Ah, Valentine’s Day… a day when winged babies armed with bows and arrows are flying around in the sky, maiming people at will. Romance is in the air! But what to eat? There are many foods traditionally associated with pitching woo, but sometimes you want to try something new. Something zesty…
Allow me set the mood for your culturally mandated romancing: You can smell the exotic perfume of a dozen red carnations that your lover has placed in a vase on the table. A bottle of modestly priced sparkling white wine has been uncorked. The seductive melody of Kenny G’s saxophone sounds as though it is moaning from heaven itself (actually, it’s just coming from the speakers on the top shelf of the bookcase). The finest in 10-carat gold, heart-shaped jewelry lies nestled in a velvet box, waiting to dazzle your eyes.
Your lover invites you to to recline next to the fireplace on a pile of coordinating decorative throw cushions and murmurs that you should close your eyes. Your lover tells you that s/he wants you to taste something zesty; an appetizer to delight your tongue. Your other senses are swimming in full, glorious awareness. What will it be? Oysters? Caviar? Individually peeled grapes? Strawberries dipped in chocolate? Chocolate dipped in chocolate? Your lips part in anticipation … and your lover gently places a cracker topped with a mixture of mashed hardboiled eggs, ketchup, and mustard, in your waiting mouth. Zesty.
So, yeah. It really fails to deliver the “zestiness” that the name implies. It’s lumpy, it smells like sulphur, and it tastes like ketchup. It’s like a less appetizing form of egg salad. I tried to have some fun with it and dress it up with greens from a package of spring mix in my fridge, and I garnished it with yet more ketchup. Ta-da!
Luckily, if you’re craving something that’s actually fun and zesty this Valentine’s Day, Persephone is kicking off Sexy Sex Week starting today and continuing all week long!
Zesty Egg Spread
Mash 4 hard-cooked eggs, season with 1 teaspoon ketchup, 1 teaspoon onion juice, 1 teaspoon prepared mustard, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and 3 drops Worcestershire sauce.
This recipe is from the Mary Margaret McBride Encyclopedia of Cooking, published by Homemakers Research Institute in 1959.