Aunt Babe’s Slaw

When most people add German and cabbage together, the sum equals sauerkraut. However, cabbage traditionally can be used for many recipes. Filing the Reuben sandwich, sauteing red cabbage (rotkohl), or making cabbage rolls with that firm vegetable head may come to mind. In fact, someone told me yesterday, you can gauge how German someone is by how much they like sauerkraut. But my most favorite way to eat cabbage has to be a coleslaw recipe I acquired from my great aunt Babe.

My father’s Aunt Babe (Leona Neunaber Davis Smith) served a vinegar based coleslaw at family gatherings in her southern Illinois home. I have a hand scribbled copy of it that was given to me as part of my wedding shower gift from her in 1976.

I have always preferred it to the creamy mayo based sales most restaurants serve and with the Easter holiday approaching, I would love to share the recipe with you.

Aunt Babe’s Cole Slaw (for the freezer)

1 medium head of cabbage (shredded)

1 carrot (grated)

1 green pepper (chopped 

1 tsp. Salt

Mix salt and cabbage. Let it stand one hour. Squeeze out excess moisture. Add carrot and green pepper. While cabbage is standing mix dressing.


1 cup vinegar

¼ c. water

1 tsp. Whole mustard seed

1 tsp. Celery seed

2 c. sugar

Combine ingredients and boil for one minute. Cool to lukewarm. Pour over slaw. Put in a container and freeze. 

*My slaw seldom makes it to the freeze. I chill it and serve it as I did last night. 

I substituted red green peppers since that is what I had on hand. Usually the only bright colors are the carrots but it tasted just as good as I remember Aunt Babe making for us all those years ago.

I don’t know where the recipe originated. However, since it has instructions to put it in the freezer, I am certain it does not trace back centuries. Enoy!

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