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Under the Apron Strings: Pool Room Slaw

My son Blake’s Great Grandmother Emma Lee Fudge Taylor (MeMaw) was the queen of Pool Room Slaw. MeMaw kept it on hand for any occasion and as an accompaniment to hamburgers and hotdogs.

Blake’s great grandfather, “Daddy Joe” Joe Rufus Taylor, was originally from Fayetteville, Tennessee. Pool Room Slaw started out right there in Southern Middle Tennessee, and in North Alabama as well, as it was served in pool halls across the area.

Daddy Joe always said that Fayetteville ladies never went inside the pool hall except to pick up a carry-out order of traditional pool room hamburgers with that yummy layer of this special slaw.

Growing a big garden each year, Daddy Joe included cabbage, onions and peppers. MeMaw was well supplied to prepare this slaw and many other dishes. Any extra vegetables were delivered personally to the shut-ins and widow ladies of the church.


1 head of green cabbage, grated or finely chopped 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped

1 red pepper, seeded and chopped finely

4 carrots, peeled and chopped finely

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup yellow mustard

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons celery seed


  • Combine cabbage, onion, red pepper and carrots in a large bowl and set aside.

  • In a 6-quart saucepan add sugar, vinegar, mustard, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and celery seed over high heat and bring to a boil until combined and the sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat to medium.

  • Add the cabbage mixture to the hot liquid, stirring to combine. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Transfer to a large container. Allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to two days before serving.

  • Any leftovers may be kept in a sealed container up to 2 months in the refrigerator.


You can find recipes just like this in Servin’ Up Summer available for purchase here ( It’s my newest collection of recipes. Servin’ Up Summer includes my favorite summer dishes, cocktails, and desserts. It’s a taste of summer in the South on every page. Available now for only $29.95.

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