A few entries back, I spoke of my mother’s potato soup recipe and how making it always brings back memories of childhood family meals.
In this post, I’d like to share Mom’s cole slaw. Mom chopped her slaw into small bits and dressed it plainly with mayo, salt, pepper and the key ingredients: celery seed and sweet pickle juice. I rarely care for restaurant slaw because of her influence and it’s because of her that I have cole slaw on my bbq sandwiches and sloppy joes.
You’ll need about two pounds of raw cabbage to yield 8 cups of sliced slaw. I cut the cabbage in half, then into quarters. I remove the cores and cut the quarters in half once more. The wedges should be no more than a couple inches wide near the bottom. I then slice “against the grain” to get quarter inch shreds.
Feel free to use a box grater or mandolin fitted with a shedding blade if you prefer. You may also purchase the pre-shredded cole slaw mix. It will save you some time and most of them include carrots and purple cabbage which makes a nice looking slaw. It’s cheaper to purchase a head of cabbage and some stores sell halves which is great for my small family.
The secret to great tasting cole slaw is in the dressing. When you use your family’s favorite mayonnaise the odds are you’ll like the cole slaw. In the Flexitarian Kitchen this means Duke’s or Sauer’s brands but Mom would have most likely used Kraft’s.
1 cup dressing works well for 4 cups slaw. All the bits get covered but they’re not swimming in dressing.
I haven’t deviated much from my mother’s recipe except for the addition of shredded carrots or the occasional purchase of cole slaw mix…and no raisins, EVER!
Ingredients for 10 servings:
- 8 cups cabbage sliced into slaw (about 2 pounds)
- 2 cups shredded carrots (about 3 medium size)
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sweet pickle juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon celery seed
- Slice the cabbage and shred the carrots. Mix together in a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix the mayo, pickle juice, salt and pepper.
- Taste to adjust the salt.
- Add the dressing to the slaw. Mix well to get every bit of slaw coated with dressing. It’s easier to use your hands.
- Sprinkle ¼ tsp celery seed over the top and mix. Add some more if you like.
- Cover and refrigerate for an hour to marinate.
- If the slaw seems dry at first, wait until the marinating period is over. The cabbage will release some juice. Right before serving, give the slaw a good stir. Then taste and adjust the salt and pepper one last time. If it still seems dry to you at this point, add some more mayonnaise and pickle juice.
Enjoy as a side, or let it add crunch and punch to sloppy joes or a bbq sandwich.