Summer Cabbage makes great Farmer ‘Slaw

Oh boy, oh boy! The first cabbage is big enough to pick and so it’s time to make cole slaw.

As far as I know there are two basic kinds of cole slaw; the creamy kind which is sweet and milky and must be eaten right away and the kind made with a vinaigrette; tangy, crispy and packed with some serious kick!

The vinaigrette variety keeps really well in the fridge and is my cabbage salad of choice. The longer it sits in the cool, dark recesses of your refrigerating unit, the more pungent it becomes and I’m fairly sure that a certain amount of lacto-fermentation happens. The result is a tang that is like a massage for your taste buds.

I like to call the vinaigrette type of cole slaw farmer ‘slaw because generations of farm wives have made this type of ‘slaw by the bushel full to help fill the ravenous bellies of threshing gangs and farm hands alike. It is nutritious, satisfying and completely seasonal. It only seems to taste great in the summer.

Sheila Hollyoak owns the Sunflower Tea House in Souris, Manitoba. It is one of my favorite places to eat because everything there is homemade and tastes so fresh my mouth is watering just writing this. Sheila is my go-to guru for down home farm cookin’. If it grows in the ground, Sheila knows how to cook it. She assured me that if you mix cabbage with, “oil, vinegar and sugar it’ll keep nice and firm- especially if you pack it in a sealer.” And so here is my version of farmer ‘slaw. It makes enough for one person to keep picking away at for at least a week.

Finely chop your medium cabbage so you’ve got nice thin strips

Finely shop one or two carrots

Chop up two or three green onion stalks

Put all of these ingredients into a big bowl and then add:

1/2 tsp celery salt

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp fresh chopped dill

1 tsp caraway seeds

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp olive oil

Mix all of these ingredients well and then pack your salad into a mason jar and pop it into the fridge.

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