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Life Guarantees: Deviled Eggs in the Picnic Basket

I have always hated the saying, “There are two things in life you can rely on: death and taxes.” What kind of life is that if those are the only two things that you can count on? I have so many other certainties.

I can wake up on any spring morning and know before I look out my window that New Orleans looks beautiful. If there are rain clouds, the oak trees covering my regular drive gain a breathtaking silhouette. If its sunshine, well, there is no blue sky that can frame bunches of blooming jasmine quite like the sky in this part of the country.

Have you ever tasted good cheese straws? I promise that my grandmother’s were better. If I came to visit, I never once doubted that a tin would be sitting on a table in the dining room ready for me to eat.

At every Southern church picnic, there will be at least one plate of deviled eggs. Actually, it is fairly likely that you’ll find three plates; but I cannot say that with the same confidence as the single plate, my grandmother’s cheese straws, or the beauty of New Orleans in the spring.

Because of Easter, this final life-truth kept popping up in my head, and I decided to make some deviled eggs. What better way to use up Easter weekend hardboiled eggs, right? I went for a less traditional twist on this picnic standard and made Bacon Cheddar Deviled Eggs.

With such a quintessential picnic basket filler, I had to use a classic picnic basket. Even if the woven willow of the Picnic & Beyond Veranda Collection basket had not immediately caught my eye, the cotton lining would have – it’s the perfect springtime green! This basket is on the small size, but it still has the perfect amount of space for leftover pork tenderloin slice and the deviled eggs; plus, that size makes it ideal for carrying comfortably. The salad-sized plates make this a great basket for a light dinner in the hot spring or summer sun.

Bacon and Cheddar Deviled Eggs
A recipe by Philadelphia based chef Mitch Prensky, shared with CHOW
Makes 24 deviled eggs

12 eggs
6 tbs mayonnaise
2 tsps Dijon mustard
4 tsps rendered bacon fat
2 tsps cider vinegar
2 tsps finely chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper
crumbled bacon (garnish)
thinly sliced aged cheddar (garnish)

Hard-boil the eggs. Cool, peel, and cut in half. Use a spoon to remove the yolks into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Reserve egg whites on a plate.

Add mayonnaise, Dijon, bacon fat, cider vinegar, and thyme to the yolks. Combine, adding salt and pepper to taste. Mix until the yolks are broken up and ingredients are completely incorporated.

Spoon mixture into a small Ziploc bag; seal tightly and clip off one corner. Pipe the mixture evenly into the egg whites. Top with crumbled bacon and cheddar.

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