All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Sweet 'n creamy coleslaw made easy

Good coleslaw is hard to find. Many people think it is even harder to make! Even at many delis and restaurants*, what passes for coleslaw runs the gamut of being just shredded cabbage and heavy cream (had that several times on the west coast) to something resembling cubed cabbage hearts with a horseradish-like bite--so disappointing. Some people just give up trying.

But if you love coleslaw as much as I do, don't throw in the towel. Give this simple recipe a try.

I make my coleslaw dressing from 4 basic ingredients in equal parts: mayo, cider vinegar, sugar, and cream (either sour cream, light sour cream, heavy cream, or half and half). If you don't want to use any dairy products, you can eliminate it altogether and still have a very acceptable coleslaw. Just use the mayo, sugar and vinegar in equal parts.

The Recipe: Makes enough for 4
1/2 head green cabbage
1-3 carrots
1/3 C mayonnaise--I usually use a sweet Miracle-whip type (Aldi's whipped type works great) or other mayos. Depending on the type used, it will change the taste a bit. I have used the olive oil light or other light varieties successfully, but never tried real or no fat types.
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C cider vinegar
1/3 C cream of some sort Usually this is 1/2 and 1/2 or lite sour cream for me
1/4 t. salt or to taste
scant 1/4 t. celery seed--optional

1. I mix the dressing in the bowl I will serve the coleslaw in--that way I don't dirty an extra dish!

2. Measure the ingredients into the bowl and stir around until mixed. (In time, you won't even have to measure. I just put blops of each of the main 4 ingredients and estimate the salt and celery seed.) I did actually measure the ingredients listed above though.

3. Remove the dark green leaves and wash the cabbage, then slice.

You can use a food processor, mandolin shredder (watch those fingers--yes, that is the voice of experience), or a very sharp knife. For a batch this size, I just use my trusty Cutco knife and slice as thin as possible, then coarsely cross cut the shreds. The shred size of coleslaw is a individual preference. You can use the bagged shredded coleslaw or broccoli slaw if you want, but I avoid it. I believe you lose nutritional value when veggies are peeled or cut in advance.

4. Place shredded cabbage in bowl on top of dressing.

5. Peel the carrots and coarsely grate with food processor or hand held grater. If using hand held one, I place that right on top of the cabbage in the bowl and grate directly onto the slaw. (That way I avoid cleaning up the carrot juice on the cutting board!)

If serving later in the day or next, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. If you are taking to a picnic, pour the dressing into a jar or container with a tight lid, then mix it with the cabbage once there.

When ready to serve, toss and mix well, and TASTE. You might want to add a little more salt, make it a little more zippy with more vinegar, make sweeter with more sugar, or creamier with more sour cream or 1/2 and 1/2.

Hope you give this coleslaw a try. I have found that even kids like it--must be all the sugar! Once I made it with red cabbage and called it Barney-slaw. (It turns the color of Barney!)

You can add some a little shredded red cabbage for color, little pieces of sweet pickle, pineapple tidbits, snipped chives, or even peanuts. Don't be afraid to make changes and make it your own.

*Red Lobster and Chili's serve what I consider to be good coleslaw.

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, RandyMelchert, Betterbrookfield, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation


Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Last chance to enjoy Reclaiming Our Heritage at VA June 4&5

Sad but true, June 4th & 5th marks the 10th and final Reclaiming Our Heritage weekend at Milwaukee's VA Medical Center. (5000 W. National Ave. behind Miller Park) As the JSOnline reported in March, "In some respects the event is a victim of its popularity." The article mentioned that the reenactment weekend grew from just 50 reenactors with around 3,000 visitors in 2002 to hosting 700 war re-enactors and over 10,000 visitors last year.

I have been to a few Civil War reenactor events around the country, but Reclaiming Our Heritage was unique in that it hosted reenactors from many war eras at the same time: Pre Civil War, Civil War, WWI, WW2, Korean War, Vietnam War, and Iraq.

However, one drawback to all that variety is that all those groups need open space to set up their camps and conduct Living History demonstrations. And with the the VAs new building plans, vacant areas, large enough to house all those reenactor camps, is said to become too scarce for future events. (Many of the reenactors actually live in their camps for the weekend.)

So attend if you can, because this is your last chance to experience this Living History event at such a history rich location as the VA and National Cemetery.

Reclaiming Our Heritage is billed as Family Friendly and Positively Patriotic and seems to include events of interest for the whole family: plenty of music, dancing, fashions, soldier reenactments and demos, church services on Sunday, and more. Check out the Reclaiming Our Heritage events page for specifics.

The event is FREE, and activities begin at 9am both days.

Past Post: June 5&6, Milwaukee VA Center History Event: Reclaiming Our Heritage
JSOnline: Reclaiming Our Heritage ending after this year

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, RandyMelchert, Betterbrookfield, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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