Saturday, September 15, 2007

Thanks, Gordy!

That colorful collage above is a mouthwatering view of one of my favorite salads -- Gordy's 30-day Cole Slaw. Gordy, alas, is no longer with us. He was a vet and a regular customer when I was bartending at the VFW. In civilian life, he sold and installed carpets and would often come in after a hard day for a few beers and conversation. His libation of choice was always Heidelberg in the can.

There was maybe half a dozen of us in the canteen when he came in one afternoon. When he finished his second beer, he shoved the empty across the bar and asked me for a new one while he visited the men's room to recycle what he'd already imbibed. I picked up the can and started for the cooler when -- I dunno -- a Wicked Moment overcame me. Instead of tossing the empty, I filled it with ice-cold water from the tap and put it neatly on his coaster. The other customers smiled ... and waited.

Gordy came back and rejoined the conversation. Every now and then he'd raise the can to take a sip and we'd all lean slightly forward, anticipating. Then he'd think of something else he wanted to say and replace the can on the coaster while he talked. And we'd all sit back and wait some more. This happened several times -- Gordy raises can, crowd leans forward, Gordy lowers can and talks, crowd sits back and sighs.

Finally the moment came. Gordy raised the can, took a good slug and swallowed. His eyes ballooned out in shock as he shot the can forward and exclaimed, "This beer is FLAT!"

And half a dozen people immediately collapsed in laughter, trying really hard not to pee our pants. It was years before that man would let me open a can of beer for him.

Fortunately, that didn't stop him from giving me the recipe for the 30-day cole slaw and he was absolutely right -- it will probably be eaten long before the 30 days are up but it just gets better every day. Since I just found myself in possession of 2 1/2 heads of cabbage (more about that tomorrow), one of the things I did today was fix a batch of the slaw. And this am the way it goes:


You'll need a large bowl for tossing everything. Shred or dice the following: 1 large head of cabbage, 1 each red and green bell pepper, 1 medium onion (or 2 large leeks or half a dozen green onions), 1 cup of celery and 1 large carrot. Toss everything together.

In a sauce pan, mix 1/2 cup of honey, 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 2/3 cup vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons salt. (I don't know why one needs sugar when one has honey but that's what Gordy said and the results tend to validate him.) Bring mixture to a boil and immediately remove from heat. I say "immediately" because that puppy will boil over in a New York minute if you're not careful. Let cool. You may need to skim off the foamy stuff from the honey after it cools down.

Once the dressing is cool, pour it over the slaw and toss thoroughly. Now you can transfer everything to a smaller bowl. Keep covered in the refrigerator and give it a stir every day. And don't forget tip your spoon (after you lick it) and say, "Thanks, Gordy!"


Anonymous said...

Well jimminy crickets why didn't you let me buy some cabbage? :-)

Anonymous said...

Good to see you back and bouncing, Dee. Slicing and chopping all that cabbage needs a fair amount of bounce, I reckon... :-)

Dee said...

Well, Jimminy Crickets, Bonnie -- I didn't know you wanted to. (smile)

Thanks, John. I think I'm about bounced out now. Boyhowdy!

Anonymous said...

Delightful Dee. You bet I will try this one just as soon as the baseball season is over.