Do you guys have any food traditions for Thanksgiving? For me, it’s things like my mom’s deviled eggs or her pear salad, or even her dressing or potato salad. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of “cooking” with my mom on the holidays. I don’t think she ever used a recipe and I was happy to be “taste tester”. When she died a few years ago, it became really important to me to carry on her traditions – especially food. Knowing that I have her food at my holiday table makes me feel like she’s there with us as we celebrate. (Did you know that that’s how our departed family members “visit”? As long as you keep their memory alive, they are with you. Always.)
At Thanksgiving, I can recall standing beside her in the kitchen watching her add a little of this and a little of that until her side dishes were ready for my inspection. As I grew older, I realized (especially as an adult) that I didn’t need recipes either. My palate had just grown to “know” what those items were supposed to taste like. It only just now occurred to me that she was teaching me to cook in her own way. She was never one to give up full control in the kitchen being the Southern lady she was – that was just her domain.
I’ll freely admit that I have used recipes as a base and then tweaked them with what I can remember from those cooking sessions with my mom – like with her dressing. For those of you who aren’t Southern – dressing is kind of like stuffing; only you don’t put it in the bird, and it has more of a casserole texture since it’s baked. When I moved north with my hubby I made it a priority to figure out her recipe, and I’m happy to say I’ve almost figured it out. Anyway, I digress. Today, I’m sharing with you one of my favorite sides that we always prepared together. It truly represents my mom to me and best of all, it can be made easily with simple ingredients. They are perfect for a last minute addition to your holiday table!
Mom’s Deviled Eggs
Eggs – one egg will make two deviled eggs
Apple Cider Vinegar – not pictured
Begin by hard-boiling your eggs. Once they are done, run them under cold water until they are only warm to the touch and then pop them in the fridge for awhile. Getting them as cold as possible is going to make them easier to peel, and you need them to be easily peeled so they look nice when they reach your table. Peel the eggs and cut them in half the long way. Gently remove the yolks and pop them in a bowl. Set the whites aside on the plate/platter you’re going to serve them on. I like to give the yolks a mash with a fork before adding the other ingredients.
To the yolks, add one heaping spoonful of Miracle Whip (mayo can be used too…but my mom always used Miracle Whip for the zingy taste).
Add in a hefty squirt of mustard. As I said before, mom never used measuring spoons for this stuff, so my best tip would be to start with a good tablespoon sized amount of mustard.
Add in a splash of the vinegar. (When I say splash, I mean that…start slowly – you can build it up once you taste.) I didn’t photograph that part because all I had was a HUGE bottle of vinegar and trying to get a splash and take a photo was too difficult. I would honestly start with maybe a capful and go from there. It’s pretty potent stuff. Whisk it all together. You want it to be smooth, but on the drier side. The grainy texture of the yolk should still be present, but everything should be mixed together.
Make sure you taste at this point. If it’s too tart, add a little more mayo (small moves Ellie! -name that movie) and retaste. You want it to have a zing, but you don’t want things to be so tart your guests are making the pucker face. 😉 Too bland? Add a little more mustard OR vinegar. Retaste. Once you get a flavor you like, STOP. It’s really easy to over do it. You can fill your eggs in one of two ways. First, you can do what my mom did, and spoon it in with a cereal spoon and then smooth it out with a dragging motion off the edge. Or you can do it the way I usually do and use a food decorating “gun” (this is the one I use: Pampered Chef Easy Accent Decorator). Finally, sprinkle the paprika on top and you’re done!
These are so tasty and actually pretty addicting.
To find more quick and easy last minute sides for Thanksgiving, check out my blogging friends below and what they’ve prepared for you: