Easter Morning. After a long winter, it feels like spring. The sky is blue bright blue. The birds are back – even a heron – and they are happy because the cat is very busy with her new brood. There is an Easter Egg hunt going on at the neighbor’s pond down the road. The children are squealing with delight as they find the colored eggs.

Easter Eggs are pretty, but I have always wondered how safe it is to eat a blue egg* . . . they don’t even look appealing, tongue in cheek, after they are pealed. So, in the last few years, I have tried natural dyes. The results are quite nice!

What is more, this year, with my new cache of old cookbooks, I researched recipes for the ever humble hard boiled egg. Truly, hard boiled eggs are almost a perfect food – they are easy and fast to prepare, they travel well and they are nutritious. But, a little bland so I add salt. The question is, what to do with an abundance of hard boiled eggs? Like after Easter. There will be a lot of egg salad sandwiches this week in lunch boxes! Today, in our house, we will devour deviled eggs . . . . the quest of my search.

Let me also explain that I have used the same deviled egg recipe for forty years! Everyone likes them, busy with children and life, I just never really looked at others! My standard recipe “Dill-Deviled Eggs” is in Anna Thomas, The Vegetarian Epicure. But I adapted some other ideas that Thomas wrote about in The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two. Instead of Mayonnaise which overpowers the egg, in my opinion, I use sour cream and then it all depends – dill, parsley, green onion chopped very fine – on the pantry.

I was surprised to learn that the earliest recipes called for ground meat and yolk mashed together. Later, ca. 1940s, I found mayonnaise used as a binder. The most unusual treatment for hard boiled eggs that I found was In The Escoffier Cook Book (1941). There are eggs with tripe, mushrooms, wrapped with pastry, fried and smothered with sauce anglaise or béchamel, treated with artichoke bottoms, foie gras. Who knew?

At the end of my reading, I have absolutely decided to stay with my time-tested, simple recipe for our Easter Feast!

Happy Easter! Happy Spring! I love this time of year!

Cook Books Consulted:

  • Rumford Complete Cook Book (1946)
  • The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook (1918)
  • The Escoffier Cook Book (1941)
  • The Betty Furness Westinghouse Cook Book (1954)


* They, in this case, are those who pronounce food dye as safe for coloring eggs.