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September 2013



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Starving Artists in the Kitchen--Two Ways with Coleslaw!

The Starving Artists make



Yes, be patient, there's one coming with red cabbage, too!
But starting with a more traditional version, which might be called Grandma’s Coleslaw...

If I were anyone’s grandma, that is...

J. loves slaw, and so do I...and we all know they’re discovering those cole-family members are great for us! They’re antioxidants, so we’re told. I wasn't the least bit surprised to see it included in The Paleo Diet, my current fave for reading up on nutrition and diet. (The first time I tried going Paleo, which basically means eating what we were designed to utilize best, I had the most amazing sense of well-being for WEEKS. There's a reason I like this book!)

Cabbage, brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, turnips, kohlrabi, mustard, radish and even watercress–any member of the Brassica oleracea or Cruciferae family descended from wild cabbage in the Mediterranean and Asia Minor is tasty and healthful. (No, I don’t know why two different Latin family names. Go figure.) Ancient Egyptians ate this stuff up, and so do we!

(Check out http://plantanswers.tamu.edu/vegetables/colecrop.html for more than you ever wanted to know about Cruciferae!)

Here’s my favorite traditional-style coleslaw–tweak it to fit your own tastes!

Shred about a pound of cabbage (or a whole head)–cut your own for the freshest possible, but if time’s short one of the bags of stuff mixed with a bit of carrot works just fine.

A good, big French Chef’s knife makes pretty short work of shredding sufficient cabbage, and it’s rather satisfying. J. Did ours tonight with my favorite old French chef’s knife. (Ever think about what you wouldn’t want to set up housekeeping without? This knife’s it, for me–the Old Hickory French Chef's knife You’ll see mine in a LOT of my photos.)

Of course you can also use one of those great old-fashioned slaw graters, but I worry about my fingers! I NEED them to draw with!

3/4 C. of mayonnaise and 1/4 C. of plain yogurt will get you started for the dressing...adjust proportions or amounts, as you wish. Add more plain yogurt if you’re cutting the fat, but we really can’t recommend nonfat mayo. Just skip it entirely, yuck!

(I used to make my own, and still have a wonderful antique mayo-making jar, but everyone jumps up and down at the idea of raw eggs these days, so I won’t pass that along. Suffice it to say, it rocked, made with my own eggs from free-range chickens!)

A splash of apple cider vinegar, malt or rice vinegar (OK, say a tablespoon to start)

1 t. celery seed (at J.’s request)

About a good tablespoon of sweetener–I use this brand of Agave Nectar Natural Sweetener, which is delicious, organic, and low-glycemic, but you can substitute honey or even, yipe, sugar.

1 ½ t. mustard (yes, prepared mustard, from a jar)

Add a grating of fresh-ground pepper–I love the pepper “melange” that has black, white, green and red peppercorns

Sea salt, if you need a tad...

Mix well and taste–you can adjust or add if there’s something that says “slaw” to you. Let this sit in the fridge to marry the flavors...almost as good as marrying your best friend, trust me on this.

or try my favorite slaw 

Red Cabbage/Cranberry Coleslaw

This one’s sort of my own invention, when I discovered cranberry mustard. It looks a bit bizarre, but it would be great for a Pink Ribbon benefit buffet. (Whoops, which reminds me, I hadn’t gone to http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/clickToGive/home.faces to click to give free mammograms yet...costs me nothing and may save a life!)

Anyway--I digress!
Take ½ to 1 head of red cabbage (however much you want to make, actually)

Shred or chop in slaw-like slivers

Chop about 1/3 of a sweet onion, fine

Dress with about ½ cup of mayo (substitute if you must, but we go for the nice simple kind, as mentioned)

2 good teaspoons of red cranberry mustard–we usually get Inglehoffer, as you see above, but other brands are out there... (here’s an interesting alternative: http://www.stonewallkitchen.com/navsubsubdepartment.aspx?L0=SpecialtyFoods&L1=Mustards&c1=mustard~mustard&source=adwords&kw=cranberry%20mustard)  And sorry for the long link...

1 T. of agave nectar–you could substitute honey or sugar, or skip it altogether
a splash of your favorite vinegar–I went wild and used a pear-infused vinegar–hey, why not?! This is pretty fancy coleslaw!

Colorful, yes?  When you mix it it's a lovely pinkish.  Don't look, just eat it!
Mix it all together and let it sit in the fridge for a while...enjoy with fish, lean pork chops, turkey kielbasa, whatever! Once you get people past the pinkness, they’re going to LOVE this!

J. ALMOST always doctors his coleslaw, wherever we are, whoever makes it, whatever recipe is used, with hot sauce. Without even tasting it first. (And by the way, that's his own sketch of his favorite, Cholula Hot Sauce, above!) Go thou and do likewise, if you want! (Sheesh, what’s the point of all this careful measuring and balancing and tasting? I dunno, the man loves his hot sauce...I think cole slaw is just another vehicle, like a baked potato, for him!)

(The above paragraph was edited, because he tells me he does not doctor his Groveland Hotel* coleslaw...and I noticed that he didn’t doctor the red cabbage version, either. I stand corrected! )

We like this with BBQ, fish, roast beef–you name it! (It would be great with fried chicken, too, but it’s been an age since I coated something with that much flour and fried it. Siiiiigh...the nostalgia of it all...I miss it almost as much as pterodactyl...)

In warmer weather, we make a mayo-free slaw that can even go on picnics without worry of spoiling–we’ll share that recipe later! (The above-mentioned Groveland Hotel recipe he’s altered, or my favorite Fort Osage* Cookbook coleslaw...or both...)

* Want to read more about the Groveland? It’s here, it’s near Yosemite, and it looks gorgeous...http://www.groveland.com/ It even has its own ghost!

*Fort Osage National Historic Site is where I spend most of my time when I’m engaging in my OTHER hobby, reenacting our nation’s history. It was once the westernmost governmental presence in the new United States, and was designed by William Clark of Lewis & Clark fame. Food, music, learning, clothing, friends, and fun...what more can you ask from a hobby? It’s administrated by Jackson County, Missouri, and you can find more info on this important site here: http://www.fortosagenhs.com/

or here: http://www.co.jackson.mo.us/content/3279/3838/3861.aspx

I even run a Yahoogroups discussion list for the Fort...you can find it here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FortOsage/


For the artists out there...I'd done a painting of my red cabbage and still had a nice pool of the color mixed up--couldn't resist a monoprint of the cabbage itself!  I just painted the color onto the slice of cabbage and printed directly with it..

Joseph's Cholula bottle was painted in his journal--it's ink and watercolor, and cool!

NEXT UP: Mexican Meatloaf!



You sure are a glorious fountain of information! I don't know why but I have forgotten the joys of cole slaw for much too long. Thank you for the reminder!
We like coleslaw, a LOT. I probably use 4-5 different kinds, and now that J. lives here too, we'll branch out more! As you noticed, he's a really good cook...
**adds cabbage to grocery list**

I'll have to find a small head of cabbage, since I'm the only one here who'll eat cole slaw. Nah, I'll just go ahead and eat it all week :)
We eat it as long as we have it! But yep, small heads work for us, too...hope you enjoy it!