classic vinegar-based coleslaw & beginning again

January is my favourite month, when the light is plainest, least colored. And I like the feeling of beginnings. —Anne Truitt

classic coleslaw | conifères & feuillusI can’t say that I’m very fond of cold weather, but I do like January. My husband belongs to the camp that believes January 1st is like any other day, but I disagree. There’s something special about new beginnings, about starting again, about that point where the past, present and future intersect momentarily. In the very least, it allows us to look at the past in a new light, to look to the future with much hope; in the very most, it allows us to trade fear of the unknown for trust in it, evaluate what to keep, what to let go, it allows the things that held us back to set us free to start again on a clean sheet where anything is possible and the possibilities are endless.

I worked as an engineer for nearly two decades. It was rewarding and exciting and challenging for my ever curious mind. Theory, formulae, and numerical calculations were my comfort zone but needless to say, I got bored often. In those moments of boredom, I felt something missing; there was a sacred pull to wanting something more, not in a materialistic way but spiritually. About ten years ago, I found a way to ease my restless mind. I would sneak away to an unoccupied conference room and write. The fifteen or so minutes I’d spend drifting away were sufficient to reel me back to the monotony that awaited. I didn’t know it then but I had begun what I hope will one day become my first novel. By the time I quit my job three years ago this January, I was 50000 words richer.

Last week, I narrowed it down to 10000 words (I suppose inflation affects all things) after I reread my work and hacked away most of it. But now with nothing but a few bare-bones, I’m ready to put in the sweat and work that it takes to complete the task. It may take a few more circles around the sun to finish but I’m excited to begin again.

classic coleslaw | conifères & feuillusclassic coleslaw | conifères & feuillus

Two winter bare-bones, cabbage and carrots, a bit of seasoning and a whole lot of shredding produce this healthy, flavourful salad that pickles into a supply of ready-to-serve slaw for the rest of the week. This simple coleslaw is staple in our home come the winter months when salad greens are hard to come by.

Classic Vinegar-Based Coleslaw

(yields a week’s supply for a family of 5, proportionately reduce quantities for less)

  • 1700 g cabbage (1 medium head), finely shredded (core and tough stems removed)
  • 175 g carrots, peeled and finely shredded
  • 1 tbsp raw sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 100 g (about 1/2 cup) olive oil
  • 100 g (about 1/2 cup) vinegar
  1. Toss all ingredients to combine well. Let sit an hour before serving. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week, it will pickle into a slaw with time.

27 thoughts on “classic vinegar-based coleslaw & beginning again

  1. The recipe, of course, sounds delicious and is beautifully photographed, the light invoking all that January has to offer. Most of all, I loved reading this story. Your work as an engineer, the way you fortified your soul, the birth of your novel. I cannot express how excited I am to read it! ❤️

  2. I love stories that start so. One pursuing something else entirely in life. Then choosing to give it all up for her passion for the written word. Speaks volumes of one’s personality.
    Good luck for pruning and shaping your novel, Annika. xx

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