The Year In Food » Fine Seasonal Eating

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My cousin once told me that looking at the photos on this site gave the impression that I live in a vast, high-ceilinged, impressively white space, filled with gauzy, billowing curtains, white furniture and polished wood floors. It was totally inaccurate, of course, but it was flattering that my photographs provided such a dreamy illusion. And it reminded me of the time, years ago in art school, when a lamp that I had made was dismissed for trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. It was fashioned out of old, cheap Ikea parts and fancied up with a handsome walnut veneer – and the person critiquing the work found that dishonest. I’ve held on to that phrase ever since that sharp critique, almost in defiance: heck yes, I will make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, damn it.


So when my sweet friend Leela Cyd emailed in January wondering whether I’d like to have my kitchen featured on the Kitchn, I kind of panicked. My kitchen is the opposite of fancy – if my photos are the silk purse, then my kitchen is the sow’s ear. Thinking about documenting its imperfection gave me a tight-chested, sweaty-palmed, straight-up anxiety. There is so much that is edited out: our ridiculous brown shag wall-to-wall carpeting that has been teleported from 1979 (it pairs very well with Fleetwood Mac, though), the abundance of unsightly sprinklers attached hodgepodge all over the ceiling, the cheap cabinets, unattractive paint and generally imperfect state of our very real apartment.


That’s not to say that I don’t like this place. I do. But sharing its imperfect face on the internet is another story. There is no silk purse to be made out of this sow’s ear. I suppose, at the end of the day, it illustrates that a normal, awkward, dark kitchen should never be an excuse to not cook. I’ve made a life around food, in this wonky kitchen with its two front burners that never light, its ghastly overhead fluorescent tubes that are never turned on but oppressive in their central overhead spot, its falling-apart cheap cabinetry and pockmarked linoleum. This is where I work. It’s where I do what I love.

It’s a funny coincidence that I first learned about these gorgeously-hued, intensely magenta deviled eggs from Leela’s post last year on the Kitchn. I finally got around to making them this weekend, and bring them to you today, the day on which Leela has run the feature on my own kitchen on the Kitchn.


Deviled eggs are already a perfect party food. Add this bright shot of color to the mix and you’ve taken them to another level of wow. In researching these guys I learned that the tradition of beet-pickled deviled eggs is a big one in Pennsylvania. You take a half dozen eggs, plop them in the pickled beet brine, let them sit overnight, or longer, depending on your desired hue. The lovely Ashley of Not Without Salt is on the same wavelength: she also showcased some of these gorgeous pink eggs this week, along with three other fine ways to go about a deviled egg, one of which smartly incorporates preserved lemons. Go check it out.


8 medium or large pastured eggs
2 beets
1 cup reserved beet water
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
3 tablespoons mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon whole grain or Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1/4 teaspoon salt

handful of finely chopped chives or parsley for garnish

First, cook the beets in one or two cups water until soft.

While the beets are cooking, prepare the eggs. Place the eggs in a pot and fill with cold water. Bring to a boil. When the water is boiling, turn off heat, cover and let sit for 12 minutes. Drain eggs and place in an ice bath to cool. Peel when cool.

When the beets are soft, after about an hour or so, remove from heat, reserving the liquid. Peel skins from beets.

In a wide-mouth quart jar, combine the beets with one cup of the colored water, the vinegar and the black peppercorns. Add the eggs. Let the eggs sit at least overnight. Longer sitting will more deeply color and pickle the eggs.

For the deviled eggs:

Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks and place in a mixing bowl. Add mayonnaise or yogurt, mustard, relish, salt and mash with a fork. Using a small spoon, scoop the mixture into the yolk cavity.

Best served soon after preparing but may be kept, covered, in the fridge until ready for use.

  • Ashley - Thanks for the link! I love your pink eggs. And it’s great getting a peek into your kitchen. Mine is very less than perfect measuring in at about the size of an outhouse. A gross illustration but not far from the truth.ReplyCancel

  • SG - so gorgeous! truth in art? (haha) the secrets and stories are one of my favorite things. i really enjoyed checking out your kitchen space and thinking about all the magical things you make happen in there – wood paneling and all! i have that mortar&pestle too and love it!ReplyCancel

  • db - Yes indeed, we love a good “red beet egg” here in PA. Yours look and sound fantastic. Thanks for spreading the beet egg love!ReplyCancel

  • kickpleat - I love your kitchn profile!! It’s huge and full of light and you’ve got a ton of counter space, nothing wrong with that. Your eggs look amazing and I’ve been jonesing to make some deviled eggs – so springy!ReplyCancel

  • Audrey - This Little Street - Such a nice twist for a regular recipe. Love it! And about your kitchen – it might have more charm than you think ;) We’re always so critical of the place we live in.ReplyCancel

  • Brianne - I loved getting a peek into your kitchen today! My kitchen is also a wonky rental kitchen with ugly wood paneled cabinets, but boy, am I ever envious of the massive amount of light you have to work with. You do such beautiful things with it!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane - So fun to get a glimpse into the space where the magic happens! ;-) I don’t have a big, glamorous kitchen either, but I tend to believe there are so many overlooked efficiencies in a cozy kitchen. And, as so many have already said — that natural light! I’d pay good money for that alone. These eggs are quite darling, too.ReplyCancel

  • la domestique - The eggs are so pretty and I really enjoyed your feature in the kitchn! I especially loved your mish mash collection of jars for holding pantry ingredients (I do the same). Maybe there’s some beauty in our imperfection? Way to put yourself out there, lady!ReplyCancel

  • Jacqui - I loved seeing your sneak peek today, you’re keeping it real. And those eggs are gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Eileen - Yay, pink deviled eggs! I may have to make a batch of pickled beets just for the pink brine…oh, who am I kidding, I’m totally going to scarf down all the beets too. :)ReplyCancel

