A Love Letter To Deviled Eggs

Love is food.

There are probably dozens, maybe hundreds, of psychologists and doctors who would jump on me for that sentence. They’d wag their fingers at the irresponsibility of such a statement during the current obesity crisis in our country. How dare I equate food with emotion when society has worked so hard to equate food with weight loss. We have an epidemic here, people, we don’t have time to feel things.

Thankfully, none of those psychologists read my blog, and I can say whatever I want.

Let me explain.

If I had to conjure up a single image that defined what love means to me, I know what it would be. My Aunt Linda’s kitchen, on a hot summer’s day, with food piled high on every surface. Coffee is brewing, of course, because we’ve all been addicted to coffee since we were 12. Three separate containers of cream laid out, because she knows we all like it a little differently.

There, in the center of the table, lies the plate of deviled eggs. They are never very decorated. Usually, they are just tossed on a white plate, unceremoniously covered in a layer of thin plastic cling wrap. I’m sure there were other notable details about the dish, but I never had enough time to notice them. The eggs, each one a rich, pearly bite of creamy filling and paprika, disappear before the coffee is done brewing.

He (or she) who makes the deviled eggs for the party is heralded as the hero. This is in spite of the fact that they may never get to taste their creation once everyone else gets their hands on it. We each pop three, four, five in our mouth, not rationing the goods, every man for himself. Grandma can eat shit, because I’m jonesing for just one more. No hard feelings at the end of it.

Bringing the deviled eggs, in my family, is not about the reward of tasting the finished product. It’s about the accolades you receive from a well-fed audience.

It is, in a nutshell, a labor of love.

You could say that it’s not the egg that represents love in this picture. You could say that it’s the people, or the kitchen, or the coffee. Perhaps food, you may say, is not love. Perhaps it’s just the way I see it.

Yes, family and coffee and kitchens are all important to this image of love. But the glue that brings it all together starts on that messy, haphazard plate on the table, the wadded ball of plastic wrap sitting next to it. The kitchen is merely backdrop, the coffee merely a caffeine kick.

The family, admittedly, is the true source of love. But if not for the plate of deviled eggs and our grasping hands reaching for them, we wouldn’t all be here, in the same room, standing this close together.

For that, I can thank the food.

Until next time, happy 50% off chocolate day.

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