Slaw-terhouse Five

Easter weekend was an absolute whirlwind of people coming and going through our front door. (Although part of this is simply the seasonal cheer, this was mainly due to the fact that Edward flew from London with me and was literally the talk of the town.) The main event was Easter itself, as we hosted twenty-two members of my extended family for dinner, board games, and the annual watching of The Ten Commandments. The Easter menu is always the same at our house: ham, some sort of bready pineapple heaven, and the all star: Grammie Kay’s coleslaw.

All of my cousins and I regard this dish as a sort of magical experience. There is constant debate over the goodness of mashed potatoes or which pie wins at Thanksgiving, but Grammie’s coleslaw shuts us all up (mainly because we’re too busy scarfing it down). Perhaps it’s because we still sit at “the kids’ table,” but like Billy Pilgrim, the main character in Slaughterhouse Five, we all experience a sort of time travel when we eat this coleslaw. All of a sudden we’re all pre-teens again, running outside after dinner to play Star Wars (I was always Chewbacca). And when this year I made a point of learning Grammie’s tricks to the perfect coleslaw, I adapted Kurt Vonnegut’s style of slipping in autobiographical elements. True, to the dressing I adhered strictly to Grammie’s recipe, but by adding shredded apples and red cabbage, I’ve made a coleslaw that is all my own.

We never do watch all of The Ten Commandments on Easter – in fact, we pretty much switch it off as soon as Charlton Heston parts the Red Sea – but we always make it to the end of Grammie’s coleslaw.




1/2 of a red cabbage

1/2 of a green cabbage

4 Granny Smith apples

4 carrots


1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 tbsp grated onion

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper


1. Either by hand or using appliance of food processor, shred cabbage, apples, and carrots.

2. Combine mayo, vinegar, onion, salt, and pepper in small bowl. Add to shredded vegetables and toss to combine.

Enjoy Grammie Kay’s coleslaw with Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, and check in at for future recipes and book reviews!


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