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Congratulate me and my co-author Geri Clauston on our cookbook, Eat, Read and Dream, winning First Place in the Instructional & Insight Non-Fiction Chanticleer International CIBA Awards. Purchase details at bottom of page.

Cole Slaw with Pastrami on Rye

Foodie Lit

Pastrami Sandwiches (8).jpeg

As a Deli man's daughter, I couldn't resist matching a Pastrami on Rye sandwich with this month's Foodie Lit choice, much of which takes place in a Deli.  My Dad always made the sandwich on Rye with Russian Dressing. While some have the coleslaw on the side, in true Jewish Deli fashion, my coleslaw was placed on the sandwich, dripping a little as I ate.  ​

When I entered my Dad's Deli, my mouth used to water upon seeing the barrel of sour pickles. I would put my hand into the barrel and oh! the puckering of the mouth and the ecstasy of the sourness.

While there are few pickle barrels today, the sour pickles I eat from a jar are almost as good as I remember. I’m including my Dad’s Cole Slaw recipe below.


Reading Boychik by Laurie Boris took me back to the tastes and smells of my Dad’s deli—the sour pickles, the pastrami sandwiches, the lox and the deli salads. Set for much of the novel is set in Brooklyn in Brooklyn Heights and Williamsburg, both neighborhoods with which I am very familiar.

Like main characters, cousins Eli and Artie Abramowitz, my dad was born in Williamsburg and was only 2 years younger than Eli. His dream was to own a deli, which he did many years later.

In Brooklyn Heights, a wealthy neighborhood then and now, another main character grows up, Evelyn Rosenstein, daughter of Murder Incorporated mobster. What happens when these characters meet is an absorbing story, filled with romance, crime, and dreams, where Hollywood and life intertwine.

Cole Slaw


Serves 12 (6)



2 cups (1) sugar

1 cup (1/2) cup hot water

4 (2) teaspoons kosher salt

¼ cup (2 tablespoons) apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon (1/2 ) pepper

1 teaspoon (1/2) celery salt

2 (1) cloves garlic, minced

2 cups (1) mayonnaise


1 (1/2) large cabbage, small chop

½ cup (3 tablespoons) onions, minced or grated

2 (1) green or red pepper, finely sliced

2 (1) carrot, finely sliced or grated


  1. Soup:  Mix sugar and hot water together, stirring to dissolve.  Add salt, vinegar, pepper, celery salt and garlic. Stir. Add mayonnaise. Mix together until lumpy. 

  2. Add onions, cabbage, peppers and carrots.

  3. Let stand for 3 hours or overnight in refrigerator. Stir before serving.



Expandthetable suggestions

Allium free: Substitute 2 tablespoons radishes, minced for garlic and onions.

Diabetic: Substitute stevia for sugar, using conversion measurements on the package

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