"Coney Islands are a unique type of Greek American restaurant. Two of the most well-known Coney Island restaurants are the Lafayette Coney Island and the American Coney Island, which are located adjacent to one another on Lafayette St. in downtown Detroit. They have a common root, with the original restaurant having been established by Greek immigrant brothers Bill and Gus Keros in 1914. The brothers got into business dispute soon thereafter, and in 1917 split their restaurant into the two establishments that exist today."
-Wikipedia, of course.
Two Sundays ago, I was in Michigan for my Uncle Al's wedding. I ate a Coney dog for lunch in downtown Detroit, and for dinner in the suburbs, Aunt Julie's Pulled Pork.
Recipe for a Coney
Boil a natural casing hot dog.
Open a can of chili and heat it up.
Chop some onions.
No ketchup, unless you are weak like me.
Get a generic hot dog bun and assemble as shown above...
JUST KIDDING, why would you try to make a Coney at home? It would lose it's diner allure and taste like nothing more than a common Chili dog.
|This week's recipe: Aunt Julie's Pulled Pork. In Mid-October, we held on to the last flavors of summer.|
|The suburbs (townships, rather): one must get out of the car and into the forest.|
|Two of my countless, beautiful cousins.|
|If I wasn't seeing green - I was noticing red, white and blue everywhere.|
|The Cider Mill - where to get your apples, cider and doughnuts, and corn maze.|
|The transition from summer tomatoes to autumn apples.|
|These boxes were everywhere: I took one home as a souvenir.|
"May something go always unharvested!
May much stay out of our stated plan,
Apples or something forgotten and left,
So smelling their sweetness would be no theft."
The morning of the wedding, my mom brought crates of tomatoes to the kitchen of Piccirilli's Ristorante, where Uncle Al held his reception. I picked basil from the back garden and Linda sliced up ten platters of Caprese salad for the reception dinner. That night, in the glowing white and purple festoons of the brick banquet room, everything tasted like midwestern Italian (except for the Vietnamese summer rolls and lotus root salad from Hoa, Allan's beautiful bride).
|The Coney Islands on Lafayette St. and the Tigers have always been resilient.|
|My aunt Sue remembers how things looked 40 years ago.|
|The Heidelberg Project: abandoned houses became the city's block long art installation.|
|Cousins, on the steps of the newest Heidelberg art house project.|
|Hot dogs, onions, and mustard: The kitchen of Lafayette Coney.|
As we drove home from our colorful day in Detroit, I was satisfied having seen so much life, color and positivity. While dozing in the car, though, I realized how briefly I had toured this troubled city. Nearing closer to the peaceful, familiar suburbs, I reflected on the inevitable dark and deserted parts of life. I allowed myself a certain amount of rumination over places neglected fairly or unfairly: forgotten, fled from, or lapsed into decay and oblivion...but I jolted awake from my half sleep, and -
fortunately, the joyous refrains of the reunited Chisholms ( and McElroy's) awaited me that Sunday evening. For our final meal, Aunt Julie made her slow cooker pulled pork, accompanied by the last of the season's tomatoes and corn.
Aunt Julie's Pulled Pork (From Chow.com)
- 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 (4-1/2- to 5-pound) boneless or bone-in pork shoulder (also known as pork butt), twine or netting removed
- 2 cups barbecue sauce (optional)
"Place the onions and garlic in an even layer in the slow cooker and pour in the stock or broth. Combine the sugar, chili powder, measured salt, cumin, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork and place the meat on top of the onions and garlic. Cover and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 6 to 8 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.
Turn off the slow cooker and remove the pork to a cutting board. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the onion mixture from the slow cooker through the strainer and return the solids to the slow cooker. Set the strained liquid aside.
If the pork has a bone, remove and discard it. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker, add the barbecue sauce, if using, and mix to combine. If you’re not using barbecue sauce, use a spoon to skim and discard the fat from the surface of the strained cooking liquid, and then add 1/4 cup of the liquid at a time to the slow cooker until the pork is just moistened. Taste and season with salt as needed."