In the Guest House: Kale Slaw

Quick note from Lex: Took a little cajoling but I finally convinced Mr Dickson to write this down. It does tickle him that so many people are growing kale but when questioned about what they’re doing with it, they’re either very coy or the answers don’t seem all that…delicious. Anyway, here he is.



This recipe does not have bacon in it. It’s just that when I hear people espousing the virtues of: Kale! I want to ask them if they have heard of: Bacon! Bacon tastes good, kale does not.

Kale has this peppery (maybe) over the top green flavour that I can sometimes tolerate and other times makes me gag a little.  Apparently it is a super food and therefore really good for you.

I hear about kale’s health giving properties but I don’t really take in the science, I just hear that this leafy green vegetable may possibly undo some of the damage I may or may not have done to myself so far.  I know that this is not really the promise offered, but I’ve entered an age where my sense of mortality is compelling me to investigate the healthier alternatives in the hope of minimizing the effects of prior negligence.

Bacon tastes good. Kale does not.
Bacon tastes good. Kale does not.

That and it grows like crazy in the garden and you have to find something to do with it before it goes to seed and or the aphids get at it.

So I give you: Kale Slaw.


10 Large kale leaves finely sliced – I use around a 2:1 ratio of kale to carrot but I often add more carrot if I don’t think it looks right.

1 Medium carrot grated

1/2 An apple grated

1 Spring onion finely sliced

2 – 4 tablespoons of THOMY mayonnaise, let your conscience guide you. I like the THOMY brand the best and I won’t guarantee success without it.

A pinch of salt and pepper

Some garlic chives.

Maybe a squirt or two of lemon or lime juice.

Combine all ingredients, bar mayonnaise, in a bowl. Mix well, then mix in mayo to taste at the end.

It’s basically your coleslaw recipe with kale in it instead of cabbage. Surprise!

I especially enjoy ‘filleting’ the kale. I like to imagine that I am on Master Chef and that this is a technique that only I employ – basically you drag the knife up either side of the stem from the bottom – the stem is discarded. I like to use the heavier leaves from the bottom of the plant for a texture more akin to cabbage so it is important to slice the kale finely so you don’t have to chew through these leathery straps of kale.

"Filleting" the kale
“Filleting” the kale

Enjoy. And if you don’t like it maybe you could sprinkle a little something on top. Maybe some “Bacon!”.

Kale Slaw - with fishcakes and roasted kipflers.
Kale Slaw – with fishcakes and roasted kipflers.

If you enjoyed this post and want to see more of our daily life then you may want to follow Two Houses on Instagram or Facebook. Subscribe via email (see the side bar) to save you missing out on new posts. Because let’s be honest our website is not very organised and it takes years to find anything. Have a nice day!


Quasi Day, Making New Traditions

Growing up, Dave and I both had friends of our parents that were just that little bit extra special to us. Letting us hang out at their place talking, feeding and looking after us as though we were one of their own. They were simple relationships, but ones that even now as adults, we look to  with love, trust and respect. As parents, we’ve chosen to foster similar relationships between a few close friends of ours and our girls, so that they too may have the opportunity to grow up with strong and varied role models in their lives outside our immediate family.

Quasi Cake
Quasi Cake

We started it off with Bubby, and that was when the term ‘Quasi-parent’ was coined by one the friends we’d asked to be one of these special people, and we loved it. It was fun and light-hearted, but with the right amount of sentiment towards the relationship. Others might call it a ‘god-parent’ situation, but as our family and  friends are a diverse bunch, this fits us and the relationship it represents perfectly. We celebrated these friends and officially welcomed Bubby into the family with a day at the amazing property at Armytage House, including a warming lunch of wood-fired quail and pizzas in the middle of a freezing cold and drizzly Hobart winter.

So a couple of weekends ago it was Boo’s Quasi Day. This time around our family has grown and seeing as we now have a lounge room bigger than a shoebox and not to mention the awesome new deck in our backyard, we decided to host her special day at home. We try to keep these intimate so invited our usual family members (grandparents, siblings, partners and kids), some friends and the 2 couples of Quasi Parents-to-be (one couple all the way from London) and their children.  So just a small, intimate luncheon for 20 odd.

Quasi-Matt and Boo entertain the guests
Quasi-Matt and Boo entertain the guests
Mama takes a quick selfie with the party girl!
Mama takes a quick selfie with the party girl!

I’d had my hopes up after days of glorious Hobart winter sun, but unfortunately when the day came, the weather decided to be particularly cold and wet so we were forced indoors for the most part. It didn’t stop us from enjoying a delicious lunch of Felicity Cloak’s Perfectly Pulled Pork recipe, Martha Stewart’s Tofu Scramble with Cotija Cheese, barbecued garlic prawns on skewers and corn on the cob served with a red cabbage coleslaw, fresh baps and mayo.

Perfectly pulled pork and calendula flowers
Perfectly pulled pork and Calendula flowers

To finish up, Dave gave a little speech to introduce and thank our newly appointed Quasi-Parents Matt and Paulette, and Craig and Jon and we welcomed Boo into the family with a rather larger-than-expected layered ombre Pandan cake with palm sugar icing, accompanied by Elsie’s delicious chocolate slice with coconut and brandied kumquat. Yummo.

And that’s how we celebrate Quasi Day, or as Bubby and Little G seemed to think,  there was a whole day to just for their favourite Ocotnaut “Kwazi’…

Papa gives a speech
Papa gives a speech
Bubby enjoying the many layers of ombre pandan cake
Bubby enjoying the many layers of ombre pandan cake
Glenn kindly let me steal some of his succulants for the cake decorations
Glenn kindly let me steal some of his succulents for the cake decorations
Succulants from the other house pretty up the cake
succulents from the other house pretty up the cake
Bubby sneaks in a story from Quasi-Craig
Bubby sneaks in a story from Quasi-Craig
Farewelling London Quasi-parents Craig and Jon
Farewelling London Quasi-parents Craig and Jon