Monday, July 4, 2011

Deviled Eggs And Cupcakes

Happy Fourth of July!!!!! I personally count the fourth as one of my top holidays. It's right up there with Christmas and Thanksgiving, just above my birthday. This is because the Fourth is on of the few times when my mother makes deviled eggs. I've done the math (what little there is to do) and she only makes them twice a year. For someone who is a great fan of her deviled eggs, this small but true fact is pure torture. This year she also made cupcakes. Yes, cupcakes, those glorious little cakes shaped like cups!

My town celebrated the fourth last night. My family chose to celebrate on the same day. We converged to devour the food that our households had contributed to. For some odd reason, I have a reputation involving the disappearances of several deviled eggs. I have no idea why. This year however, I decided to help my mother in the preparation of these eggs of deliciousness.

Around noon yesterday, my mother announced that she was going to take a nap and would prepare the deviled eggs when she woke up. Seeing as the eggs had already been boiled and I had nothing to do, she informed me that I was to shell the eggs while she napped. My mother, being the kindly woman she is, showed me how to shell the eggs in case I had forgotten. She liberated a few from the confines of their shells and retired to her room.

I eagerly cracked the shell of one egg until it was covered with little lines, and began to tear the shell away. Unfortunately, a great deal of egg white peeled off too, so that, when I had finished, the egg was considerably smaller than and not as smooth as the eggs my mother had peeled. Valiantly, I continued on with my work. I finally began to shell the eggs rather well, so well in fact that I decided to do it with my eyes closed. The first blindly shelled egg seemed to have survived, pleased, I began the next one. When I had finished that egg, I looked down in dismay. Due to my longish fingernails and my lack of attention, I had exposed the yolk. I placed the egg with the others, horrified at what I had done to its innocent white protective layer. The rest of the eggs that I shelled survived with considerably less trauma.

My mother slept on while I arranged all 24 eggs on a tea towel to dry. I was going to do a 4x8 rectangle, but I decided to sort the injured from the perfectly shelled. I ended up with two 3x4 rectangles. Obviously, my technique needs work. I retired to my father's arm chair and read until the time my mother had informed me to wake her.

I slipped through her doorway and heard a faint snore. I smiled. She wasn't even under her covers. Instead, she had pulled an extra blanket from the foot of the bed over her. I looked at her for a moment, at her hair strewn across the pillow, and the rise and fall of the blanket covering her while she breathed.

"Mom." The words echoed around me so soon after I had uttered them. I was filled with memories of sneaking downstairs late at night and going to her room. The single word, "Mommy," would wake her instantly and she would open up the covers for me to climb in with her, the warm blankets closing around me, protecting me from the vicious shadows.

These days, as she no longer needs to fend off the monsters of nightmares, it takes a little more than a single word, quietly spoken to rouse her. I walked over and sat down on the bed next to her. The shift in weight on the bed woke her and she opened her eyes and looked at me. I informed her of the time and she nodded her head wisely. I left her to finish waking completely.

The back door was soon opened and closed to allow me to escape the confines of the house. I sat on the stairs of the porch. The cats, Sir. Shed-A-Lot and The Lady of Shed-Lots, both sauntered up to me and demanded attention. I happily did as ordered. By the time I thought Mom had gone to the kitchen, I was wondering if you can get fur burn. It is much like a rug burn, only one gets it from petting a cat or other furry pet for long periods of time.

I returned to the kitchen in time to see my mom put something in the blender. I looked at the eggs. She gently reminded me of the procedures (last time I made deviled eggs I was eight or nine) and showed me which knife she thought was appropriate. We merrily went about our work. Mom working with the cupcakes and me cutting the eggs in half and dropping the round yolk into a largish bowl. Two halves were too badly damaged to make suitable deviled eggs and had to be sacrificed to the monster that had cut them in half in the first place.

We finally came to the part where my mother and I made the center stuff. One deviled egg split and we hurriedly thrust it into the hands of my father, who was innocently passing by.

"Eat it fast!" My mother cried.

"Whoa!" My father had taken the egg and finally registered that the filling was spilling into his hands. The whole egg disappeared into his mouth quite quickly.

The rest of the evening went by rather uneventfully. We met the rest of the family (that could come) at the normal spot. There were a few stories told, including the time my sister made lemon bars that tasted like chicken, and we watched a movie before heading home.

That brings us to this morning. I woke up and decided that I didn't want to sleep anymore for the night. Little kids aren't the only ones with nightmares. It was 6:21. I usually wake up several hours later during the summer, but I didn't want to risk having anymore bad dreams. I rolled out of bed and stumbled into the kitchen. My breakfast consisted of a glass of chocolate milk and three deviled eggs. I curled up in the recliner and read a book after consuming the most important meal of the day.

My sister came by, gave me a curious glance, and passed on. My father didn't even fully notice me until the third time he passed. When my mother came by for the second time I sweetly informed her that I had eaten breakfast and inquired how long she thought my father would stay in his room with the door closed. My mother is a wise woman and knows me well. She asked what I wanted to do that I didn't want him to know about. I said one word, "Cupcakes?" and my mother nodded, informed me that I could have one and that if my father came out of his room I could go hide in her room and that was it. She went to her lair and I choose a cupcake.

No sooner had I sat down, then my father's door opened and he emerged. I leapt to my feet, held the cupcake behind me, and giggled. I do not know why I giggled, as I had not even put my nose close to smell the icing yet. My father went into the bathroom. I wasted no time in dashing to my mother's room. I perched upon her bed and separated the wrapper and cupcake with surgical precision. Once the cupcake was no more, I returned to the livingroom where I found a traitorous act in the making.

My sister was talking with my father and telling him that I had gone to Mom's room with the cupcake and that I had my mother's permission. I hurried to my mother and told her that my sister had sold us out. Mom and I went upstairs to confront the sister. I confronted from behind the mother as older sisters are something to be mortified of. We relaxed after a moment and and my mother reminded me that I couldn't have another cupcake until after lunch. I couldn't help it.

"I don't need another one. I'm sweet enough already."

After my mother and sister finished laughing, my mother informed me that I got that from my father.

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