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Gramma Daly's Cole Slaw

This is the simplest of recipes, with only five ingredients, and a minimum of fuss.  If your knife skills aren’t the best, you can use a grater, your food processor, or even purchase pre-shredded cabbage, but that would be my last resort.  You can toss the dressing with the cabbage in advance if you wish, as the amount of vinegar is not enough to make it wilt, but we prefer this toss just before serving.  The result is a creamy, crunchy slaw unlike anything you will find in a restaurant (with the exception of Lenny and Joe’s Fishtale).  I like to make this when the cabbage is tender, which I judge by how heavy the head feels in your hand when you hold it.  For a side with a Rueben Sandwich, I substitute caraway or fennel seed for the celery seed.


1 large head green cabbage
1 cup mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s)
2-4 tsp sugar
2-4 tsp cider vinegar
2 tsp whole celery seed (or caraway), slightly ground with a mortar and pestle.

Quarter the head of cabbage, and then slice each quarter, staring from the pointed top, and cut across, into 1/8th inch shreds.  Remove any of the core and place the shredded cabbage in a bowl large enough for tossing.

In a smaller bowl, add the mayonnaise, 2 tsp of sugar, and 2 tsp of vinegar and wisk.  Now taste it.  If it doesn’t taste “right” add an additional 1 tsp sugar, and 1 tsp vinegar and wisk again.  Taste it again. 

Repeat this until its right.  You will know, trust me.  I have taught this method to many of my friends, and they always get it right. 

Add the partially crushed celery seed and mix.  At this point, you can let the dressing sit in the refrigerator until you are ready to toss.

Add about half the dressing to the bowl and toss.  Keep adding the dressing by half until the cabbage is evenly and fairly heavily coated. 

Serve immediately, or let it keep, refrigerated, for a couple of hours.  We’ve kept the leftovers for another day, and it holds up fairly well, but not much after that.

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