Long Live the Queen!

Honorable Mention in Florence Lindemann Humor Contest, Wisconsin Writers Association, April 2010.

Published in A Moment in Time, A Nonfiction Anthology, June, 2010.

I HAVE A KITCHEN BECAUSE IT CAME WITH THE HOUSE. So says the card taped to my refrigerator that pictures two smiling women standing in a 1950’s kitchen, complete with page-boy hairdos, ruffled curtains and not a single high tech appliance in sight. That caption speaks to my heart.

I don’t get it. Everywhere I look, there’s an excited buzz about cooking. The newest celebrity chef. The latest recipe. A state of the art appliance or the newest cookbook. Cooking actually gives me heart palpitations and an unsteady hand as I stand poised over pan or bowl, wondering if I should blanche or braise, mince, dice or chop.

When attending any bring-a-dish function, I’ve always opted for something from the deli or the bakery. Protection against possible meltdown, my contribution is chips and dip, dessert from the local bakery or deli-made potato salad.

So I completely surprised myself when I offered to bring deviled eggs to my book group’s salad supper. Maybe I’m coming under the spell of the kitchen god’s wife, I mused.

Making deviled eggs is like putting in a shift on the assembly line of cooking. Boil. Cool. Cut. Blend. Spoon. Very concrete. No guessing. At book group, everyone seemed to enjoy them. At least, I had an empty dish to take home and that’s all the success I‘d hoped for.

I surprised myself again last New Year’s. “I’ll bring deviled eggs,” I heard myself say. Maybe the euphoria of past success has gone to my head. Before I knew it, I was on the internet, searching for a final touch of class to enhance my deviled egg presentation.

For only $6.95 and shipping, I became the proud owner of a deviled egg dish complete with snap-on cover. Ah, the rush of contentment when it arrived Fed Ex a week before the party. Now, instead of lurking around the edges, I’m a full-fledged member of the sorority. Delivered from being the humble purveyor of deli and bakery goods to the high status of a true contributor, I’m now the queen of deviled eggs!

But let’s not get carried away. I’m from a long line of one hit wonders and my mother, not much into cooking, is the queen of cookies. This her grandchildren will attest, as they make a beeline for the plastic containers that fill her pantry shelves. And cookies is pretty much all she does.

So I plan to follow in Mom’s footsteps and honor her for the wise mentor she’s become. And everyone in my life has accepted the sad news that I have no plans of losing myself in the uncharted seas of gourmet creation. Satisfied with my small measure of success, I’m happy to bask in my deviled egg glory and simply enjoy it. Long live the queen!

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