Sunday, June 8, 2014

Celery Seed Transforms A Summer Favorite - Coleslaw!

This is a guest post from Theresa Short, my mom. Her recipes and ideas are passed down to me, as her mother's before, and her mother's mother before that. These family recipes continue to inspire us from generation to generation.

The 100 plus degree temps have arrived in Sunny Las Vegas - time to rest the oven, fire up the BBQ and prepare cool, crisp, refreshing summer salads to accompany our favorite grilled entrees. The beauty of salads, whether leafy greens, fresh cut fruit, salads using jello or salads topped with warm grilled fish, seafood, meat or poultry; "recipes" are optional and imagination is the key ingredient - buy your favorite ingredients and prepare a delicious entree or side salad.

Cole slaw is one of our family favorites, a "recipe" passed through generations and introduced to me by my Grandmother - Grandma Hazel. In her 50's, Grandma Hazel became a professional "cook" on a tow boat, and prepared three meals a day for 12 hard working men who loved her comfort foods and homemade pies, mostly from the recipe book in her memory, rarely from a book off the shelf ... experiment with these ingredients, which can be bought in advance, hold well in the refrigerator and cupboard and can be kept on hand for a quick crispy slaw for your family ... it's a great make ahead dish so you can enjoy being in the pool with the gang and not in the kitchen!


1/2 to 1 head green cabbage 
1 to 2 crisp bright orange fresh carrots
1/2 small red onion
Red Wine Vinegar
White or Organic Granulated Sugar (about 2 tsp)
Celery SEED (1 tsp approx.)
Mayo (do not use Miracle Whip)

Rinse cabbage, removing any unusable outside leaves & the tough core around the stem. Breakdown the head of cabbage into quarters for easy chopping. 

For a crisp slaw, chop - for a less crisp slaw, shred. Place in a large bowl and set aside.  

Chopped cabbage keeps without getting too soggy

Peel carrots, rinse and pat dry - using peeler, peel small shreds of carrots into the bowl of chopped cabbage.

Mom shredding carrots via the peeler method. Dig in for a thicker cut, lighter for a thinner cut. Easy Easy!

Chop red onion into very small pieces and add to bowl. Mix well. 

*As we made the slaw together, Mom pointed out that you MUST make sure to mix all your veggies before adding the dressing, it gives it that extra little touch of pizzazz.

Just add right into the cabbage, as you go

Add a few "shakes" of red wine vinegar, a little sugar, a few sprinkles of salt and pepper, a teaspoon of celery SEED and a dolop of mayo. 

*I need to stress the importance of something mom warned against the use of miracle whip in place of mayo. I must agree here. In no scenario should you try this recipe with Miracle Whip. You have been warned.

Celery Seed is the star of this recipe...a necessity for the best texture and flavor

Mix well. The onion, vinegar and sugar will chemically react with the other ingredients and become an amazing "dressing" 

Mom suggests making in the morning to be served that afternoon/evening for perfect slaw

Taste as you go along and prepare the slaw to your liking - a little sweeter, add sugar - a little tangier, add vinegar. ENJOY FOR SEVERAL DAYS IF REFRIGERATED!

A summertime favorite topped off with fresh Sangria!

~Theresa Short

Every once in a while, I will post articles & recipes from guests - whether friends, family or someone with a great story.

I want to say a big THANK YOU to my mom for sharing this story and recipe. Family recipes inevitably have stories and memories attached rich in history. I always say, it's our stories that connect us. A little back story about my Great Grandma. My Great Grandma Hazel was a survivor. Born in 1913, she survived the The Tri-State Tornado in 1925 at the age of 12... it was then and remains to be the deadliest tornado in US history. My mom told me the story of how Grandma Hazel told about her school at that time. It was obliterated in that tornado, so with no school to attend at the age of 12, she went to work. She went through multiple surgeries throughout her life from eyes to knees and everything in between. She survived a shotgun ricochet in her 50's, the shrapnel embedded in her arm for the rest of her life. She was a breast cancer survivor. Her last battle was with Dimensia, which she beat for a very long time. She was a tough lady, and she could cook, too! It's these stories that run through us, connect us and inspire us. 
Until next time....Happy Cooking!

If you have an interesting family recipe or story to share, please share in the comments. I'd love to read about it!! :)  I always say it, but our stories connect us & I am a curious little squirrel.

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