I moved to Ohio from New Jersey in 1995, but part of me will always consider Jersey home – the whole South Jersey area holds so many memories, and it’s sad to see the landscape change (for the worse, with lots of big box stores replacing Mom & Pop indies) – I used to go back because the area drew me there, but now when I go back, it’s to reunite with friends and family.
Tony and I have been friends since 1991 or so – in the time since I’ve moved, we’ve communicated occasionally. I remember going back to visit him when his dad was still alive, shortly after I got married. Still, it seemed if time and distance had taken us in two separate directions.
That is, until we met up again in person on my last visit back to New Jersey over Thanksgiving 2010. It was as if no time had passed at all, and our friendship picked up where it had left off. We talked for hours, caught up and filled in the blanks. We reminisced about old times. We confided in each other, knowing that each one of us had the other’s back. It was also the weekend of my 20 year high school reunion (more about that and the rest of my trip to NJ later – meant to write about it much, much sooner but ended up getting sick before I could)
It seemed as though I was going to spend Thanksgiving alone – I had made plans to meet up with family, but (no surprise to me) I wasn’t invited to celebrate Thanksgiving with them. I shrugged it off as if I didn’t care, but I felt hurt and alone. Tony and his partner John included both me and my sister Amanda in their holiday celebration. They fed us and welcomed us with open arms and made us feel like family. My family is really dysfunctional – more often than not I’ve been estranged from my parents. But I think that biology shouldn’t dictate family, relationships built on mutual love and trust and inclusion and communication and actions that speak louder than words should. He and his family were there for me in a way that my own family often is not, and for that reason alone, Tony will be always dear to my heart.
This is one of the recipes that he made that day. It’s a little bit different than any other version of deviled eggs I’ve had, but in a good way. These would be great for a spread at any family function, including the upcoming Super Bowl Sunday. I wish I could get him out here to Ohio to celebrate with us – reliving this day to write this entry has me missing him like crazy.
Tony’s Deviled Eggs
12 eggs, hard boiled
4 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. brown mustard
3 tbsp. relish
1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
4 tbsp. bacon bits
1 tsp. basil
Separate yolks into a separate bowel, and mash. Add remaining ingredients and spoon or pipe yolk mixture into egg whites. Refrigerate and serve.