Deviled Eggs for Thanksgiving?

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Don't get me wrong. I love deviled eggs on a Fourth of July picnic. But I can't imagine eating them on Thanksgiving when I'm stuffing myself with, well , stuffing, turkey, sweet potatoes, green beans, and leaving some room for pumpkin pie.

 But apparently some 16,000 people, on Thanksgiving Eve, actually searched for recipes for "deviled eggs" on the popular Website, Allrecipes.com. In a fun and fascinating look into what Americans may have been cooking up for Thanksgiving, Kim Severson's article on the front page of today's New York Times takes us on a geographic tour of the recipes that topped the online hit parade.

 Not surprisingly, number one, by far, was "sweet potato casserole," with 65,000 recipe queries nationwide by 9 p.m. Wednesday, particularly in a wide Eastern swath of the U.S., below New England. Other traditional Thanksgiving favorites were of course among the top searches, including pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, pecan and apple pie, stuffing...you get the picture.

 But for every 1,000 searches for "sweet potato casserole," some 251 people were looking for ways to make deviled eggs (just ahead of the number of people trying to figure out how to make mashed potatoes).  A map of the continental U.S. shows that "above average number of searches" popped in all part of the country, from the upper Rockies to the mid-Atlantic. 

As pretty much a non-cook (I can manage a turkey and stuffing without going online), I still like to read recipes in the weekly newspaper sections and even tear them out, never to make them. So out of curiousity, I took a quick peak at what deviled egg recipes were showing up on Allrecipes.com.  

Turns out there are 48 to choose from, with first on the list "Pen's deviled deviled eggs" (made from spicy brown mustard and deviled ham). The highest rating, 5 stars, goes to "no yolk deviled eggs" (a lighter version which sounds like no fun!), followed by the polar opposite, "bacon cheddar deviled eggs" (no explanation needed).

 So I'm going to stash them away for next summer and dash off to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner being hosted by my husband's parents in Chicago.  I trust there will be no deviled eggs. 

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Cristine Russell is a senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, and consultant to the documentary Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare. More

Russell is a Columbia Journalism Review contributing editor on science and the media. Russell was a national science reporter for The Washington Post and The Washington Star and appeared on PBS' Washington Week in Review. She serves on the boards of the USC Annenberg School for Communication, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the Commonwealth Fund and Mills College and is on the selection committee for the National Academies of Science Communication Awards. She was a 2006 fellow at Harvard's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. Russell is an honorary member of Sigma Xi, the scientific research society, and has a biology degree from Mills College.

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