This weekend we had an at-home fish fry with friends. They brought the walleye and fried it up and I made the sides. For me an essential side with fish is coleslaw. I also like coleslaw on my fish tacos. I have had some really awesome slaws and some very mediocre…or worse…slaws. I like my coleslaw to have crunch and to be a little tangy, a little bit sweet. It’s something that should be made a bit ahead so the flavors can marry. It even makes a great midnight snack, speaking from experience!


10 cups, approximately, of shredded or finely chopped cabbage

1 cup of matchsticked carrots

1/2 cup of matchsticked radishes

1/2 cup of red onion chopped (more or less based on personal taste)

2/3 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup half n half

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 T white wine vinegar

2 T fresh lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste



You can shred your own cabbage or purchase a bag of shredded cabbage (2# bag). Shred or use a mandolin to matchstick your radishes and carrots. Chop your onion.


Mix your vegetables together in a large bowl.


Whisk the remaining ingredients together and pour over the vegetables. Toss well and refrigerate. Mix a couple more times before serving.



NOTE:  Like any salad you can add or delete items. Just don’t delete the cabbage or it wouldn’t be coleslaw. According to NPR the term coleslaw came from the Dutch term koolsla… “kool” means cabbage and “sla” means salad. We anglicized kool into cole.  While it’s best served cold, it’s coleslaw, not cold slaw.

Oatmeal Cake with Coconut Pecan Topping


I am not sure where this recipe came from but I’ve been making it for years. It’s always moist and tasty and the fact that it contains oatmeal gives some of us the delusion that we are eating “health food.”  We had friends spending the weekend with us and I chose this for our Friday night dessert.

Cake Ingredients:

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 1/4 cups boiling water

1/2 cup butter flavor crisco

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar (packed)

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt



Preheat oven to 350.

Combine oatmeal and boiling water and let it stand for 20 minutes.


In a mixing bowl combine shortening, sugars, eggs and vanilla. Cream together until fluffy.


Beat in the oatmeal.


Measure out your dry ingredients and whisk them together. Gradually add them to the creamed mixture and beat on medium speed until everything is incorporated. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and bake for 35 minutes or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. While the cake is in the oven prepare the topping.

Topping Ingredients:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts if you prefer)

1/3 cup butter

1 cup coconut

1/4 cup half and half


Rough chop the nuts.


Mix all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil stirring frequently. Allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes.


As soon as the cake comes out of the oven spread the topping over the hot cake. Allow the cake to cool completely before serving.


Serve as is or with a little dollop of whipped cream. Oatmeal cake with coconut and pecans. It’s what was for dessert.


NOTE:  I really do measure my ingredients out in advance into prep bowls. That way I can put my containers away right after measuring out the ingredients keeping my kitchen neater and I am less likely to forget to add essential ingredients.  Also, it’s important to whisk your dry ingredients together before adding them to ensure even distribution of things like salt and leavening.