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Consider Me The Lobster

In my family, anyone traveling abroad gets one of my mother’s 45-minute speeches on water-borne bacteria, foreign ATM fees, and passport theft.  She gives the speech by phone, and then she gets on the computer and googles the crap out of whatever foreign country it is.  This can take days.  When she’s done she takes a bathroom break, and then she gets back on the internet and sends out emails.  She copies the whole family on these, so even when I’m not traveling I get messages like “I KNOW YOU DON’T WANT ONE BUT I ORDERED YOU A MONEY BELT.”

Over time I’ve learned to do the right thing, which is to mention that I’m leaving the country four minutes before I get on the plane.

And so it was last week, when Scott and I went to the Dominican Republic for a wedding.

The Dominican was beautiful.  It was also very sunny.  So sunny, in fact, that I questioned the wisdom of going outside without wrapping myself in some kind of reflective tarp.  By the third day, my skin was the color of an overripe nectarine.  My whole body was sensitive to the touch–so sensitive that I spent an entire boat trip yelling “OUCH THE OCEAN BREEZE IS SCRAPING MY LEGS.”

The wedding was truly great, though.  We have lots of pictures of me blending into the foreground of a lobster dinner, and lots of Scott looking as cool as a cucumber margarita.

Scott in DR smallWe’re back home now, and going through withdrawal from fresh pineapples and coconut pie.  So today’s recipe is for one of the most refreshing, summery things I know: cole slaw with cilantro, jalapeno and mint.

cabbageI know I just lost some of you (including Scott and my mom) with the cilantro.  I promise to make it up to you next week with a recipe for coconut pie.  But can we at least agree that mint is pretty stellar?

mintLately I’ve been putting herbs and honey and vinegar and olive oil in a blender and drenching everything in it.  When you swap the oil for mayonnaise, you get a creamy, tangy dressing that’s great for cole slaw.

cole slaw


Cole Slaw With Cilantro, Jalapeno & Mint {Download & Print Recipe}
by eggton

Start this recipe a couple hours before you want to eat because it should rest in the fridge so the flavors meld and the cabbage loosens up a little.  The amount of jalapeno called for does not make the dressing at all hot, so feel free to add more.  You can also reduce the mayo and throw in half of an avocado to make a good salad dressing or dip.  The only annoying thing is picking the mint and cilantro leaves off the stem.  Get some helpers, maybe, to make it go faster?

Ingredients: {Serves 4-6}

1 head of purple cabbage

1 head of white cabbage

2 c. packed cilantro leaves (a typical grocery store bunch gives you enough and a little more)

1 c. packed mint leaves

1/2 c. mayo

2 Tbsp. fresh jalapeno, coarsely chopped (stems and seeds removed unless you like heat)

1 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped


Rinse the cabbages.  Quarter them.  Cut a “v” shape into each quarter to get the thick white stem out.  Then use a large chef’s knife to cut each quarter into thin slices. You can stop when you have about 10 heaping cups of shredded cabbage.  Place those 10 cups in a large bowl.  You’ll probably have extra cabbage left over that you can use for something else or turn into more cole slaw later in the week.

In a food processor, combine the remaining ingredients.  Whiz in the blender until the herbs are in tiny flecks and no chunks of garlic remain.

Toss the cabbage with the dressing.  For best results, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it a few hours before eating.  Before serving, toss again, taste and season with salt if desired.

If you have leftovers the next day, you might want to spritz them with lime juice or toss with a little more salt and vinegar, or fold in tiny bits of jalapeno, because the slaw loses a little of its punch as the week goes on.

thunder in the pool smallUpon hearing that Scott and I are going to the beach, Thunder throws herself a pool party.

41 Comments Post a comment
  1. Blargh the Dominican! It looks gorgeous!

    That blargh was a noise of envy and appreciation, in case that was not clear.

    I’m intae interesting coleslaw like this, thanks for the ideas.

    May 30, 2013
  2. Hahahaha!! I think your mom must know my dad. Glad you had a good time (and always bring your sunblock!).
    I used to loathe cilantro, but lately I think I am coming around to it.

