Funny story: I was cropping this picture to use as a new blog header, because the “groan” vs. “grin” transition really seems to personify my family’s varying reactions to the Retro Recipe experience. And one of the professors was walking by and she stuck her head in and said, “What are you working on?” So I explained the blog and everything, and she thought it was pretty cool. Then the next day she came by my office with four cans of Cream of [Something] Soup. So look for some Campbell’s stuff in the next few weeks.
But today, we’re just using cabbage and miracle whip. If Peg can get grins from it, maybe we can, too…
OLD KING COLE’S FAVORITE SLAW
Combine 1/2 c. Miracle Whip Salad Dressing with 2 tbsp. Tarragon Vinegar, 1 tsp. Kraft Salad Style Mustard, 1/2 tsp. salt, dash of seasoned salt and freshly ground pepper. Chill. Mix with 2 c. shredded red cabbage. Place cole slaw in 4 individual salad bowls. Garnish with Miracle Whip. Arrange each bowl on a salad plate and garnish with lettuce hearts.
For color and variety: Make half the recipe with white cabbage — half with red. Serve in 4 bowls — 2 of each color slaw.
In fact, the term “cole slaw” comes from the Dutch “koosla,” meaning “cabbage salad.” Old King Cole, while nobody’s entirely sure who exactly he was (if indeed he was a real person), has a Celtic name. There’s really no relationship between King Cole and cole slaw, although if you really want to sing an old nursery rhyme while shredding cabbage, hey, I won’t stop you. I just find the name of their salad to be a pretty weird choice.
But you came here to see whether Peg’s new salad would be a groan or a grin, didn’t you?
Tarragon vinegar was not terribly hard to find; I was afraid I would need to make my own (by soaking tarragon leaves in vinegar for a few weeks), but it turns out it’s readily available in the grocery store.
I thought I’d be able to mix up the Miracle Whip, vinegar, and mustard in a little glass bowl, but it filled it nearly all the way up, meaning stirring was quite implausible.
Once they were transferred to a more appropriately sized bowl, whisking took only ten seconds.
Half of a small cabbage makes two cups of shredded cabbage. (I’m desperately looking around for another red cabbage recipe. Either that, or we’re going to make some homemade pH indicator and play chemist.)
I let the dressing chill (as requested) for about ten minutes, then glopped it on top of the cabbage.
A quick stir to evenly coat, and everything was done!
Peg’s salad turns out to be somewhere in between a grin and a groan. The first few bites were enjoyable, but after a while it was just too much vinegar and mustard sourness. The flavors were interesting but overwhelming — while I might have been grinning after my first taste, I was grimacing by the end of the bowl. On the other hand, it was a very quick and easy vegetable, so a bit of tweaking might be able to balance the flavors better.
Posted on Flickr by saltycotton, originally from “True Story” magazine, October 1951.