Wednesday, January 31, 2007

First, you need paprika.

On Saturday, we acquire coffee and pastry by means of a short walk that serves primarily to test-fly garments for the rest of the day. If this three-block excursion induces a desire for scarf or gloves, or, inversely, the wish to shed a layer or two, we are soon home with breakfast in hand and able to make adjustments before the major foray. (Is there anyone with a more self-absorbed Saturday ritual?)

Cold or hot, we collect Joe and Eddie. Joe is wearing a red jacket with a Union Jack sewn into the back. This jacket comes with a story involving San Francisco and a flat mate with zooshy clients, and a white version of the jacket. (There, Joey, in case you ever wondered if I really listen to you while you go on – and on.)

Every aspect of Joe has a story attached to it, sort of like a price tag or the washing instructions label. I swear if he were to sweep up his clipped fingernails, he’d deliver himself of ten epic histories, and then, there’d be the toenails to listen to.

C announces our tripartite Upper East Side plans. Eddie is delighted with the stores to be attended and Joe announces a need for deli food. I assure Joe that we will consume after we have consumed. We push through the door of our first stop, Waterworks, where it is our goal to examine shower faucets, heads and installations that have those extra jets that spew water at your sensitive regions. We are all four arrested by the sight of an immense and sloped copper freestanding tub priced in the tens of thousands of dollars. It is deep and coddling and obscene in its demand for space in a city where the placement of even a toothbrush must be weighed in terms of square inch efficiencies. We are however, attracted to a nearby tub of pure white resin. It looks like a shelled boiled egg cut in half the long way and with its yoke removed. Joe says, “I. Love. Deviled. Eggs.” Then, his hands go up in the air, and we all brace ourselves for the pronouncement that this always signals.

“I have never once eaten enough deviled eggs. Never once had enough of them. Same with shrimp. Put me at a buffet with all-you-can-eat shrimp, and I never leave without thinking I shoulda ate more of those.”

I agree with the shrimp part of this, and add that I always eat them with the shells on. Good fiber. I raise an examination of the concept of the deviled egg. Mom never made them, and I have a real fear of them. I avoid them entirely. Their coloration seems not to occur in nature. They arrive cradled by suspicious women with suspicious cellophane. They always need to visit a refrigerator for some secret fix before appearing on the holiday groaning board. They are evil. Eviled eggs. Joe overrides this and repeats the fact that he has never at any single meal had his fill of them.

“What goes into a deviled egg?” I wonder.

My comrades have no problem listing the basic ingredients and I begin to concoct a riff on the recipe that might involve the addition of garlic, lemon grass and perhaps a paper-thin membrane of peeled cucumber separating the white from the yoke. Also, I’d whip the yoke into something more chiffon-like. Lemonish. Meringuey. (OK, readers, I know you’re eager to share your deviled egg recipes, and, if we are lucky, maybe this gourmand will share his version of this American classic.

We leave Waterworks and head to The Container Store which mercifully presents itself before Joe can spot a deli.

20 comments:

Michael said...

I've never eaten a deviled egg.

copperred said...

Deviled eggs, and poached eggs, tend to rub me the wrong way, but your description makes me have second thoughts. Until I think of the sensation of biting into the white and shewing it.

Joe needs a seat at the deli counter, in between two older Jewish women.

Alan said...

Deviled eggs? One word: Avocado. Trust me on this. Just add one to your usual recipe. Not only are they yummy, but the green tinge makes them even devil-ier.

Anonymous said...

"They arrive cradled by suspicious women with suspicious cellophane. They always need to visit a refrigerator for some secret fix before appearing on the holiday groaning board."

Priceless. Love you.

Chicago

circleinasquare said...

"True story!" - J.M.G.

Joe.My.God. said...

Fine.

No more stories for YOU.

Mike said...

I love deviled eggs too. If I see a dozen on a plate, I have to remind myself that the party will be pissed off if I ate eight of the twelve.

Édouard said...

Mmm, deviled eggs — I love 'em too ! While I can imagine a limit, I'm not sure I've ever reached it.

Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

The knowledge that the affairs of state are proceeding apace fills me with satisfaction. The vision of the trio of you in majestic procession down to the waterworks, causing children to run screaming, grown men to weep helplessly, and women to swoon in helpless envy, causes me to realize that, at least in your corner of the world, priorities have been set, and are being maintained in the proper order.

tornwordo said...

OMG Avocado and deviled eggs?! I'm making that today.

Joshua said...

I'm one of those people who eats them, hordes them in my pocket - calculates if it's been a proper amount of time; to make my way back to grab more. Always looking around paranoid - watching to make sure no one sees how many I actually ate. And always a little mortified over the sogginess in my pocket from squished remnants.

jeff said...

I used to love 'em till a big yellowbug smashed into my windshield and when i turned on the wipers the neurons in my brain made an instant connection beween the nasty bright yellow smear and my mother's deviled eggs. So now i have a bad gagging problem when i just see them, and i'm getting a little sick writing this...

Cooper said...

I don't like devilled eggs because they often contain weird surprises. You never know what someone is going to put in them. I once had one that contained bits of chopped pickles.

Mark said...

I'm very fond of deviled aggs, but I can definitely eat my fill.

I find Joe to be endlessly entertaining, and I think there should be MORE stories. It never gets dull, now, does it?

SteveSchalchlin said...

Mmmm. Deviled eggs.

/homer simpson

David said...

Love deviled eggs and make a fairly good version myself. On the occasions I have brought them to pot luck events, they are consumed before I have time to dispose of the cellophane.

Joe and I will eat them all for you, so you will never have to face one.

Aaron said...

Deviled eggs?

I don't make them very often. I actually eat a lot of hard-boiled eggs, but mostly as a portable convenience food for sack lunches at work.

The secret, though, is mustard powder mixed into the yolks and a couple of tiny capers -- not the big ones -- on top.

BigAssBelle said...

i'm with joe. i have never eaten my fill of deviled eggs. food of the gods.

i also feel absolutely honored when folks bring them to potlucks and parties and such because they are, in these times, so incredibly labor intensive. boil the eggs to perfection. peel the eggs, what a hassle. dry, chill, mash the yolks, add two mustards, enough mayo to give them fluff, a little salt, white pepper and the finishing touch of that paprika.

yes.

Every aspect of Joe has a story attached to it, sort of like a price tag or the washing instructions label. I swear if he were to sweep up his clipped fingernails, he’d deliver himself of ten epic histories, and then, there’d be the toenails to listen to. ~ loved that.

Cali said...

Hey, Cooper, deviled eggs are *supposed* to have chopped pickle in them. Sweet pickle. Also mayo, both dry and yellow mustards, a little finely minced onion and a bit of finely chopped Italian parsley. Oh, and they aren't so labor intensive if you either use a pastry bag or cut the corner out of a ziplock baggie and put a piping tube in the hole, then pipe the yolk mixture into the hole in the whites. Very easy and quite tasty. I don't think I've ever eaten my fill of them, either. But my son can easily eat a dozen at a sitting.

Stash said...

hum.

I thought Joe didn't like food. Must reconsider that. =P

Someone clicked my blog from this post.