Saturday, December 19, 2015

Grandma's Coleslaw

In conversation with my friend M recently she said to me "Coleslaw? Who makes coleslaw for Thanksgiving?" As though it were an abomination. As though she had just opened her fridge and been blasted backwards by the overpowering smell of the cabbage within. I patiently explained to the poor bemused woman that no significant gathering of Bons, or Bon friends and neighbors, was complete without my mother-in-law's coleslaw. I'm sure all your ears are ringing from the praises being heaped on cabbage and other members of the cruciferous family these days for their valuable work in keeping us all healthy and out of the cardiac ward. The secret lies in not just reading these articles, saying "Hmmm..." and making vague mental notes to eat some cabbage soon, but rather in hying thee to the kitchen and making some coleslaw today!

And then, of course, eating it.

Having explained the reason for coleslaw at the Thanksgiving table to my mystified friend she has now requested the recipe.  In the interests of keeping hearts healthy everywhere I am waiving my usual procrastination period and supplying her with the recipe immediately.  Here it is:

1 head of cabbage --- hard and solid, like a small bowling ball
1/4 of a medium onion
2 medium sized carrots
1 clove of garlic
salt and pepper

Shred the cabbage finely. I do this with a mandolin, but use whatever works for you. Before I got the mandolin I muddled through with a grater though there was probably a larger percentage of shredded finger in that cole slaw, but my children are all still alive.

Next, grate the onion and carrots and mix with the grated cabbage.

In a small bowl mix together about 3/4 cup of mayonnaise with 2 large Tbsp vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper and an (optional) squirt of Tabasco. Blend the dressing with the vegetables. The easiest way is to mix it with your (clean) hands. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight, to blend the flavors.

As it turned out, I did not waive the procrastination period since I started this right after Thanksgiving and am only now, a week before Christmas, finishing it! But still in time for M to be daring and serve coleslaw with Christmas dinner.

Monday, November 23, 2015

French Silk Pie

French Silk Pie is one of my oldest recipes. Got it from the wife of one of the OC's colleagues when we were stationed in Montana almost 40 yeatrs ago. I have found and made recipes since then that are just as good but, at the time, since I could barely boil an egg, the ease and deliciousness of this dessert made me feel like a five star chef! My kids all loved it and California Girl just sent an SOS for it as she wants to bring it where she's invited for Thanksgiving. That way, and I quote "At least I'll be sure there'll be a delicious dessert and if no one else wants it I'll eat it all myself !" --- not recommended!


1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
6 Tblsps melted butter

Mix together and press into a buttered pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.  Cool.

(Can also use store bought graham cracker crust)


1/2 cup butter (not margarine) at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 sqs unsweetened chocolate melted
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs, room temperature
2 Tblsp brandy

Cream butter and sugar. Add melted chocolate. Beat well. Add vanilla and beat some more.  Add eggs one at a time beating for two minutes between each. Beat in brandy.
Spoon into the prepared crust and refrigerate at least 5 hours or, preferably,  overnight.
Decorate with whipped cream, chocolate curls and 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs.

Refrigerate any leftovers.

Servings:1-8, depending on your taste and/or tolerance for butter, sugar and chocolate. (Mine is pretty high.)