Sunday, April 3, 2011

Frenemy Slaw

Are they friends?
Or are they enemies?
I’d say they’re both
Let’s call them frenemies!

Oil and water. Church and state. Farming and Ugg boots. Whether they're polar opposites fated to eternal antagonism, or like elusive radio waves on a slippery manual dial, some things just don't get along.

And then there are the square pegs that somehow manage to fit into round holes. You’d never know just by looking – it’s counterintuitive. You’d think, “That would never work. They are sooo different. How could they get along?” But sometimes...they do. And when that happens they can create intricate combinations of complexity and wonderment beyond what was previously thought imaginable. The whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

Sometimes when you have an individual you take it for face value. It is what it is. When it stands alone it can be hard to see all it’s characteristics – good and bad – without having the acuteness that is imparted by contrast. Without ying, what is yang?  Without peace, what is war? It is easier to see and appreciate these individuals and their characteristics when they are joined by their complimentary or contrasting other, be it their familiar, doppelganger, alter-ego, or in this case: frenemy.

Fennel Fronds Forever is not operating within the vastness of the blogosphere alone. FFF (and the fennel plant) is not an end in itself, but a component of something greater. Like day and night; fire and ice; life and death, Fennel Fronds has a counterpoise: Red Cabbage Revolution (

Call it friendly competition, tough love, whatever – without Red Cabbage Revolution, Fennel Fronds Forever is just another tog on the blog rack. But as frenemies, red cabbage makes fennel the freshest, most frizzly, feathery-folioled-frond veggie on the farm. So here it is:

Frenemy Slaw!

Not my "Frenemy Salad", but close.
Picture from Simply Scratch blog.

Fennel, red cabbage, and green onions covered in a slauce of mayo, red wine vinegar, orange Champaign vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper, garnished with bacon bits and of course chopped fennel fronds.

The red wine vinegar and red cabbage turn the slauce a beautiful sweet-pea-petal-pink. And the acidity from the vinegar and lemon tranquilize the piquantness of the fennel and lull it to a nice round, even, tang of mellow licorice. And the bacon...well, bacon makes everything better and the laws of gastronomy did not change for this recipe either.

Culinary-wise this slaw is a thing of beauty. And symbolically it is too.

Fee fi fo fum
I smell the slaw of a farmingman
Be it fennel or cabbage red
I’ll eat it up till my gut’s fed

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