I once owned a book called “When a Loose Cannon Flogs a Dead Horse there is the Devil to Pay”. It’s a book about popular phrases born out of nautical terminology. On a wooden ship, the “devil” is the name of the longest seam in the hull. This seam (where the planks come together) was generally caulked with oakum and then sealed with “pay” (or pitch). No sailor wanted to be the one to pay the devil, because the job was incredibly grueling. It’s been years since I have worked on a ship, and I don’t associate the word ‘devil’ with caulking or manual labor anymore. When I think of the word “devil” I think about eggs.
Deviled eggs remind me of Easter with the extended family. It’s funny really, that we all gather to consume copious amounts of deviled foods on the day when we are supposed to be observing something “Godly”. Easter is a fusion holiday, where traditional Pagan celebrations of spring meet Christian celebrations of Christ’s resurrection. The mating of the two holidays has resulted, appropriately, in the annual appearance of our favorite fertility symbols: the fluffy-white, candy-carrying bunny, and the Easter egg. I’m not Wiccan, Christian, nor am I particularly fond of greeting card holiday, but who doesn’t love bunnies and candy? Why would anyone in their right mind deny themselves the opportunity to attend any celebration which features the decadent deviled egg?
While preparing these recipes, I got to wondering. Where does the phrase “the devil’s in the details” come from?
According to highly reliable Internet sources (because everyone knows that the Internet doesn’t lie) the statement was originally spoken as “God is in the details”. It was about the virtues of patience and being meticulous and thorough. These are qualities that I simply don’t possess in the kitchen. I love food too much to decorate with it. Every moment spent primping causes a low land flood in my salivary glands, and a crackling drought in my rumbling tummy. Pretty plating is agony for me, and most of the time I simply can’t be bothered. I get why the name changed to “the devils in the details” because details are often, in my opinion, a form of torture (I am sure Martha Stewart would disagree).
Here are a few versions of the appropriately named “deviled eggs”. I have not provided recipes, because these are purely meant to be inspirational (and I think they are pretty self explanatory). If you would like a specific recipe, leave a comment or send me an email and I will be happy to send it to you!
To hard-boil the eggs, cover eggs with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 min, then turn off heat, cover, and let sit for 10-12 min. Rinse with cold water and allow to cool before peeling.
(if you are a detail-oriented person, roll the pickled ginger into a rose shape and use the scallions as leaves)
Ham, spring onions, red peppers, green peppers..