I think yesterday might have been a dream. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there were blue skies, a big sandy blanket at LeCount Hollow, icy Concord grape juice, and deviled eggs, right?
I hope at least the deviled eggs are true. Because honestly, I don't think I could bear to hear it if they were not. Deviled eggs are one of my absolute favorite things, and they are better still on a bright sunny day in June. They are one of those snacks that require a freshly mowed lawn, a well swept deck, and a hammock to laze around in out back. They ask that the rhodedendron be in bloom, that the tomato plants sit snug in their cages, and that the spinach be heaving its last, bolting breath. Lastly, they really enjoy a good, lolling Sunday.
Yesterday, I think—unless the gray has clouded over everything—yesterday they had all their qualifications met. I mowed the lawn, swept the deck, and circled the stems of the tomato plants with matches to gaurd against cut worms. I snipped off the leaves from the last of two rows of spinach, weeded the peas and the broccoli, and planted a new row of Swiss chard. I went to the beach and laid out in a bikini for the very first time this year — ! — and burnt the tops of my arms. I took a shower outside, and laid in the hammock admiring the rhodedenron, with its bright, neon purple blooms for a while.
Finally, I made a fresh batch of mayonnaise for the fridge. Then I hauled out the paprika, my turquoise flamenco apron, and a basket of hardboiled eggs, and decided to ring the summer picnic season in.
It was every bit as good a start as a June afternoon could hope for. I kept things simple: just yolks, mayo, grainy Old World type mustard, and a pinch of paprika on top. Also, I didn't bother with the cake-piping bag like I sometimes do for parties—I just scooped the yolk mixture into the whites with a kitchen spoon.
The thing about deviled eggs is, especially on a lazy Sunday, they don't stick around for long. There isn't much point in getting gussied up.
The trick with deviled eggs is to get the hard boiling part right. I learned to hard boil eggs from my mother, who brings a pot of water to a boil, drops them in, and sets the timer for exactly 10 minutes. When she pulls them out she drops them into an ice bath, and in about 5 minutes, they're ready to peel.
6 eggs, hardboiled, cooled, and peeled
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Separate the whites from the yolks by slicing the hard boiled eggs in half. Scoop out the yolks into a small mixing bowl and set the whites aside. In the mixing bowl, beat together the yolks, the mayo, the mustard, and the lemon juice with a whisk. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and continue whisking until the mixture is smooth and creamy and a little bit stiff. Arrange the whites hole-side up on a platter, and dividing the filling evenly between the halves, fill each indent with a spoonful of yolk mixture. Sprinkle with paprika and serve chilled, preferably with an icy glass of homemade Concord grape juice.