My mom makes the best coleslaw in the world. It's really yummy, and it's incredibly easy and very cheap. It's so cheap and easy, in fact, that I always felt it was somehow WRONG to use the same recipe myself. I would try to doctor it up, make it more complicated, less Depression-era thrifty. I would add extra vegetables--grated carrot, diced green onion, red cabbage, etc--and use fancy mayonnaise. But it never tasted as good as the way my mom makes it, and finally I just surrendered to the magic that is her three-ingredient recipe for coleslaw.
Here it is:
plain old regular shredded cabbage
a big dollop of Miracle Whip (NOT mayonnaise)
juice from a jar of sweet pickles
Put the cabbage in a bowl. Add enough Miracle Whip to coat the cabbage, and enough sweet pickle juice to dilute the Miracle Whip. Tastes best if you make it a few hours ahead of time, then chill so that it's good and cold and the flavors blend.
Now, I do want to say that in general I don't like Miracle Whip--it's gross. I'm not sure it's actually food. I don't actually much like commercial mayonnaise, either, truth by told, but it seems more food-like than Miracle Whip. But Miracle Whip is the only thing that really tastes right in this recipe.
The sweet pickle juice is the most important ingredient, however. It provides a perfect amount of sweetness and tartness and it's just really, really good.
The one deviation I allow myself is that I put a little pepper in the dish. Mom didn't, because not everyone liked pepper, and you can always pepper it yourself at the table.
Take this to a Fourth of July picnic--I predict people will tell you how good it is.