The Egg Ritual

Mystery of creation, symbol of the tomb,
the broken body, eternal perfection
of life inside life, the egg and its sanctity
are unquestioned, its place at the table assured,
a centerpiece of feast days and catalyst
of controversy. Its forms are legion
and legendary, multitudinous as varieties
of worship, fine distinctions of earth-
shaking importance. Deviled? Or dressed?
Mayonnaise or mustard? Vinegar? Pickles?
Creamy or watery? Immersion or sprinkling
with paprika or pepper, parsley, capers,
chives, caviar, or jalapeño…
Such arguments dance on a pin,
or in this case, a frilled toothpick.
If therefore, ye should partake
in such rituals of fellowship, beware
of stumbling on a stone of contention:
some cooks garnish their eggs with umbrage.


On our first Sunday back in church since the Pandemic shut-downs, the minister said, “Some of us are back at church because we missed the fellowship. And some just missed the deviled eggs!” The church I attend has such elaborate “coffee hours” after the service that my daughter grew up thinking that was Sunday lunch. As soon as I got home, I started looking up recipes for deviled eggs. I found one for Southwestern deviled eggs, but took umbrage at the statement “traditionally made with sweet pickles and paprika.”
Do you have a favorite, unique ingredient or garnish for deviled eggs? Any you find shocking? How about cinnamon, Ancient Roman-style?

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