Friday, 5 August 2011

Ode to the Colonel's coleslaw making wife

My first job, at the tender age of 14, was working for the Colonel. He was a generous man that let me work after school and on weekends for what I believe was $5-something an hour. He faithfully offered me an endless bounty of free deep fried goodness and in return I faithfully delivered a mountain of teenage tomfoolery and beyond sloppy customer service. Day to day, us children of the chicken, worked tirelessly to avoid further hot fat damage to our virgin skin but rarely did we succeed. Leaving for the day with six circles of burn on the crest of your foot from molten grease that leaked through your shoelace eyes, was not an uncommon occurrence. Putting on gloves - that no matter how religiously you turned them inside out - still smelt like a rotten cat - was not the highlight of anyone's afternoon. 

I would have to say that my favourite part of the working day was in the morning - when no one was there to bust your chops and your uniform still smelt slightly human. You would fill hundreds of gravy pots, gossip about your lazy workmates and portion questionable salads into appropriate sized containers. Even though these salads were beyond unnatural, I did secretly dabble in the potato salad from time to time but rarely did I partake in the consumption of the mutant green coleslaw. When no ingredients are listed on the box and I don't remember ever seeing a neon cabbage in the supermarket - I will not be shoving it down my gullet. It's a shame that the Colonel's wife (who I imagine is the salad maestro in the family) didn't put more effort into the - what should be - crunchy and fresh dinner accompaniment. So here, Colonel's wife, whoever you are, this is a coleslaw recipe. Ghetto, I know...but it's filled with the love and memories of the years I spent with your husband in the confines of a greasy kitchen. 

Grate up some cabbage, carrot, red onion and fennel. (Feel free to chop if you have the knife skills - Hayden chopped - he's got the skills)  

Mix together 1/2 a cup of mayo (probably less - don't go overboard because once it sits in the slaw for a bit, it seems to multiply) with one squeezed lemon and a teaspoon of fish sauce. Salt and pepper. Throw the two components together and voila! So simple, so tasty.  

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