UnEGGSpected Egg Salad

Written by chanie on November 6th, 2012

If this week has made me realize anything, it’s that life is unexpected. When I wrote my last blog post, I never imagined that Hurricane Sandy would reach such catastrophic proportions. Even with all the warnings and precautions that were being taken, I thought they were overdoing it.

At first, the destruction and devastation didn’t sink in. I was busy with my kids, trying to keep house and home without my cleaning help and dealing with a strep-ridden toddler. Still, I couldn’t ignore the pictures, the posts and the pain all around me. The unfathomable loss and despair in the aftermath of the storm was inescapable.

As the stories of pain and loss began to emerge, I couldn’t imagine putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and writing a blog post. How could I be so trivial at such a desperate time? How could I go on blogging about recipes when people were without power, and many had lost their homes?

“Food makes people feel good,” I reasoned to myself. “It’ll take their mind off of things,” I rationalized. “I’d better dream up some real comfort food,” I challenged myself. Instead, here I am talking about eggs.

In Judaism, so much of what we do revolves around symbolism. Even the foods that we eat. On Rosh Hashanah, we dip apples in honey for a sweet new year and eat pomegranates so that our merits should be abundant like their seeds. On Chanukah we eat fried foods like donuts and latkes, reminiscent of the miracle of the oil. Purim is notorious for hamantaschen, a reminder of Haman’s 3-cornered hat. You get the idea.

What am I getting at? Well, when a Jew sits shiva, (seven days of formal mourning for the dead), it is customary to eat foods that are round like eggs, bread and lentils. They symbolize the cyclical nature of life – death and birth. On a deeper level, the circular foods are meant to impress upon the mourner that although things seem at their worst, life has it’s cycle. Just as there is loss and pain, there is also joy and happiness, and there will be again. Eggs are also eaten to symbolize that just as they are round without a “mouth”, we are also without words at a time of loss.

The unexpected horrors that occurred this week are truly beyond words. Seeing houses sink under rising flood waters, watching neighborhoods go dark without power, cars crushed under fallen trees, chaos at every gas station in town. It almost feels as if life was turned on it’s head. And yet, just like the round egg, life edges forward. We pick ourselves up, we soldier on, and we rebuild. Such is the power of the human spirit.

And so, without further adieu, I present my UnEGGSpected Egg Salad, a delicious recipe with an unEGGSpected ingredient. Make some for your family, or better yet, prepare sandwiches for a friend who is stranded without power, a relative who has lost their home, or the volunteers at your local firehouse.

If you’d like to volunteer in the relief effort for Hurricane Sandy Victims, visit the UJA site or Occupy Sandy website for opportunities. You can also donate to synagogues, Chabad houses and other organizations that are helping with the relief effort.

1 year ago: persimmon yogurt smoothie

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13 Comments so far ↓

  1. mona allen says:

    What a beautiful post, we need to keep thinking about victims of Sandy yet find a way to do what they will Mizrat Hashem eventually do again, soldier on as you said and rebuild. I hope it will be soon.

  2. So not to be trivial…but I love, love the photos in this post. Great work, especially on a food that can be really un-photogenic.

  3. jessica says:

    beautiful post. and beautiful photos

  4. Hindy says:

    Great post, very touching. Sometimes the simplest foods are the most comforting.

  5. i love how you connected the recipe to a meaningful theme. Very beautiful and post, and lovely pictures. (And i love egg salad, so the recipe looks delicious.)

  6. I love how you tied this to comfort food during a time when people really need the simple and basic!

  7. Faye says:

    Er, I might just be dense here, but what’s the unexpected ingredient? This looks like a normal egg salad recipe.

    • chanie says:

      It’s the horseradish sauce. Most people don’t add that to their eggsalad, I guess you are one of the few who do :)

  8. Nice word play and great flavors.

  9. Victoria says:

    Beautiful and moving post!

  10. Such an insightful post and a beautiful idea. I can not begin to understand the devastation caused by Sandy as I am far away. Not only is this a delicious sounding and looking egg salad, but it’s written with a kind heart.

  11. Ronnie Fein says:

    Beautiful and heartfelt. I can’t imagine that I missed this the first time, although we were in the midst of Sandy and had no power for about a week. Thank you for reminding me about the symbolism of eggs.

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