It’s amazing the things that you suddenly realize you don’t know how to do. For example, even though I consider myself relatively adept in the kitchen, I don’t know how long it takes to hard-boil an egg. Even though I dyed Easter eggs every year of my childhood, I don’t know how to do it with food coloring instead of with those dyes that are specifically made for Easter eggs and packaged with instructions on the back. Even though I helped my mother make deviled eggs as a kid, I don’t remember exactly what ingredients to add to the egg yolks or how much.
These are all things that I have done in the past week. Since it all turned out relatively well, I decided to use my blog to chronicle the method of my eggsperiments. (Sorry, sorry, I know that’s a horrible pun. I couldn’t resist.)
I actually can’t say exactly how long I boiled the eggs, but it turned out to be the right amount of time. They were easy to peel and the yolks didn’t have that grayish color on the edges that you get when you boil them too long. I put them in the water before I started heating it and left them there until the dye was ready. I put the dye in blue plastic Solo cups, which is something that I ought to have done in the past. When I was a kid, we used those white plastic things that looked like really deep muffin tins; they were basically six attached cups, which meant that if someone jostled the table or dripped dye while taking an egg out, the colors might mix. Using separate cups is so much neater. At one point, we used plastic mugs, but they were the same mugs that we used for drinking, so I still think that my disposable cup method was better.
My dye recipe was approximately half a cup of water, a couple teaspoons of vinegar, and about four drops of gel food coloring. I had seven different colors. The best ones were the ones that had green in them. I had one that was pure green, one that was green and yellow, and one that was green and blue. The green and yellow came out looking almost completely yellow, but it was still a pretty color. The one that didn’t really work was the blue and red. I had assumed that it would be a nice purple color, but it was actually a kind of purplish gray. Overall, I think that the gel food dye came out looking better than the Easter-egg-specific dye tablets. The one downside—which some people may see as an upside—is that the colors didn’t soak through the shells much, so my deviled eggs aren’t quite as colorful as Easter deviled eggs are supposed to be. Some of them do have some colored splotches, though.
This brings me to my new and original deviled egg recipe. I had to put a bit of forethought into this because I had read a recipe online that had pickle relish, which sounded good, but it would mess up the texture. But then I realized that, since I was going to be mashing it with a fork instead of using a food processor, my filling wouldn’t be as smooth as the way my mother makes it anyway. So I decided to go ahead and use the pickle relish. The recipe is as follows. (Note that I didn’t measure out any ingredients, which is why I didn’t include specific quantities. Feel free to taste test.)
Crack and peel the hard-boiled eggs. (If your cat steals one or two or three and smashes them on the floor, go ahead and use them anyway, unless you are serving the deviled eggs to other people, in which case you probably want to keep your cat out of the kitchen.) Cut each egg in half the long way and remove the yolk. Mash the yolks up with a fork. Add miracle whip and mix thoroughly. My egg-yolk-to-miracle-whip ratio was probably about 4-to-1. You want a lot of miracle whip, but mostly egg. Add mustard and pickle relish to taste. I used about two teaspoons of each, for twelve eggs. Put a slightly-heaping teaspoon of the filling into each half egg. Sprinkle with a generous amount of paprika. (Contrary to common belief, the paprika is not optional. The paprika is important.)
Now I have twenty-four deviled eggs, which I have to eat by myself because the cat touched them. I’m not going to be eating much besides deviled eggs for a while. Such is the cost of being an old maid who insists upon dying Easter eggs.