Back from Obscurity: Carrot and Sauerkraut Salad


I have mentioned to you before that I don’t grow plants, because I cannot bear their audacity: can you believe they expect to be watered and looked after, like, every day? I have planted seedlings and container gardens, bought hostas and spider plants, and even resorted to cacti (after everything else around me shriveled to dust), but no dice. It seems I can kill those too.

It is all down to a particular character flaw that I can’t seem to shake: inconsistency. With all of my hobbies and interests, I cycle through obsessive enthusiasm to neglect to complete hibernation and back, over and over again. It’s a long cycle. Each phase can last for a few months—long enough to knit a sweater, learn to make socks, take up ‘recycling’ old thrift store finds into new knitting wool, and then…half a sock in…and then a few more rows…things…just…peter…out.


Usually something else has taken its place. I’m not knitting anymore, I’m x (where x could equal any number of things, such as baking and adapting historical cake recipes, or training for a marathon, or taking up yoga again in a very serious way, or shooting skeet).

I follow this pattern with some of my favorite recipes too. It begins with discovery (this stuff is amazing!), then moves into repertoire (of course! I’ll bring my famous y), then into twilight (we haven’t had y in ages!), and finally into obscurity (what was that y I used to make?)


While recipes never really die and knitting keeps very well stuffed away in a bag for a year or more, living things don’t fare so well. This is why I don’t have a pet, or a child. And yet I do venture into the ‘living thing’ category every now and again, hoping I can be better. A case in point: Buttermilk Party Cake. A blog is a living thing in a way, and you may have noticed that I go through months of posting three times a week…then two…then one…then one if I’m lucky…then back up to three with renewed enthusiasm!

Did you know that there are all sorts of articles out there on the internet about how to write a blog, get readers, keep readers, etc? You may not know that because you probably have a life, but I’ll fill you in on what you’ve missed out, don’t worry. They all say to have a good blog you have to post consistently. Pick a pattern, and stick to it. Ha! They might as well have just told me to grow wings.


All is not lost. I have this other quality, which could sometimes be considered a character flaw but which I think is really a wonderful thing to have. It has taken me into crazy situations that have turned into the best experiences of my life (with a few of the worst sprinkled in for good measure). This trait took me to Korea for two years, to England for six and back home again, and has introduced me to many fantastic people along the way.

I have optimism.

I always believe I can make something work, even when all evidence of past behavior points to the contrary. And on this note, I will tell you that I recently dug (well, my husband dug) and planted a veggie garden. Heirloom tomatoes, all kinds of peppers, eggplant, zucchini, herbs, purple cauliflower, cucumbers, kale—it’s going to be great. I think. It’s all still alive anyway, and I’m already two weeks in. What could go wrong!?


The recipe I’m sharing with you today has been sitting in obscurity for at least three years without any good reason. As with everything I really like to cook, ‘recipe’ is too strong a word—in fact, I learned about this salad in one sentence from a German Whole Foods employee in London, the first year I was living there. Being a sauerkraut fanatic I happily made it again and again for the next few years until…oh, you know the rest.


Carrot and Sauerkraut Salad

  • 1 cup grated garrot
  • 1 cup mostly drained sauerkraut
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


Mix it all up. Eat.


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