Curating and developing recipes and patterns

It’s been a busy week, and an even busier weekend. Friday evening I baked lemon bread and boiled some eggs, and then Saturday afternoon I turned those eggs into deviled eggs. It’s always exciting to have social events as an excuse to do some cooking or baking, and I think it helps make the events themselves more enjoyable. It’s how various studies showing that the anticipation of something can often cause more pleasure than the thing itself occurring. It makes sense after a fashion — you spend months preparing for the trip to Europe then only a week or two there, for example. So digging through maps and studying the languages and everything become a significant part of how much happiness the trip brings you. Similarly, spending time in the kitchen thinking about the event I’m making things for can extend the amount of enjoyment I get out of the event itself.

I guess I’ve been thinking about that too as the holidays approach. A couple years ago on here I made an almond tart and mushroom calzones for a Friendsgiving I went to, and as I’m starting to think about what I’m doing for Thanksgiving this year, I’m remembering that holiday itself as well as the time spent cooking with great fondness. Those are two of the most ambitious things I’d made in a long time (I’ve only ever made a few things — samosas, hush puppies, and stollen — that I can think of offhand that were more ambitious, and those were all done in college), and even making them simultaneously, they came out spectacularly well. There is a good chance I’ll do one or the other of them this year. I need to use that tart pan again after all. But I might also try to do something new. It’s a lot of fun, expanding my repertoire.

Speaking of expanding repertoire, I am still working on that knitting pattern. I have two variations of the eyelet-V pattern almost ready, though I’m having trouble figuring out the first several rows for either. (The repeating part of both patterns works fine; I just haven’t started out either enough times to determine what needs to be done to start the pattern out itself.) And once I have these two figured out then I’ll go on to try to make the branching pattern of my grandmother’s.

But back to cooking, the recipe for deviled eggs comes from my mother:

Raw eggs — roughly 2/3 the number of finished eggs you want to have (each raw egg makes 2 deviled eggs, but you want to have a few extra as removing the shell will mangle some of them)

Dill pickles — diced, to taste

Mayonnaise — to taste

Yellow mustard — to taste

Salt — to taste

Pepper — to taste

Pickle juice — to give the desired consistency

1. Boil the eggs. They should be hard boiled, which will take approximately 10 minutes in water that is already near boiling.

2. Rinse the eggs several times with cold water to cool them down, and then peel them. Peeling them when they are still slightly warm is easier.

3. Slice each peeled egg in half. Scoop the yolks out with a small spoon, and gather all yolks in a separate bowl. If a white is mangled, still add the yolk to the bowl, but set the mangled white aside. Lay the egg whites out on a paper towel on a plate or in a tupperware container.

4. Add the remaining ingredients to the egg yolks until you have achieved the desired taste and consistency.

5. Spoon the yolk mixture into the hollows of the egg whites; there should be enough to make a nice rounded dome on top of each one.

The finished eggs

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