Today is Easter, a time when I traditionally post about Zombie Jesus and tell a long, anti-climatic joke whose punchline is, “Peter! I can see your house from up here!” My dad, good Jew that he was and inveterate and unapologetic Teller of Terrible Jokes, thought my joke was excellent. Possibly he was the only one, unless you count seriously intoxicated patrons of the bar that I tended back when I first learned this joke. I always worked on major holidays because that’s where the money is, and my captive and inebriated audience rewarded me with drunken laughter and extra money.
But I digress.
I am non-religious to an almost atheistic degree, especially in that I find so much hypocrisy and contradiction in religion that it can really only be made up by humans. How can you preach one thing and act completely another?
This is not to say that I don’t have some certain thoughts. Feelings. Beliefs?
Let’s not get carried away.
I, like every single, solitary other person on this earth, have no idea about any of it – what’s true, what happens when we die, if there is a plan or a purpose or some kind of reason for being. So, like every other single, solitary person on this earth I make shit up.
It’s what we do.
I grew up in Maryland but moved huffily away back in 1995. Since moving back to Baltimore in 2014, one very strange thing has been happening, a very strange thing that has me making shit up sometimes.
I keep finding utensils on the ground. Forks and spoons mostly, with the occasional knife thrown in. I find them on walks in the woods, the random stroll to the store, and even embedded in a newly paved road (in East Baltimore by the Johns Hopkins campus where I teach yoga).
For some reason, I have been picking them up. There are a million things on the street in any major city, but I pick up silverware.
Initially I thought I might get arty and make a windchime or something, but I have not yet done that, and the stash of cutlery is growing.
Coincidentally, just before I really started writing about food, the pace of street cutlery acquisition increased exponentially. Everywhere I went, spoons and forks magically appeared. Plain, ornate, bent out of use, and perfect as if just out of the box from the bridal registry: eating utensils were everywhere.
It got a little ridiculous.
But now, as I continue to stockpile my growing stash of silver/not silver, I wonder.
Which is how all made-up human creations begin.
Is this The Universe telling me to start a food blog?
(pause here for that not-quite-serious question to sink in)
I just read an article on The Facebook about ten of the most overused phrases in yoga (this is not that article, but this is a good one, still with the same snarky bullshit, but the sting of truth is there. Get a Band-Aid and some tissues, hypersensitive yogis.), and while I disagreed completely with the snarky, my-yoga-is-better-than-yours tone of the article, one point struck me: the serious and continued calling upon of The Universe.
As in, “If I just tell The Universe what I want, then I can manifest it, ” or, “That’s The Universe telling me to____.”
I have shaken my fist at The Universe, it’s true. I have, in moments of weakness, wondered (there it is again), if certain things were just supposed to happen.
But come on.
We are tiny little specks in this overwhelmingly ginormous collection of dust, gas, and other material. To suggest that our tiny little lives merit even a moment of attention from any wisp of cloud or breath of wind is ludicrous and faintly ridiculous. The Universe frankly doesn’t give a rat’s ass about us and our tiny, insignificant human problems.
I have felt in my life that sometimes, if I could just make myself small enough (or, conversely, make myself open and big enough), I would be able to hear that little voice that is maybe me, deep down, or maybe something else outside of me. That whispered breath of something has been with me for a long time, and I don’t know if it’s on the wind or in my bones.
Whatever it is, it’s never wrong. Quite literally. I have tried to drown it with booze and outrun it by moving, but ultimately whatever is being said/whispered/transmitted/ WHATEVER gets through.
It sounds like a belief system, of sorts, but I promise you, it’s not.
But it’s something.
There really is no good segue into why this recipe made it into this post, except to say that I found the inspiration for it on The Facebook in the form of Jennifer, my cousin in Seattle. In truth, she is a cousin by marriage, related as she is to my deceased husband, but after Dane died we became (and stayed) close (like maybe The Universe thought we should. #Transitions) She posted on The Facebook, asking a friend in Washington to make these for her, and they seemed just the thing for a not-quite-atheist to have for a dinner celebrating Zombie Jesus’s (re)birth.
Buffalo And Bleu Deviled Eggs
Note: Like all things religious and spiritual, there are no hard-and-fast answers. Amounts are really subject to you and what it looks like. The filling should be creamy, so taste and keep adding until it’s how you like it. The original recipe has many exclamation points! And ranch dressing powder! Neither of which made it into this recipe, as exclamation points are an anathema to me, and I didn’t feel like buying ranch dressing powder. But do as you like. This isn’t a cult, for Christ’s sake.
6 hardboiled eggs, cut in half with yolks removed to a bowl
3 tablespoons softened cream cheese
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
Frank’s hot sauce, to taste
Splash of milk
Garnish: bleu cheese crumbles and celery
Place egg yolks, cream cheese, mayonnaise, hot sauce, and milk in a medium-sized bowl (or the bowl of a food processor) and beat with a hand mixer (or process on low) until ingredients are smooth a creamy. Taste, and add more hot sauce or milk as needed.
Spoon (or pipe if you’re fancy AF) into hardboiled egg white cases. Thinly slice celery and place artistically on top, then add bleu cheese crumbles (gorgonzola is also delicious here). Finish with some freshly cracked black pepper, and try not to eat them all in one sitting.