I like a good, basic cole slaw (or cold slaw, as it’s referred to in many of the old books) and I REALLY like cole slaw with pulled pork, which is what we had for dinner tonight. One of my favourite parts of having this blog is that I’m suddenly motivated to root through my old cookbooks, rather than just going back to my old standby recipes.
I went straight to Bettina’s Best Salads and What to Serve with Them to see what she had to offer in the way of cole slaw recipes, and sure enough, she had a great one. And best of all, the dressing called for one cup of sour cream, which is close enough to what was left in the container in the fridge! I love when things work out like that!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Bettina books, they started with A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband, which is disappointingly G-rated for such a promising title. It’s written a bit like a schmaltzy novel in which newlyweds Bob and Bettina get home from their honeymoon and set up house. There are recipes for the dishes served at the end of each chapter. Bettina is quite smug about her superior cooking and home management skills, and passes along her knowledge to friends and neighbours…. and of course, us! Then Bettina and Bob have two lovely children, and along comes A Thousand Ways to Please a Family, also written in story form, and then several smaller recipe books on specific topics (the salad book, for example) until at last daughter Sue is old enough to learn to cook. The last and hardest to find of series is When Sue Began to Cook – With Bettina’s Best Recipes. It’s one I’m hoping to find at an affordable price some day!
While Bettina’s cole slaw isn’t fancy, it is good. And it’s easy to make, which is another plus. I do own an old stand mixer with a shredder attachment, but honestly, it’s such a pain to pull out all the pieces and then hand wash them, I rarely use it. When I make cole slaw, I use a big knife and just shave the cabbage as fine as I can. The result is a little less uniform than what you would see in a restaurant, but it’s just fine. Along with the cabbage, both to add colour and because I have lots still waiting in the garden, I grated a carrot and added that too. I often chop an apple as well, because I love the sweet crunch, but I left that out this time.
When I tasted the dressing plain, my first thought was too much vinegar, but on the salad it was perfect! Tangy and creamy, and just plain good. This is definitely another make again recipe! Good job, Bettina!
One of the things I like most about the Bettina’s Best books is that everything is fairly simple, with ingredients that I usually have in the house. And while plain, the recipes I’ve tried have been both easy to make and tasty.
Bettina’s Best Salads, and What to Serve with Them was written by Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen Cowles LeCron, and illustrated (beautifully) by Elizabeth Colborne. It was published in 1923.