I bought a five dozen case of eggs last week. It’s getting on towards spring, and I like to make pickled (red beet) eggs. I always do this with an eye towards the man of the house. Certain Man does not like this particular delicacy. In fact, I noted in a post back in 2008 that I had to endure persecution when I would “stink of the house” making pickled eggs. (You can read about that here; https://maryannyutzy.wordpress.com/2008/12/29/706/, as well as see a picture of a very young Lem and Jessica Yutzy, get the recipe for red beet eggs, as well as one for Graham Streusel Coffee Cake).
To be honest, not much has changed.
However, that beloved Eldest Brother, Clint Yoder, came to Delaware for a very fast trip this weekend, and he loves pickled eggs, so I weighed my options carefully and decided to make a batch on Tuesday. I usually only make one batch a year, but some years I need more. I suspected that without my Sweet Mama, I wouldn’t need more than one this year, though. She was one who always loved them as well. Perhaps that is one of the reason I make them When the smell of beets and vinegar and cloves and cinnamon is “stinking up the house” it feels like I’m a little girl again, and it is almost Easter and my Sweet Mama is making up a batch of pickled eggs. She always stored them in a big glass gallon jar, and the deep richness shone ruby-red through the refrigerator light at the back of our big old farmhouse fridge. Something about that familiar jar with the same gold lid and the taste of pickled beets say “home.” And so, probably for that reason more than any other, I feel compelled to make them.
Tuesday morning, the morning I decided that they needed to be made, was the same morning that Middle Daughter decided that she needed to replenish the supply of chocolate chip cookies in the freezer. She baked over a hundred cookies while I moved around her and put together the beets. the spices and hardboiled the eggs. The eggs boiled and the beets simmered (well, in this case, pretty much boiled furiously) with the spices and Middle Daughter complained some about the fact that one of the smells that her Daddy hated the most was mingling with one of his favorite smells, that of Chocolate Chip Cookies.
“I know,” I said, trying to comfort her, “but by the time your Daddy gets home, the smell will be somewhat abated, and he will see that you made chocolate chip cookies and that will make him not fuss so much about the pickled eggs. I plan to have them out of sight by then, anyhow.”
We both know that he loves cookies or cake or baked anything with his breakfast. His favorite thing is to put chocolate chip cookies into hot oatmeal and have the chips melt just a bit and then eat everything all together. This is a Yutzy Family thing to do, although I suspect it may have its roots in their Amish heritage. No matter what the baked good is, it is better with milk poured over it, maybe some fruit on top of that, depending on the baked good, but at least milk! Yes, it’s a soggy mess, and yes, it can look pretty mixed up and disgusting, but that’s the way he likes it, and I’ve noticed when I’m with his family, that he’s not the only one that is of this persuasion. I haven’t tried to change him. It really doesn’t hurt anything. And if a man can’t eat what he wants, the way he wants it, and when he wants it, in his own house, it’s a pretty sad state of affairs, if you ask me. So Middle Daughter helps to maintain the supply and he eats chocolate chip cookies with his oatmeal and we are all content. And he doesn’t eat pickled eggs, no matter what the supply, and as long as he isn’t called upon to defend his position, or smell them too long, or have anything to do with them, we are still all content.
And so the morning passed, both cooks accomplished their endeavors and by afternoon, the eggs were in the garage, cooling for the garage refrigerator, and the cookies were baked, packaged in morning breakfast bags of three each and in the freezer, and a plate for munching was sitting on the counter.
Mr. Yutzy was quite pleased with the beautiful cookies. So much so that he didn’t say much about the pickled eggs.
But then there were several occasions to haul them out. My Bible study gals and their children had some after Bible study on Thursday. I had put two dozen eggs in that big gallon jug and I thought there was plenty to share. The eggs and beets were exclaimed over and eaten and the jar went down considerably. I checked my supply and knew that there were still plenty for today’s lunch, but not a whole lot more. Maybe this was one year when I would be able to justify making a second batch!
Today’s lunch was another one of those wonderfully miraculous provisions for me. Eldest Daughter has made Sunday lunch for us twice in the last few weeks, and the Sunday morning difference has been really special. And this week at Bible Study, one of my gals said that she wanted to bring lasagna for lunch today, would it be okay? Do we eat lasagna? I was so excited, I hardly knew how to contain myself! “Yes, we eat lasagna! Yes, it would be okay! Yes, please! Yes, please!” And so it was agreed upon.
She brought the lasagna, baked and ready to reheat, last evening. And with it, a tray of homemade cream puffs.
Wow! What a treat! With all the stuff that I bake, these are something I don’t dabble with. These looked absolutely delectable.
And so, at lunch today we had lasagna, a lovely tossed salad, the making of which was overseen by Middle Daughter, Deborah, Delaware Lima Beans, cooked the way we like them, and what was left of the pickled eggs. Oh, and those cream puffs! It was a wonderful dinner, shared by family and friends. Oldest Brother, Clint Yoder, Eldest Daughter and Beloved Son In Law, along with our granddaughter, and Nephew Josh with his lovely wife, Lawina. We had sweet conversation, enjoyed a dinner that was mostly donated, and got things cleared away in record time. The company was delightful, the food was good, and one of the best parts of all was that the pickled egg jar was depleted of the last egg, and (almost) the last beet.
I looked at my almost empty jar and thought, “Wow! This is one year I get to make another batch. Maybe tomorrow I should get started on that, since Certain Man will be at work, and I can get it done early enough so as to not cause (too much) havoc.
So wish me the best, dear friends. In this house of very little tolerance for the existence of pickled red beet eggs, I’m planning to courageously move forward and see if I can replenish my supply. Easter is still three weeks off. I might even have time for two more batches. Especially is some of you would show up to help eat them.
Pickled Red Beet Egg Eaters Unite! We are just as good as the others! It’s time to let our preferences be heard! Here’s to the glass gallon jar with the ruby red goodness shining through! Here’s to the ones who eat them with relish! May the tribe increase!