  • Stacy - From my cute-but-oh-so-dark kitchen, I thank you for your honesty! You are making one fine silk purse out of that sow’s ear, if you ask me, and decorating it fabulously to boot!ReplyCancel

  • Cookie + Kate - I’m amazed that you achieved such a brilliant pink color without using dyes! Way to go. I loved getting a peak at your kitchen yesterday. Mine is tiny, dark and ugly, which is why you never see it in my photos! Someday we’ll have kitchens with lots of light and marble countertops, I just know it. :)ReplyCancel

  • Dramatic Pancake - Like everyone else here, I really enjoyed your profile on the kitchn. It is nice to see I’m not the only one with a “real” kitchen, which definitely isn’t stopping you from producing amazing food! Honestly, I thought the space was pretty darn charming – thank you so much for sharing! :)ReplyCancel

  • patricia @ orange zest productions - Loving the purple, brilliant! And bravo for your immense confidence in sharing your work space, a true testament that doing wht you love requires little else than the craft itself. It’s all magic….ReplyCancel

  • NicoleD - I know exactly what you mean because most of us aren’t cooking in our dream kitchens. I love the peek inside of your space and these beautiful eggs! I try to find the beauty in things and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, either. It’s optimism, right?ReplyCancel

  • Bethany - As a foodie with a kitchen that is MUCH smaller, darker, and homelier …. how do you get such great pics? Where do you take the pictures and what do you do to get that bright, fresh look? I have no problems cooking delicious food in my closet-sized kitchen but it’s VERY difficult to get good pictures of it.

    AND, those pink eggs are amazing. They should be in a museum or something!ReplyCancel

  • Jon - You can keep the egg yolks centered in the whites by stirring the eggs as they cook. Just like how rolling a snowball around in your hands creates a symmetrical ball (sometimes), stirring the eggs as they cook keeps the yolk centered within the white!

    Love the photos, and the ethereal impression they create!ReplyCancel

  • Robert Richards Recipes - This recipe looks sooo good. I’m going to give it a try this weekend when my friends are visiting. I’m sure they will all love it. :-)

    By the way, the photos are excellent!ReplyCancel

  • Holly - Thanks for the wonderful colorful documentation of seasonal foods. This week, It inspired me to theme my weekly dinner party as a seasonal spring celebration. Every dish was farm-fresh and celebrated the different colors of spring produce. It was an absolute hit. Thanks so much for your work!ReplyCancel

  • leela - what a pleasure it was to share your humble kitchen with the interwebs and so glad you love the pickled, gorgeous eggs! serendipity bien sur.

    big hug!


  • Danelle - These deviled eggs are beautiful. I love that you blogged about these just before Easter.ReplyCancel

  • The Sunday Best: Subway Map Cuffs & Pink Deviled Eggs | Twenty Two - […] Pink Deviled Eggs: Be the life of your next dinner party by bringing along with these beet-pickled deviled eggs. (The Year In Food) […]ReplyCancel

  • Shelley - my mom is freaking out about leaving eggs outside of the fridge. when you pickle them, do you put them in the fridge or leave them at RT? thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Kasey - I loved the look into your kitchen! It’s always so fun to see someone in their element. I’m a little embarrassed of my kitchen, myself! It’s small and dark and too narrow for two people to comfortably work in it, but we make due with what we have! I keep reminding myself that one day, I’ll look back at the years I’ve lived in this apartment, and the meals I’ve made in my kitchen, and smile from ear to ear.ReplyCancel

  • Makin’ & Eggs: 24 Easter Egg DIYs to Dye For! : Wantist - […] Bright pink deviled eggs! Dyed with beets. Visit The Year in Food for more photos and how to make […]ReplyCancel

  • fujiia - These are absolutely gorgeous. I love the analogy between a silk purse out of a sow’s ear and showing your very real kitchen to the world, to strangers (like me!)ReplyCancel

  • » Eggshells Three Ways & Delightful Deviled Eggs BrightNest Blog - […] For a unique spin on a springtime classic, dye your deviled eggs pink. Hint: The pink coloring comes from beet juice. For step-by-step instructions, visit The Year In Food. […]ReplyCancel

  • Bailey Jane - I. Love. Your. Blog. That is all. My kitchen is my happy place, too, so I appreciate your honest photos and honest words. Keep up the great work! I have given you a “One Lovely Blog Award” as well! Follow the link to my foodie blog to accept it, and follow the instructions to pass the blog on to who you believe are deserving recipients! Keep the blog love alive!

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food - HA! I would not want my kitchen to be featured… It would be such a huge disappointment. I’m heading over now to look at your space!

    And these deviled eggs look marvelous! The color is brilliant.


  • Oliver - What are you doing with the beetroot after leaving them together with the eggs in vinegar over night?ReplyCancel

  • Frohe Ostern! - Augenpralinen - kreativ und individuell Wohnen und Einrichten - […] Eier – gefunden via the year in food. DruckenE-MailTwitterÄhnliche […]ReplyCancel

  • Dreaming in Color | The Good Taste Guide - […] In Order: Nadia Aboulhosn, A Glamorous Little Side Project, The Year in Food Siiso, Decorista Daydreams, Casey Keasler, Electric Mannequins, A Cup of Mai, Merriment Events […]ReplyCancel

  • rooftop porches | Delightful Crumb - […] rooftop, a makeshift porch created for a house that didn’t have one. It reminded me of Kimberley’s wonderful post about her kitchen, about the normalcy of it and her determination to continue making a silk purse […]ReplyCancel

  • PINK DEVILED EGGS | Alabama Chanin | Journal - […] to Kimberley Hasselbrink at The Year in Food for sharing her […]ReplyCancel

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