My ten year old daughter told me she is going to be a suffragette for Halloween and I was so elated I made slaw.
When I was a kid I dreaded coleslaw, the mayonnaise-laden, cabbage mess I was faced with at church potlucks. But slaws have come a long way. They are light, or at least lighter, and often Asian-inspired. This one was inspired by fortitude, that of the suffragettes (a moment of silence for our stalwart foremothers, please) and by the battered kale plant in my yard that overwintered.
My neighbor and I are always coming up with uses for the kale that soldiers on, month after month, in our gardens. I thinly sliced it – or tried to – for this dish, but that’s the only ingredient I had to cut by hand. The rest was handily dispatched with by my trusty Cuisinart.
I have been using a Cuisinart since I was about ten, when my mom showed me how to make cookie dough with it. Hers just had the blade, no slicing and shredding discs like mine, but that didn’t stop my mother from making everything in it.
I admit it: I am spoiled. I cannot function, culinarily, without it. Recently I made a carrot salad at my neighbor’s house and – long story – had to resort to a box grater. By the time I had reduced the requisite amount of carrots, and my knuckles, to shreds, 45 minutes had elapsed. Now, we were talking the whole time, enjoying each other’s company, and I wouldn’t take it back, but when I am alone in the kitchen the food processor is vastly preferable. A quick, violent blitz in the Cuisinart lacks the spiritual discipline and labor of love quality of the hand-grated salad but you don’t want to take the slow food movement too far (plus it actually tastes better with less knuckle skin).
Did my little suffragette eat the slaw? Alas, no. She was too occupied rallying support for the rights of women everywhere – or at least in my house – to subsist on bunny grahams alone.
This slaw is my neighbor’s invention, but she used balsamic vinegar in hers. Cilantro would go well in this.
Selebratory Suffragette Slaw – it’s tidier spelled that way, don’t you think?
1 apple (a red Fuji is nice for color and firmness though they are certainly not at their best right now)
however much kale you feel inclined to add
olive oil (or a neutral-tasting oil if you prefer)
1/2 cup, or so, of toasted cashews (I bought them raw and toasted them myself to control the salt)
maybe some pickled ginger