This is the basic mild and creamy, mayonnaise-based coleslaw that is served at barbecue joints throughout the United States. To make a low-fat version, substitute low- or no-fat sour cream for the mayonnaise.
Make the dressing: Combine the mayonnaise, cider vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, sugar, garlic (if using), and celery seeds in a small nonreactive bowl and whisk to mix. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and black pepper to taste and more sugar as necessary; the dressing should be highly seasoned.
Make the slaw: Combine the cabbage, carrots, and bell pe