    May 30, 2013
  3. Great post! I too have been sadly referred to as La Langostina (Lobster Girl) while enjoying the non-sunburn-cooling-breezes of a South of the Equator locale. Including two trips to DR, which is so, so beautiful. That cole slaw sounds divine and luckily, I have mint and jalepenos in our backyard garden (although, so far, only the mint is running rampant. Hopefully, jalepenos will be making their appearance soon).

    May 30, 2013
    • You know, everybody says mint grows like a weed but it’s never happened to me. My neighbor has tons of it–it took over part of his yard and I’m so jealous. What do you have to do to make it get that way? If I start with one little plant, will it ever happen? How did yours come about?

      It sounds like you’ve seen much more of the DR than I. We stayed in and around La Romana the whole time and were involved in wedding stuff, so I didn’t get a sense of what the country is really like. What sorts of things did you do while you were there?

      June 5, 2013
      • We’re not sure why we’re so lucky with the mint. We just buy one of those starter plants at Lowe’s at the beginning of sprint, put it in the ground and it just goes wild. Maybe it’s the Virginia soil?

        DR – we’ve been twice to some swanky all-inclusives, which means we ate and drank and floated in pools all day. It’s a hard knock life.

        June 6, 2013
  4. Love it! Aren’t moms the BEST?!

    May 30, 2013
    • They are so wonderful! I love her to pieces.

      June 5, 2013
  5. Great post! I’m in the same boat as you when it comes to my summer lobster complexion. 🙂

    May 30, 2013
    • Maybe we should bring lobster hand mitts to the beach next time to really drive the point home….

      June 5, 2013
  6. Your mom and my mom should go bowling. My mom just got home from a trip to Europe, during which she anticipated being mugged by Italians who were hunting her in pairs… like velociraptors. Her plan of defense was to hold up a finger, say “Uno momento,” and flip through her English-to-Italian dictionary to look for an appropriate phrase to say, “Back off.” I’m glad she’s back in the states. I worry about her in foreign countries. Uno momento…. *smh*

    May 30, 2013
    • Dana, that is hilarious. This comment had all the enjoyment of a whole blog post for me. So fun to read the way you write!

      June 5, 2013
      • Oh wow, thank you! I super respect your writing, so that means a lot. 🙂

        June 5, 2013
  7. I am generally unimpressed/turned off by cole slaw, but with mint & cilantro?! (You didn’t lose me at cilantro; you had me at cilantro. 🙂 )

    It’s nice your mom cares so much about your well-being! And nice you’ve learned to not give her enough notice to do that too thoroughly… (What did she say when she heard about your sunburn?)

    May 30, 2013
    • Allison, she didn’t hear about my sunburn until this post. As soon as I hit “publish” I sent her an email about how I used a ton of sunscreen and it was fine and I was going to be okay blah blah blah, because if I hadn’t she would have picked up the phone and called as soon as she read it.

      I am so glad that you’re on the right side of history when it comes to cilantro.

      June 5, 2013
  8. Mint IS stellar. As is that photo of mint you’ve got right there.

    May 30, 2013
    • Sharon, my neighbor practically has a field of mint that I am allowed to pick from whenever I want. It’s such a boon–mint costs so much at the grocery store! Having access to unlimited mint really makes summertime cooking fun (and cheap!)

      June 5, 2013
  9. Amy #

    Glad to hear you had a nice little vacation, with the exception of the sun. I burn really easily too and get sun poisoning on any beachy vacation we go on…so pathetic 😦 This coleslaw looks so perfect! Love that it’s light on the mayo and has all my favorite herbs!!!

    May 30, 2013
    • Amy, I worried about sun poisoning too. I’m not quite sure what it is, so I just drank gallon after gallon of water hoping that it would fix me!

      June 5, 2013
  10. I fear I will be lobster-like on my vacation next week. I’ve been “gently exposing” my skin for the past month to try not to scare people with my winter whiteness! 😀
    I enjoy reading all of your blog posts, it’s nice to see that someone else has the same sense of humor as I! 😉

    May 30, 2013
    • Have so much fun on your vacation! Where are you going?

      June 5, 2013
      • I went to Fairhope, AL for a week. 🙂 Thankfully I didn’t burn. However, two days later, WITH sunscreen on, my face and shoulders burned while I was swimming! Figures, huh? 😉

        June 13, 2013
  11. EJ #

    I adore that picture of Thunder. Gracie would not be smart enough to throw herself such a party. Maybe I will be nice and help her out.

    May 30, 2013
    • That dog loves a pool, I tell you. She lies down in it and hangs out with her head above the surface like a hippo. I hope Gracie is doing well!

      June 5, 2013
  12. what no lobster photo???

    May 31, 2013
    • Shelley, if I included a lobster photo my mom would definitely FREAK.

      June 5, 2013
      • LOL – then you could blog about that conversation 🙂
        BTW I got chicks – 14 of them!!!! You should come visit when they start laying and we can swap egg based recipes 🙂

        June 17, 2013
  13. Cilantro and jalapeno? Love the combo – I’ll definitley have to try this coleslaw. I laughed so hard reading this because it sounded just like my mom! (Espesially the bottled water quote!) Thanks!!

    May 31, 2013
    • I am glad to know that my mom has kindred spirits out there, Melissa.

      June 5, 2013
  14. Cute story. I’m sure your mother told you that you should have used more sunscreen. Nice slaw recipe.

    May 31, 2013
    • Spot on, my friend. She did indeed go on about sunscreen for a little while…

      June 5, 2013
  15. I bet David Foster Wallace would have enjoyed the cole slaw.

    May 31, 2013
    • You complete me, Mad Queen Linda.

      June 5, 2013
  16. You know those days when you just can’t force yourself to read all the great blogs you’ve subscribed to? You love them, but lifting your fingers across the keyboard is too complicated? I have to tell you, K, that no matter how exhausted, or depressed, or full of ennui I get, I *always* read your posts. And I’m always glad. Always.

    May 31, 2013
    • I will, likewise, remember this kind comment next time I’m feeling down. I am so glad to know you.

      June 5, 2013
  17. stephbo93 #

    You lost me at “jalapeno,” not at cilantro. I figured I could just leave it out until I remembered that my husband is one of those weirdos for whom cilantro tastes like soap. That leaves an awful lot of cole slaw for li’l ol’ me. But maybe I can try it for a gathering. It sounds very good.

    May 31, 2013
    • Steph, I’m going to try making it with basil and mint sometime soon. I’ll let you know if it works.

      June 5, 2013
  18. jenny_o #

    Ouch – hope you’re recovering from the sunburn in a timely way 🙂

    If not, have you thought about joining Thunder in the pool?

    June 1, 2013
  19. Cripes, your mother and my mother could improve the state of the entire planet if they pooled their research. Rosie likes to warn us about weather, travel, the perils of not getting enough sleep… Does your mother take, like, two years to make a purchase? Because my parents do. They read EVERY review of EVERY product they want to buy. It’s exhausting. (For me.)

    That slaw looks freakin’ amazing. And Scott looks like some sort of movie star in that photo. Or, at the very least, like he might have been providing security at the wedding.

    June 1, 2013
  20. Laura G. #

    i swear that part of being a mom of a certain age is typing in ALL CAPS.

    June 2, 2013
  21. In my opinion, the sun is enjoyed best from the shade of an umbrella or the arms of a tree:) or the garbage can I huddled near on the riviera in Nice France where people don’t seem to require anything but full blast rays.
    I love cilantro on everything. And coconut too. Wonderful slaw here an looking forward to the pie:)

    June 2, 2013
  22. I was thinking, this recipe sounds super exciting, what the heck is cilantro? It seems to provoke some strong opinions! And then I realised it’s what we call coriander in the UK. I absolutely love coriander, so I’m looking forward to making this slaw some time this summer, and I’m sure it’ll be super exciting anyway!

    June 6, 2013

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