Stuff and Nonsense: August 2018


Mom's Coleslaw

My most recent CSA farm share included a very large "Gunma" cabbage. This variety of cabbage is, I am told, highly sought after because it is a tender and sweet cabbage with a large flat shape that makes it perfect for stuffing. Well, while I love to eat stuffed cabbage, I have never made stuffed cabbage before and am unlikely to start soon.

So far, I've thrown an eighth of the cabbage in a minestrone soup, roasted a quarter of it with onions, and used another quarter to make my Mom's coleslaw. This is a very basic slaw, but it was served at every childhood Easter and family picnic and I retain a certain nostalgia for it.

The recipe is just an estimation. It is totally up to you how much milk or mayonnaise or seasoning you use. For me, I like a slightly dry, garlicky slaw so I used a half cup of mayonnaise and two tablespoons milk. As for garlic, I sprinkled the roasted garlic powder on until it looked like too much and knew that was exactly the right amount.

Mom's Coleslaw

Yield: 8 Servings


  • 4 cups finely shredded green cabbage (about ½ a medium head)
  • 1 carrot, grated coarsely
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, & dried parsley as desired
  • Mayonnaise, as needed
  • Milk, as needed


  1. Combine cabbage, carrot, and seasonings in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and milk until you like the thickness.
  3. Pour over cabbage and stir to combine.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (overnight is best).
  5. Adjust seasonings as needed before serving.



Tomato, Basil, & Mozzarella Flatbread

Between the garden and our CSA share, we are inundated with tomatoes. The cucumber have mostly given up in this heat and the few that have ripened recently were incredibly bitter, so cucumber and tomato salad is no longer a regular at our table. Instead, I've been slicing the tomatoes, dressing them with a drizzle of white wine vinegar and garlic-infused olive oil, and finishing them with a little sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. My father occasionally chops up vine-warm tomatoes, sprinkles them with sugar, and pours a little cream over them. He says this is good both as breakfast and dessert, but I am not brave enough to try it.

Anyway, I've found sandwiches and flatbreads are a great way to use up our tomato excess. The sandwiches are simple -- take a slice of hearty bread (farmhouse white is most traditional), spread it with mayonnaise, add thick slices of tomato, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add a few basil leaves, top with another slice of bread, smoosh the sandwich together a little bit to make sure everything is well glued together, and eat.

The flatbreads are slightly more complicated, if only because you need to use the oven. To save time, I use a prepared pizza crust, but you could make your own.
  • Slice 8 oz ball fresh mozzarella.
  • Slice a large tomato or tomatoes.
  • Chop a handful of fresh basil.
  • Chop four or five fat garlic cloves.
  • Brush pizza crust with a little garlic-infused olive oil and sprinkle with a salt-free Italian herb blend. Bake in a preheated 450°F oven for 3 minutes or until it crisps and the edges have browned a little.
  • Top with sliced tomatoes, garlic, basil, and cheese. Sprinkle with some freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with a little more oil and bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.

Makes a beautiful, crunchy pizza bursting with summer flavors.



#WordlessWednesday: Fancy Queen Anne's Lace

Never seen so much red in Queen Anne's Lace. Wonder what variety it is.


Summery Bean & Chopped Vegetable Salad

This summer, my garden seems very reluctant to give me any tomatoes. So far, I've harvested a double handful when I'd usually be up to my eyeballs in delicious cherry and currant tomatoes by now. Garden tomatoes have very much become an supplementary rather than key ingredient in many salads and packed lunches.

This is a kind of "clear out the kitchen salad" which makes good use of stuff you probably already have hanging around. The corn is usually leftover roast corn, but thawed frozen or drained can will work just as well. If you don't have Penzeys Florida seasoning blend, use salt-free lemon-black pepper, garlic, and onion powder to taste.

Bean & Vegetable Salad

Yield: 8


  • ⅓ cup lime-infused olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ Tbsp Penzeys Florida seasoning blend
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup diced seeded cucumber
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, diced


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, seasoning blend, garlic, and cilantro. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and toss until evenly coated.
  3. For best results cover and refrigerate overnight. Allow to come to room temperature before serving. Adjust seasoning as needed.



#WordlessWednesday: Black-eyed Susans

Black-eyed Susan, the best friend of many a lazy gardener.