For me, coleslaw is a part of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner… I can’t remember a single Thanksgiving without it. My mother was “famous” for her coleslaw, and the aunts, uncles, and cousins always requested it. She always made the coleslaw for the extended family gathering and always chopped the cabbage by hand.
My family thinks Thanksgiving means coleslaw too, but we’ve expanded the thought to include two varieties of coleslaw. I make my mother’s coleslaw, which is a blend of cabbage, pineapple, apples, and raisins, but I also add walnuts (which she did not), and mayonnaise instead of her combination of salad dressing and evaporated milk. My mother liked sweets (I don’t), so her coleslaw was sweeter than mine. The texture of my coleslaw is also different because I shred the cabbage instead of chopping it. Occasionally I have added grapes to this coleslaw, which is a good idea… and once I added bananas, which for some reason was not. This year I will probably add some small dices of celery.
The second coleslaw I always make is simply a blend of shredded cabbage and carrots (more cabbage than carrots) mixed with mayonnaise and flavored with horseradish and garlic. The garlic can be powdered or fresh, but when I use fresh garlic, I blend it in the food processor with a small amount of mayonnaise so the garlic taste is there, but no one is eating pieces of raw garlic. There really isn’t a recipe for this coleslaw… I just add the horseradish a bit at a time and keep tasting until it seems right. I think it’s important for the cabbage and carrots to be very finely shredded for this coleslaw… somehow when the cabbage especially is chopped or shredded coarsely, this coleslaw just does not taste the same.
So tell me…
A white Thanksgiving?
Does anyone else think “coleslaw” when they think “Thanksgiving”? What ingredients go into your coleslaw?