Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Honoring The Great Gatsby (Originally Southern Stuff: Part One)

Originally posted on 2/13/13:
Today, somehow, my daughter talked me into making four dozen deviled eggs for her to take to school tomorrow.  As tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, I cannot fathom why she needs forty-eight deviled eggs…but whatever.  I agreed to make them.

(FYI, if you want someone to make you deviled eggs in ANY quantity, please do not wait until the night before to ask for them.  As anyone knows, peeling a boiled egg is impossible if the egg is fresh…and as I DON’T keep two dozen + eggs around the house, I had to run to the store for a couple of cartons.  They are cooling now, and even though I put vinegar in the boiling water, I don’t expect to have an easy time peeling the damn things.  Kid’s gonna be taking some jacked-up looking eggs to school and she has no one to blame but herself.)

The whole thing reminds me of my friend Leslie’s deviled-egg-plate story…which has become my basis for determining who is, and who is not, a SOUTHERN LADY.

You see Leslie (and one of our mutual friends and co-worker, Lisa) were in New Orleans for a conference.  Environmental Engineering or Resource Recovery or Voo-doo, or whatever.  Anyway, they had decided to check out the sites while they were down there.  Leslie had heard about some bar that was supposed to be the oldest bar in the United States or something: Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop.  Turns out it is also a gay bar, but that’s really neither here nor there….
Anyway, Lisa and Leslie skip on down Bourbon Street and enter Lafitte’s.  The bartender is conversing with someone, but greets them and ascertains very quickly that Lisa and Leslie are from the South.  Lisa is from Tennessee and Leslie from right here in Alabama.  Leslie has THE perfect southern voice…all syrup-y drawl and everything.*  So anyway, as they sat down, he asked them, “Do you have an egg-plate?”
“Huh?” they both replied.
Bartender: “An egg-plate.  That you put deviled eggs on, do you have one?”
L & L: “We do, why do you ask?”
Bartender: “Are you ladies from the South?”
L & L: “Yes?????”
Bartender, turning to his friend: “Told you.”
L & L: “Ummmm….what?”
Bartender: “I was just telling my friend that all Southern Ladies own an egg plate.  At least one.”

So of course, when they got back to our office the following week, they took a poll to see who did, and who did not, own egg plates.  The only non-egg-plate-owner???? Susan, from Wisconsin. Since the telling of this tale, I have periodically checked it’s validatity…and it’s absolutely true…if you were born in the South (and raised right) you own at least one egg plate.  I own three.  A plain, clear glass Anchor Hocking one. (If you’re not Southern, you also might not know what Anchor Hocking is…it’s basically the cheap glassware stuff in Walmart) a pretty ceramic one, and a “traveling” one.  I can’t locate my clear one right now, but here’s the other two:

*A word about my friend Leslie.  Yes, she has a sweet, sweet Southern voice.  Once a person we were having a teleconference with told her “You sound just like that Pothole on that commercial.” But Leslie also has like an IQ of 217 or something crazy.  She’s also about 6 foot tall, beautiful, and has, on at least two occasions (that I know about) intimidated grown men into crying. I love her.

While I was making the 48 deviled eggs, the kiddo was baking two dozen devil's food cupcakes.  All of this was for English class and is somehow associated with The Great Gatsby. If someone can draw me a clearer picture of that association, please do.  I'm totally lost.
Anyway, the smell of baking chocolate cupcakes, though normally one of life's most wonderful aromas does NOT mingle well with the odor of boiled eggs. My whole kitchen smelled like a chocolate fart.  Then, for some reason, I thought that lighting a white gardenia candle would somehow help. (It didn't). To compound matters, while peeling the damned fresh eggs, I mangled several of them.  I absentmindedly passed about three of them over to the dog who was clinging right to my side while I worked, in hopes of catching a tidbit should one drop to the floor.  He's kind of my constant cooking companion.  Anyway, I was feeding him the third egg and realized what the consequences of letting a 70 lb Golden Retriever have boiled eggs was likely to be.  If he starts up the flatulence that I imagine he will, we may have to burn the house down to get rid of the combination of smells.
Second Update: Apparently, deviled eggs were considered de rigueur (or as we say in my circles "FANCY!") back in 1922 and were served at upscale parties. I'm guessing that devil's food cake (or cupcakes?) were also very swanky. I'm still a little unclear why they were celebrating The Great Gatsby on Valentine's Day.


  1. Chocolate Farts! That's Hilarious!