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Coleslaw crowned outdoor king

As the seasons turn and we spring into summer, thoughts — turn idyllic at the prospect of long, lazy weekends laced with outdoor — meals near the grill, capped off with traditional salads that both promote — and escort the entr?e as it appears, sizzling, over a mountain of mesquite.

I could wax endlessly about the proper punch of a perfect — potato salad or why three particular beans got together to steal the side-show, — but I'll cut to the chase and present you with the King of the Summer — Salads: the perfect coleslaw.

I know that quite a few of you whisper breathlessly about — some savory green mango/red pepper/serrano chili pompous predilection — laced on Victorian handcrafted fine porcelain china. To you I say: Come, — with me, back into the fold. Slip on some family eating values as easily — as a Windbreaker and walk with me into the backyard, past the Tiki torches — and the meats in marinade, there to cast your eyes upon the glow of the — grill while reaching back through time with thoughts of the best barbecue — of your young life. Coleslaw was there with you then and, with your acquiescence — and slight embrace, will be again with you this weekend.

Now that you have adopted the proper attitude, let's prepare — a bowl of cole and take it outside, there to receive a dignified, yet — warm reception, by both family and friends.

The first step is to clean all the surfaces in the kitchen — in a manner consistent with the continuation of life on the planet. This — means to forget those "anti-bacterial" compounds that only permit the — strongest of the strains to reproduce, resulting your own personal kitchen — super-microbe that can bench press the refrigerator with one tentacle — or claw, whichever you prefer.

Although not intuitive to all, the correct background — music is essential to get the necessary mindset locked in place. Most — of you, by now, have concluded, correctly, that none other than the flag-waving, — parade route weaving, and tuba toting sounds of John Philip Sousa will — do. I crank up "The Stars & Stripes Forever," and march about the kitchen. — If we're going to make this coleslaw together, I expect you to keep a — straight back, look straight ahead and keep in formation. Missed cadence — can ruin the salad.

Now, confidently approach your cutlery block and smoothly — extract your knife.

Get your knife sharpener out and lay on a perfect edge, — a skill that can be acquired with only a few years of totally focused — concentration. This done, finely chop a red onion and both a red and green — cabbage with a dexterous blur of the wrist and place the shredded succulents — in a large bowl, there to be consoled by homemade garlic mayonnaise, Dijon — mustard, celery seed, salt, fresh ground pepper. Hold it right there!

I want to give you the basics, but not the inside secrets — of a private recipe. So, from now on, you'll have to wear a blindfold — and, if you give me any lip, earplugs.

So, with just a few other un-named herbs, spices and liquids — the whole is mixed to the general consistency of adobe and straw and spirited — back into the refrigerators to get ready for a hot summer afternoon.

It's as simple as that. When the cookout picks up speed, — you can simply dash into the kitchen, kick the super-microbe between one — of his eyes, wrestle the slaw bowl from his clutches and commandingly — reveal your special salad to the eager eyes and tongue licked lips of — those ready to do a high-dive through time, back to the best eats of your — life.