This isn’t a real recipe post – it’s an assembly post – but please humor me, because while this Special Egg Salad may not hit it out of the culinary ball park, there’s a huge amount of my heart and soul mixed up in this concoction. It may be very simple, but it’s also very special to me, and so I wanted to share it with you despite it being about the easiest thing on earth to throw together. I eat it ALL. THE. TIME. I can be encouraged to consume any amount of lettuce, cucumber and other raw vegetably salad stuff as long as I get to eat this Special Egg Salad with it.
The fact that I am posting this now is no accident. Not only is summer the perfect time of year for eating egg – or any other kind of – salad, but specifically we’re in the month July. This Special Egg Salad thing all started one July a very long time ago. Either my brother or I had a birthday party – both of us were born in July – although I don’t remember whose birthday got the Special Egg Salad Rolls first. It doesn’t matter. It was love at first bite, for both of us, apparently.
I only discovered my brother’s penchant for them a couple of years ago when I was in England helping my nephew celebrate becoming the ripe old age of 3. Being 3 is very exciting; especially when your aunt makes you a John Deere Tractor Cake for your birthday party. He was so overwhelmed when he saw his cake for the first time I thought he was going to stop breathing.
While I was helping get all the party fodder ready, my brother sidled up to me and said, “Do you remember those egg roll things Mum used to make us for our birthday parties?” I laughed. “Remember? I’ve eaten the filling for those at least every week for the last 10 years. Yes, I remember them.”
A few minutes later I was chopping eggs and rolling out slices of white bread, making our favorite birthday party rolls. They were a huge hit. They were always the first things to get polished off at our birthday parties, too.
Birthday parties were an enormously important – albeit rather strange and scary – event for me. Not because I was celebrating a new age, or because I liked being the center of attention – I was desperately shy and introverted – but because people who were not related to us came to the house. People never came to our house. My brother and I grew up in a pretty isolated bubble where the only kids we got to play with was each other, and the only grown-ups we ever saw were our parents and teachers. We also grew up in a house where there were no sweets, no pop, no ice cream, and rarely any other foodie treats. We certainly never had parties unless it was July and it was our birthday. So having a party at our house was a huge deal. HUGE. And that’s how I became so emotionally attached to the egg rolls my mother made for our birthdays – it was the only two days a year that we got to eat them. Other kids had all the usual birthday goodies at their parties, but no one had Special Egg Rolls. I can still taste them now; I remember those 2 days a year like they were last week.
Special Egg Salad Rolls = birthdays, and parties, jelly and ice cream, cake, and chocolate, gifts, and games, balloons, party bags, and other kids to play with. Special Egg Salad Rolls = emotional awesomeness.
Now, of course, I don’t make the roll part. I just make the filling and eat it as is. And I love it to this day like I loved it the twice a year I got to eat it as a kid.
The taste of it makes my brain do nice things, and I like that. I can’t promise it will have anywhere near that same effect on you, but it might make a nice change from your regular egg salad.
“Happy Birthday, Bro!”
- 8 hardboiled eggs
- 1/4 cup / 2 fl oz. ketchup (no added sugar)
- 1 oz / 28g softened (not melted) butter
- Sea salt & black pepper to taste
- Finely chop the hardboiled eggs. I do this in a large bowl with a knife because it seems a waste to get the food processor dirty for a few minutes of effort, but you could also pulse in a food processor if you prefer. If you use a food processor be careful that you don’t end up with egg paste!
- Stir in the ketchup and mix thoroughly.
- Stir in the softened (NOT melted) butter and mix until the butter is completely incorporated. This may take a few minutes, depending on how soft your butter is.
- Season to taste and serve or store in a lidded glass container in the ‘fridge.