Paprika, the Devils Spice


I was reminded of the old commercial on television from years ago. A Rolls Royce pulls up at an intersection and the passenger rolls down his window and askes; “pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?” “But of course!!!” Yes, you guessed it, there is a story here.


Recently, during the Easter holiday, I was fortunate enough to be invited to two separate Easter Feasts. Of course I viewed this as a constant grazing opportunity and who am I to refuse? I eagerly accepted both. I was asked to bring a green salad to one gathering and thought I would prepare Devil Eggs for the second. I don’t know what it was, but I had a serious hankering for Devil Eggs.


On Easter morning I rolled out of bed early for my first attempt at making Devil Eggs. Yes, I am still learning to cook but my confidence grows. I went to my go to source; Google, and I searched the assemble instructions for Devil Eggs. I assembled all of the needed hardware as per the recently acquired instructions.


          Egg’s, Check


          Mayonnaise ,Check


          Dry ground mustard, Check


          White Vinegar, Check


          Salt, Check


          Ground black pepper, Check




Now the last one was a challenge, I had to dig to the back of Lizzies spice cabinet for this one. But at last I saw a red and white tin container with the magical word, “Paprika”. Check


I began the laborious process of boiling and preparing the eggs. When I began to peel the egg shells I realized the hot eggs were burning the hell out of my fingers so I thought; ok this sucks, I think I’ll cool them in cool water before peeling the shells off.


Word to the wise here; bad idea, although I could no longer smell flesh burning off my fingers, (emphasis added) the cool shells refused to be peeled without taking half the eggs white with the shell. It was as if Gorilla Glue had been added between the egg shell and whites. Lucky for me I had only cooled a few so I went back to the hot eggs which to my relief had cooled significantly but were still warm enough to allow the shell to peel. The moral to this story is allow the eggs to cool slightly but not to a cold temperature and shell will peel right off and you will still have feeling in finger tips following the process.


Next I assembled the ingredients and egg yoke as directed on the instructions. This is where I ran head long into a roadblock. How in the world do I get the magical devil mixture back into the egg whites? I even mimicked scooping the mixture and simulated placing it in the whites. I just couldn’t see doing this without tearing the whites to shreds. There were no clues in the instructions and I stood there confused. It was about this time my Daughter Lindsey, who had decided to spend the night before Easter at home with her ole man, apparently saw the confusion building on my face and suggested why don’t you put it into a plastic baggy, cut off the corner then squirt the mixture back into the white. Absolutely brilliant and worked like a charm. Needless to say my appreciation for Lindsey’s mastery of problem solving was increased significantly.


Last step, “sprinkle Paprika on the eggs for added color as needed.” I obtained the little red and white container, I opened the lid and carefully inverted the can over the eggs while tapping lightly on the can with my finger. Tap, tap tap… nothing. Invert further; Tap, tap tap… nothing. Finally fully inverted and nothing coming out. I looked inside only to find the container completely empty. Lindsey at this point said something like: oh yeah, its empty. Mom collected these just for the containers. She thought those little tin cans were pretty neat.


Neat or not damn it; I don’t have a critical ingredient called for by the assemble instructions, this is a major derail. Now I am definitively type A personality but have never considered myself being OCD. Still I couldn’t get around the instructions calling for Paprika to complete the process and I didn’t have any… I just had to stop and get some at the store while on the way to the gathering.


 Once there, I realized I had left the spice in the bag I had previously left at my daughter’s house with the green salad. I asked my sister do you have Paprika? As luck would have it she was out as well. You know I think now I may have a little OCD. Yes you guessed it, I drove back to my daughters to get the Paprika to finish my little devil treasures. Upon returning, I placed the finely ground devils spice on the new created Devil Eggs. Oh all was right in the world, the eggs looked simply wonderful and were well received.


After consuming most of my culinary creations the remaining guests arrived including my niece and her family. Wouldn’t you know, I wasn’t the only one craving Devil Eggs. My niece and her husband converged in my sister’s kitchen with the fixing for their own Devil Eggs and began to follow the assemble instructions I knew too well. I even casually suggested off the cuff, “you’ll want to peel those shells while the eggs are still warm”; just trying to be helpful.


Like a convergence of fate that just had to be, Justin walked to the door near where I was sitting and asked more toward my sister, do you have any Paprika? I looked at him as casually as possible and said; “funny you should ask”, while pulling the bottle of Paprika from my hoody pocket and handing it to him I said, “But of Course.” He just looked at me for a second with a confused look on his face clearly thinking of what kind of goofy bugger walks around with a bottle of Paprika in his pocket?


Well now you know; definitely type A with a touch of OCD. All I need now is a Rolls Royce to go with it!!!


But of Course…


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