The Color Purple

Isn’t it amazing how nice weather has a way of adding pep to one’s step. When Spring arrives, we find ourselves seizing any and every opportunity to be in the great wide open. When temperatures stretch into the 80s, like clockwork, Matthew suggests a cook out. We are both of the opinion that the best socializing takes place at home. I find that it caters to a more relaxed environment and gives people the space to move around and mingle. When it comes time to calling the masses to the Reynolds Ranch for fun, food and debauchery, I have found that he and I have differing opinions about what an afternoon next to the barbecue entails. Matthew is a proponent of hot dogs, burgers, watermelon, corn on the cob and bags of potato chips. I on the other hand like to prepare a smorgasbord of salads and other goodies to put on the forefront.  I suppose as it goes for many couples, my menu usually wins and the bonus is that we traditionally have leftovers that shape the next day’s meal. If we are lucky, there is enough to recycle into work lunches for the upcoming week.

I started speaking when I was 14 months old. In no time, I was quite fluent. This has nothing to do with the fact that my parents entertained a great deal when I was growing up. As a verbose munchkin however, I was able to regale my mother with details of what she wore and cooked at their last dinner party. This helped ensure some variety. When hosting fetes, whether it be a dinner party, cocktails or afternoon shindig, I too make a concerted effort not to bore people with something they have already eaten before. This said I will make an exception and exclude my guacamole from this rule. Avocado never gets old. Over the past year, I have been all about reinventing the wheel. When the months were last warm, I prepared a salad of orzo, fresh cut watermelon, torn basil leaves and salty feta. A drizzle of good quality olive oil and we were in business. The contrast of sweet and savory at its best. Roasted vegetables like beets with avocados and diced green onions. Ripe tomatoes with burrata. My favorite kale masterpiece. I also became fascinated with perfecting my potato salad. To date, my favorite version includes boiled purple potatoes, thick chunks of celery, chopped Pink Lady apples, fresh herbs and Greek yoghurt. Poached eggs have a way of transforming salads and leftovers. Similar to this, the addition of crisp apples to salads and grains can be earth shattering.

Of course, I do have some oldies but goodies, one of which is my mother’s recipe below. I do put this into rotation quite regularly. Warning: this is not your average cole slaw. Many recipes call for a bag of the pre-shredded stuff. From a cost perspective, it is far more sensible to pick your own cabbage and cut it at home. You will also have extras to do with as you see fit. Braised cabbage, cabbage wraps, filler for soups and salads. Add it to the pot when making homemade broth. So many recipes call for the average white cabbage. While acceptable, it’s nothing inspiring. Frankly, it’s a bit boring really. Pick up a small head of purple cabbage and lure your guests with a hot shot of color. Bagged shredded carrots are also not my thing. For some small change, buy a big bag of whole carrots that you can wash, peel and chop. It is as simple as that. Other recipes also suggest mixing your mundane packaged ingredients with sugar laden garbage in a bottle. No thank you. My recipe binds the vegetables with light mayonnaise, Greek yoghurt, a generous helping of chopped fresh herbs, a pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper. There are other exciting and off-the-beaten-path ingredients in here including red onion, golden raisins and apricots. This cole slaw always begs, what is it and when folks taste it, rave reviews. If you are at our next gathering, chances are that this will end up on your plate alongside something else delicious. There might also be a bag of chips hanging around.

Rainbow Cole Slaw


Half a head of red cabbage – approximately 4 cups – shredded in your food processor
4 carrots – chopped
1 red onion – finely chopped
4 ribs of celery – sliced
1 cup of golden raisins
1 cup of dried apricots – chopped
½ cup of mayonnaise – we use the light variation
8 TBS Greek yoghurt
1 cup of fresh chopped herbs – parsley, tarragon, chives, thyme
Kosher salt
Ground pepper
Olive oil
*Optional – throw in ½ cup of salted, roasted sunflower seeds

Time to Amaze

1. In a large bowl add your cabbage, carrots, onion, celery, raisins and apricots. Mix well. In a small bowl, mix your mayonnaise, yoghurt, herbs, salt and pepper. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the cabbage and other ingredients and mix together. You might need some elbow grease here. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and garnish with some more raisins if you like. Go to town.

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