Monday, May 26, 2014

Sophie's Grandma Himrod's Cabbage Slaw

My family's history can be traced way back to the Revolutionary War and our trek to South Georgia. My friend Sophie's family has the same history, but they settled in Central Florida. We are both daughter's of the American Revolution and the Civil War.. I think that I know what a Georgia Cracker is, but have been doing research on the Florida Cracker. Many historians think that the term is not so much about the crack whipping Florida and Georgia cowboy, but about the prideful way that the early settlers in these areas lived, and their storytelling abilities, such as to "crack" a joke or tell a story. Each year there is a Cracker Storytelling Festival,  in nearby Homeland. Story tellers and true Florida Crackers come from all around the state to share their bit of history. It is incredible that theses strong pioneers, survived and flourished in a time before air conditioning, insect repellant and screens.

According to my research, a Florida Cracker is a true native Floridian, often claiming pre Civil War homesteading. The Florida Cracker is known to be self sufficient and apt at hunting, fishing, and growing their own food. A Florida Cracker is a true southerner, and not a transplant from a northern state. Their ancestors probably moved to Florida from Georgia, Tennessee, or the Carolinas.

Attributes of a Florida Cracker:

Knows how to fish by instinct
Prefers swimming in a lake or creek, never a chlorinated pool
Knows what Swamp Cabbage is, and never calls it Heart of Palm- they also know how to cut and cook it
Knows that cane syrup is eaten on biscuits and gravy is eaten on squirrel - (that one is a stretch)
Doesn't mistake a turtle for a gopher
Says the blessing before supper
Knows the location of Hog Valley, Two Egg, Scrambletown and Yeehaw Junction
( I gathered these words of wisdom form the Urban Dictionary)

Back to Sophie's Florida Cracker History- The men in her family were great sportsmen and hunted and fished quite regularly. She remembers from her childhood, mullet smoking get togethers and her Grandma Himrod's Cabbage Slaw.

I have quizzed her about the cabbage slaw and no one seems to have a written recipe. This is what she has settled on as the "recipe".  I made it this weekend and it is delicious. It may not be an exact duplicate, but it is yummy!

Sophie's Grandma Himrod's Cabbage Slaw

1 head cabbage grated or 1 bag Dole coleslaw (not the Florida Cracker way)

I was a little lazy and opted out of this procedure;

This was the way to go today- Hey, it is the 21st century
To the coleslaw mix- sprinkle heavily with celery seed

In a separate bowl mix together - 1 cup sugar - one cup water- and one cup vinegar - whisk
Stir dressing into large bowl filled with cabbage slaw
Salt and pepper to taste
Let sit overnight for best flavors- 3 days for ultimate deliciousness.


Finished product - I even ate some on my grilled in butter hot dog -

Thanks to Sophie for sharing - Let's keep those family recipes alive for the next generation and beyond


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