I went to the Kitchener Market today and discovered fresh local cabbage and celery perfect for today’s no cook recipe. Cooking without a stove, in fact living with all my kitchen jumbled up in my former living room, presents certain challenges to cooking every day from a specific cook book but at least Cabbage and Celery Salad is easy to make. The recipe like all the others comes from the 1906 Berlin Cook Book and this recipe was contributed by Miss Grant.
Not needing a mountain of salad, I simply cut a chunk from my beautiful head of cabbage and chopped it finely. Next I took one stalk of celery and cut it up. Both went into a bowl of salt water. I made the dressing as suggested. A dollop of sour cream and a dribble of vinegar with a little salt and pepper all stirred together and poured over the drained cabbage and celery.
I was surprised to see cabbage but the vendor said this is her third harvest this season. Local celery looks different from the symmetrical and bland celery in the grocery store. This was dark green with lots of leaves. The stalks were not as perfect or arranged tightly. I liked it since it made me feel more connected to Miss Grant. I imagine this is what her celery looked like back in 1906.
I’m not sure if I’ve found Miss Grant. The 1911 census lists a 22-year-old Miss Marion Grant lodging in the home Margaret and Leonard Fulcher along with their 24-year-old son Armond and another lodger Florence Rae age 20. The young women are elementary school teachers. Since they are all living in Elmira I’m assuming that Marion had contact or perhaps came from Berlin (Kitchener) and contributed the recipe when she was 16 or 17 years old.
This is a nice simple salad suitable for late summer or winter. No it is not an exciting salad but it was great on a hot day. I’m partial to this sort of sour cream and vinegar dressing. And I don’t need to change anything about the salad but other modern cooks could use both the dressing and salad as starting points. Perhaps a bit of additional seasoning or another vegetable in the mix would create something more exciting. I’ll leave that to you as I am staying in the world of 1906 for another 100 days.
CABBAGE AND CELERY SALAD
Cut fine 1 head of cabbage, let stand in salt water for a while; a bunch or two of celery chopped fine, add it to the cabbage. Make a dressing of sour cream, vinegar, pepper and salt, pour over the finely chopped vegetables.