Thursday, October 29, 2009

Iced Eggs?

When I was picking up carryout dinner at the snooty-falootie store (where a spoonful of brussel sprouts will run you about $438 bucks and the aisles are littered with the bodies of the liberals doubled over in guilt), I saw this outta the corner of my eye: an Iced Eggs tray? The picture on the box was what we call deviled eggs on one side of my family, and dressed eggs on the other side. No one in the family has ever called them Iced Eggs, as far as I know. While I was stuck online behind the Republicans who were chatting animatedly and unabashedly refusing to get out of anyone's way, I took a picture of the box. Everyone looked at me a little like I was a hobo who'd wandered in off the street and put my fist in the olive bar up to my elbow, but I wanted a closer look at these "iced eggs."

I found them online, and what it refers to is this incredibly cunning serving dish -- where you put ice in the bottom tray, and the indented deviled-egg impression-tray on the top -- thereby enjoying a fantastic funeral treat, while simultaneously avoiding the risk of salmonella. You can buy one for me  HERE.

I can eat deviled eggs at a volume and pace that would make Paul Newman proud in Cool Hand Luke. It's one of those foods I grew up on, but just never make as an adult (although I occasionally serve a pretty snooty-falootie version for cocktail parties that involves caviar and sprigs of fresh dill). Consequently, anytime I visit my parents' church-gatherings, you'll find me with my chair pulled up to the buffet where I can get at the eggs in sufficient quantity that would befit maybe a dying man at his last meal. The image wouldn't be unlike, say, John Belushi's face-stuffing in Animal House.

Unfortunately, it's been my experience that the Episcopalians in my hometown possess a certain miserly culinary nature, accompanied by zero ability to anticipate a crowd. This is in marked contrast to the extended Baptist family I was raised in -- characterized by vast homecoming dinners where the chicken n' dumplings was served in giant pressurized vats (were served? was served? Is the antecedent the chicken, or the dumplings?) fried chicken was made on-site in giant electric skillets, and never came out of a bucket. Episcopalian-ism is more of a late-life affectation for my Mom that came after she moved to town, about 25 years ago. Me? I been rollin' with The Catholics since first grade (that's largely how they're referred to in polite company where I'm from) -- and their focus is admittedly far more on Drink than Food -- which always leaves me as something of an outcast.

Anyway. The "Iced Eggs" platter was enough to make me go looking for the novel I wrote back in 1992, Dressed Eggs and Death.  I found it in a trunk in the guest room.

The first paragraph reads:
"She got to the house around seven. It was still light out and everything looked pretty much deserted. The lot was empty but for Uncle Buddy's orange Plymouth Duster. He had put it up on blocks when she was a teenager and left it there to rust. Pink and purple morning glories were twining through the old wheel hubs."
I think I'm going to keep it handy and force it on everyone who asks me to read their Novel-in-progress. It's an excellent reinforcement of Flannery O'Connor's response when people would ask her if the universities were "stifling too many young writers" and she always answered that they weren't stifling enough of them. It is very hard to build a novel around a plate of deviled eggs. Even a short one.


  1. I'd love to have one of those trays for the coffee table. Deviled eggs within my grasp at all times, oh heavens.

  2. Imagine how great our family holiday celebrations will be with one of these!

  3. Can they still be called "deviled" eggs if they are on ice?

  4. Since the "deviling" refers to "spicy" I believe we can all eat "Iced Deviled Eggs" without fear of being Oxymoronic.