do’s and dont’s of southern cooking.  This story brings back many memories of how I learned to do it correctly.  Laughing at my memories and laughing at her story made my day.  I will probably be still smiling and laughing next week as we try to eat up our easter eggs.

By Glenda "Charlie" Johnson on March 30, 2010

Now that’s funny…..I don’t care who you are!!! Bless her heart!

By Linda Wehinger on March 30, 2010

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm