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Posts Tagged ‘best cole slaw recipes’

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Summer has arrived with a vengeance here in Northern California, giving barely a nod to spring. One weekend we had snow, the next the asphalt was melting. With all the strange weather going on all over the world it is hard to deny global warming is progressing, though some persist in insisting this is so. Our glaciers are melting, our oceans temperatures are rising. I cannot for the life of me understand how sticking our heads in the sand and pretending it is not happening will make it go away. My rant for the day.

As a kid summer was at time of year highly anticipated. School doors shut for the season, warm sunny days, a glistening pool in the back yard. Life was good. Most of my life I’ve been a sun bunny. Spending my middle school and high school years in Southern California, the majority of my summer vacation was spent at one of the many beaches within driving distance from my house. Those were glorious days looking back. Blissfully innocent about the effects of the sun on our skin, we slathered ourselves with a lethal concoction of baby oil and iodine and spent hours coaxing the sun to turn our bodies a lovely shade of golden brown.

Though I’m sure not much has changed, the beaches somehow seemed safer back then. Other than an occasional incident of a swimmer caught in a riptide or someone getting a serious sunburn, I don’t remember hearing about many incidents of shark sightings or attacks, though I’m sure there were many such events. With no social media to propel stories along the information highway was much slower relying on word of mouth, nightly news, or newspapers to provide information. Southern California beaches lured sunbathers with warm water, miles of sun-kissed sand and, particularly in the Laguna Beach area, plentiful caves and tide pools to explore.

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My first child began her descent into the world in Laguna Beach. The first labor pain made itself known half way up a sheer staircase at a beach aptly named “1,000 Steps”. One pain following another I willed my overripe body to continue the uphill climb. By the time I reached street level I found myself praying for a helicopter to whisk me off to the nearest hospital. An hour and a half after I arrived at the hospital by our house my daughter arrived, leaving me to wonder if that last great effort up the endless steps hadn’t helped to hasten the delivery.

No matter whether on the east coast or the west the ocean is where I find peace. The only real regret I have about not finding wealth and fame (not that I looked very hard) is not having the wherewithal to buy a house with a panoramic view of the sea. How glorious it would be to open the door each morning to a salty sea breeze. To sit on the deck with your fingers wrapped around a hot cup of morning coffee and take in the sounds of waves crashing against the shore. Ahhhhhh.

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As a child the ocean was my backdrop. At the first sign of spring I would head down the hill towards the thin strand of rocky beach stretching behind our house. Sitting on a rock I would unlace my shoes and dip my toes into the icy water.

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I have had the opportunity to live on the water since, but never again on the ocean. When my children were in high school, my daughter entering her senior year and my son his junior, I rented a beautiful home in a man-made water community in Northern California on the Sacramento Delta called Discovery Bay. The house was second in on the first water cul-de-sac in a series of the same winding about the community. Our boat had been sold several years before so we used the dock mainly for fishing or launching the variety of floats and water toys stored in a massive bin on the middle deck. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mornings I would seat myself in my lawn chair to watch the horizon for the first hint of the sun making an entrance for the day. Usually Barnaby the golden retriever padded down to join me keeping a watchful eye out for a duck in the vicinity or a stray cat sleeping under a deck.

There’s something so calming and soul soothing about being close to water. If responsibilities and family didn’t hold me where I am, I would find a houseboat along a waterway somewhere and drop a line over the rail.On a day such as today where the thermometer is projected to reach record highs, the idea floats around in my brain like a bingo ball bouncing in a cage.

Should reincarnation be an option, I am definitely going to rethink being rich and famous just to allow me to live somewhere with salt in the air.

This cole slaw is positively decadent. I served it with tuna croquettes and a nicoise salad and it disappeared quickly.

Blue Cheese Cole Slaw

6 cups finely chopped shredded cabbage
2 oz. crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup red onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. Sriracha sauce
1 tsp. Dijon mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. celery salt

Mix together the cabbage, blue cheese, and onion in large mixing bowl.

Whisk together remaining ingredients to make dressing. Pour over cabbage 1 hour prior to serving and refrigerate.

Serves 6

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Photo by Susie Nelson

Photo by Susie Nelson

Went for a walk behind Nevada City early this morning with a friend. Along the heavily wooded trails are periodic distance hirschman-pond-nevada-city-california-nikon-dslr-april-2014c2a9-sally-w-donatello-and-lens-and-pens-by-sally-2014markers and boards with maps indicating with an X “you are here”. Along with your location the boards provide interesting information about the flora and fauna in the area, as well as things to beware of. Coyotes are pictured on each board with warnings if one approaches you along the trail make yourself seem larger, wave, and make a lot of noise. Both of us being small of build, after reading the third of such notices with the size of the coyote increasing each time, we decided to bring a larger companion for diversion next time or possibly a revolver.

There are two ponds along the three miles of trails, both leftover from the days when working mines existed here. According to the boards turtles, beavers, and frogs make their homes there, though we never saw any of the three along our way.

This was the first long walk totally in the woods I’ve taken since spring arrived. Predicted to be hot, I loaded up on sunscreen, pulled a ball cap on my head, and put on shorts and a tee-shirt. As Edwards-typical-trailwe got deeper into the woods the umbrella of trees obscured the sun except for occasional spots of light bleaching through where the overgrowth thinned. About a mile and a half down the trail the first sensation, not unlike a pinprick, made me stop and slap my arm. The next one followed very quickly. The two of us began this unchoreographed dance in the dirt looking either as if we were summoning rain or waiting for the orderlies to show up from the local sanitarium. Hearing them before seeing them, the air suddenly seemed filled with mosquitos. Looking down they were perched on my arms and legs. Damn. My can of Off was sitting on the counter by the sink.

We put into practice the same advice given us for spotting a coyote except we added an additional instruction, “RUN”. Do not stop, do not pass Go, do not collect two hundred dollars. Not even in high school could I have run a mile and a half with such amazing alacrity. My lungs were doing the samba against the wall of my chest. Truly I didn’t know I had it in me. Piling into the car we immediately began scratching like two blue tick hounds with a bad case of fleas. All that diligence about avoiding sitting on the deck early in the morning when they’re buzzing around really paid off. Sigh.

The last time I dealt with mosquitos in such numbers was on a beach in New Hampshire. The group of twenty-somethings we called friends at the time their offspring and ours had gathered for an end of summer blue crab boil. The plan was a weekend on the beach with a crab feed on Saturday night. If memory serves it was Indian Summer that year. Not only hot, but incredibly sultry and still. Two fires were built and wood stacked in sort of teepee fashion. Pots of water were hung over the fires. The ladies were tasked with shucking the corn and cleaning the crabs while the men busied themselves popping open cans of cold beverages and throwing frisbies. Right. Where is it in the handbook where it says this sort of job is “woman’s work”? Men have been trying to convince me for years this is how it was originally written. I have reached a juncture where I need to see this in black and white.

A boom box was turned on for a little background atmosphere, and picnic tables provided by the state park served as a place to lay down newspaper to toss the crabs and ears of corn once cooked. A Coleman stove was used to melt butter and heat crusty loaves of garlicy bread which smelled wonderful drifting in the air. Just enough of a sea breeze kicked up to rustle the sides of the newspaper and cool us off, but not strong enough to require anything pulled over our shorts and tee shirts.

That night we feasted in the glow of the dwindling fire, drank brain freezing lemon-lime daiquiris out of the thermos and when the children exhausted from a day in the sun fell fast asleep, danced into the brim of the following day.

Thankfully the black fly population, present on our last trip to the New Hampshire shore, had abated. However, with the humidity high mosquitos buzzed in circles around our heads all night. People flicked and batted at them like horses will their tails as they flew past their ears or lighted on their skin.

Sand provided a rather soft cushion beneath our sleeping bags, but the flannel interiors of the bags meant for cooler climates proved hot. Even in the wee hours with the sea breeze, the land refused to give up the heat gathered during the day and most of us tossed off the tops of our bags allowing the breeze to cool our bodies.

I woke up the following morning to the sound of laughter, and the smell of bacon (my favorite smell outdoors) both close by. The laughter I was to find was at my expense. During the night, with a daiquiri or two under my belt, I’d slept uninterrupted as the mosquitos made a meal out of me. Fortunately I’d sprayed my body, but left my face totally vulnerable. Word must have gotten around that seating was available in that area because they had their way with me above the neck. When I spoke I sounded like I had a terrible cold because they’d bitten my nose so often it had literally swollen shut. I looked like a female version of Karl Malden. My husband reassured me no one would notice but since every time someone looked at me they laughed I found that highly unlikely.

The following day getting ready for work the swelling was down but still very evident. I boarded the subway with my hands over my nose with people eying me curiously as they often did the people dancing in Boston Commons talking to themselves. Finally after several days I returned to myself, certainly a vast improvement over Karl. On him the look was distinctive. On a woman, I assure you far less so.

I’m taking off for a couple of days to see my mom. The other half and the cat will be batching it. Cya when I get back.

Grape Nutty Cole Slaw

2 pkg. angel hair cole slaw
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups halved red seedless grapes
1/2 cup blueberries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Mix together in large bowl.

Dressing

2/3 cup sugar
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup 2% milk
5 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt

Whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Pour over cabbage mixture 1 hour prior to serving.

Serves 8-10

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