Fiction-Food Café

March 31, 2018

Pickled Eggs & Egg Sandwich | The Evil Wizard Smallbone

". . . he opened the refrigerator to get out the corned beef and saw a large glass jar full of round white things floating in a cloudy liquid.
     His stomach lurched. 'What's that? Eyeballs?'
     'Pickled eggs,' Smallbone said. 'The eyeballs'er in the freezer.'"

"Nick found the corned beef and put it in the pot, then made sandwiches with the pickled egg and mayo while Smallbone smoked and commented on his progress."

The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman

       The atmosphere of this book and the many mentions of food keep drawing me back to it. :) I previously made sage hot chocolate and New England boiled dinner (corned beef), and now I've made pickled eggs! I've never had pickled eggs before (at least not that I can remember) but I love the strong sourness of pickles and the like, so I really wanted to research this and come up with my own way of doing it. I mentioned this book to my dad because he's from Maine, and he waxed nostalgic and I could here him smiling through the phone as he commented about the New England boil and pickled eggs (smacking his lips) and the Moxie soda and clam chowder. I'm far away from my dad right now, but I hope he might try this recipe and enjoy it. :)

          The ingredients listed in the recipe below are pretty typical, except for one: fresh sage! I added this because it's mentioned in the story (in hot chocolate) as something that helps disperse excess magic. Which makes me think of it as a magic regulator and something that would be very good to help you control your magic. Also, it gives these eggs a hecka good flavor. ;)

Note: This recipe is more or less for a 1 liter or 1000 ml jar.
My brine turned slightly yellowish/brown-ish partly due to a few whole cloves in the pickling spice. If you'd like to avoid this, simply pick out the whole cloves before adding the spice to the pot.
Other options for these pickled eggs are using red onions instead of white (or leaving out the onions all together), substituting in beet juice for some of the water, or adding sliced jalapeño or a couple of dried chili peppers, or even sliced cucumbers!
Also, if you don't want the pickling spice floating around in the jar, simply put it in a little cheesecloth or muslin bag (or wrap it in a bundle in that type of cloth & tie it off tight) or tea strainer & float it in the pot while the brine is cooking so the flavors can seep out. Discard the spices after the cooking part is done. This will cause the pickled eggs to not be as strong though because the spices won't be sitting in the jar with them. You could always stuff the little bag into the jar though (if that's what you use). :)
*This recipe is versatile and you can omit things or add things or change up the measurements to suit your tastes.

Pickled Eggs

2 Cups White Vinegar
1 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 tsp. Salt
1 Onion, thinly julienned
1 lrg. Garlic clove, peeled & cut into 4 thin slices
2 tsp. Pickling Spice
10-12 Hardboiled Eggs (see the end of the post)
Several Fresh Sage Leaves (because it's good for magic!)
Several Fresh Dill Sprigs

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a pot on high heat & bring to a boil. Cook until the onions are limp/tender (if you'd like your onions crunchy, don't cook them in the pot, but use them in the next step). Take this time to bruise the fresh herbs (which means to kind of scrunch them together to release their essence) and tear any large sage leaves in two.

Layer the eggs, onions, & fresh herbs alternately in the jar & then pour in the brine to cover the eggs completely (discard any excess brine, or if there's not enough, add in a bit of water). Let sit in the fridge for a few days & then enjoy! These will theoretically last for up to a month, maybe more (haha, it's a mystery with varying theories).

Pickled Egg Salad Sandwich

2 Pickled Eggs
2 tsp. Mayonnaise
1 tsp. Mustard of choice (optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Sage & Dill from the pickle brine
Onions from the pickle brine
2 Slices of bread

Chop up 2 of the pickled eggs and put them in a plastic sandwich baggie. Add in the mayo & mustard & squish around to combine (you can also do this in a bowl, of course!). Spread the mixture onto one of the bread slices (you can spread mayo or mustard on the bread if you like).

Chop up a few of the sage leaves & dill sprigs & put them on the egg salad as well as some of the onions. Sprinkle salt & pepper to taste on top & close the sandwich. Enjoy!

Alternate: You could also slice a couple of the pickled eggs instead of making them into egg salad & lay them with some slices of corned beef on bread slices spread with mayo &/or mustard (because Nick & Smallbone had corned beef the same day as they had pickled egg sandwiches!). :) You could also use, leftover Easter ham if it's that time of year (Nick did make a sandwich with some moldy ham...). :)

How to Hard Boil Eggs

Lay the eggs (preferably a week old or more) in a pot in a single layer & cover with cold water. Add in a couple teaspoons or so of baking soda, swish it around, & bring to a boil.

Remove the pot from the heat, cover, & let sit for 12 minutes. Drain & cover the eggs with continuous cold water to cool them & stop them from cooking.

To peel, tap both ends of the egg on the counter & roll the egg so that the shell cracks profusely. Get your thumb under the shell + the thin membrane it's attached to & peel it away from the egg white.

*For more food from The Evil Wizard Smallbone,

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