|The Claremont Diner, in Clifton, NJ|
|Oh, the memories . . .|
Not until last week, when Rosângela started talking about her weight loss (which has indeed been considerable). She wanted me to know that she attributes the loss in part to her eating the Claremont salad, which she calls "that salad you showed me how to do years ago." She told me that nowadays, instead of taking dessert when invited to a party, she takes the Claremont salad. She's actually become famous in her neighborhood for it. She told me she's given the recipe out to dozens of friends, who've passed it on to dozens of their friends. She also told me that she gave the recipe to her family doctor, who fell in love with it and serves it every time he has a barbecue. Of course, given how the game of telephone works, I wonder how close to the original these versions are. But even so, it gives me pause to think that the Claremont salad of my childhood lives on in the wilds of Búzios, Brazil. I think the Bauman brothers, Leo and Morris, co-founders of the Claremont Diner, would be pleased. I know I am.
Here's the original recipe. Be sure to make it in advance so that the salt, sugar and vinegar form a pickling solution that permeates the vegetables and softens the cabbage. You can eat it after an overnight in the refrigerator, but leaving it the fridge for two full days is better.
The Claremont Salad
1 head of cabbage (white or red), shredded 1/2 C sugar
1 green (or red) pepper, sliced 1/2 C vinegar
1 large onion, sliced 1/2 C salad oil
2 carrots, sliced in rounds 1 tsp salt
1 cucumber, sliced in thin rounds 1 TBS water
Mix all of the above ingredients together and place in a big bowl or a large plastic food storage bag. Let sit at room temperature for two hours, then place the salad in the refrigerator.
For those who want the full experience, here are the Claremont Diner cheesecakes. Their original recipe can be found on the Carnegie Deli's website.