Angels and Devils In the Kitchen

Angels!  My two granddaughters, Corley and Olivia, in the kitchen recently.  They love to learn and I love to share my knowledge of cooking with them.  Such enthusiasm!

Corley has been helping me and my husband Dewey in the kitchen since she was old enough to be lifted onto the kitchen counter to help with washing and tasting tomatoes and stripping collards from the stalks.

Olivia has known how to use a knife [properly] to slice and chop since she was 6 years old.  Why, she's almost a pro now, even though she still has to climb onto a stool do do her work! Thomas, my 25-year-old stepson, has been cooking with me and his dad since he was 6.  He still loves to cook, which is helpful now that he's living on his own. It always takes SO much longer to have little helpers, but the
exchange of ideas and knowledge and love which occurs is priceless, so I recommend to you to find the time to recruit your children, grandchildren, nieces & nephews or neighborhood children next time you go to the kitchen to prepare dinner.  It's one of those activities that you'll never regret. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you have the perfect opportunity to give the kitchen a try as the new meeting place for you and a couple of young people.

Well, that's the angels.  How about the devils?

The devils I'll be talking about are devilled eggs, because that's what Corley and Olivia helped me with most recently.

They can be deviled or devilled and they're basically the same most places that you look.  Eggs are easy to find, they're relatively inexpensive and they're easy to cook.  That's the eggs.  How about the devilled part? It appears that devilled=spicy or zesty and that this term has been used since the late 1700s, although devilled eggs have been around much longer, with recipes dating back to ancient Rome!

Devilled Eggs

7 large eggs, boiled, cooled and peeled*
3 T. Duke's mayonnaise
1 T. yellow mustard
1 t. white vinegar
salt and pepper

Cut eggs in half, placing the yolks in a bowl and the whites on a plate or devilled egg dish.  Discard two of the whites.  I do this so that the filling is richer with the two extra yolks.

Using a fork, mash the yolks.  Stir in the mayonnaise and mustard and taste.  If the flavor suits you, then stuff the egg whites with the yolk mixture and sprinkle with paprika.  You're done.

Depending on your personal taste, you may need to add a bit of white vinegar to add a little more spice to the filling.  My personal tasting apparatus (my tongue) tells me not to add any salt or pepper.  (There's enough salt added from the mayonnaise and I don't like the pepper.) If you like more mustard, add more mustard, but do it 1 teaspoon at a time, or you'll end up with a runny filling.  The same goes for the mayonnaise.

Dressing Up:  While they're perfectly wonderful in their rich simplicity, you may want to jazz up your devilled eggs by topping each stuffed egg with a couple of capers, a sliver or two of roasted peppers or with half an anchovy.  You can dress them up for breakfast by topping with a sliver of lox and chopped chives or take them to a fancy cocktail party by accessorizing with a teeny dab of caviar.

Go ahead, take your dressed up devilled eggs to the next party that you're invited to.  They're not just for picnics anymore.

*It's so easy to hard-boil eggs.  Place eggs in pot with ample water and a large teaspoon of salt.  When the water begins to boil, set your timer to 6 minutes.  Take to the sink immediately after the timer goes off, pour out the water and turn on cold water, allowing it to run over the eggs for a while.  This will stop the cooking process.  Allow eggs to cool completely before peeling.  The salt in the cooking water makes facilitates the peeling.