After my dear dad passed away last year, I received some of his things. Among them was this blast from the past...
a Recession and a Depression?
some other guy loses his job.
So anyway, while national stats ran to 9% or so unemployment in the mid-1970s, regional stats were appalling. Some towns in our Mon Valley area were registering up to 50% unemployment. Families used to working hard and paying bills on time were now accepting blocks of government cheese and using food banks.
Worst of all, men and women who had decent-paying jobs not only lost them, they fell off the grid. After their unemployment ran out, nobody counted them anymore. Some would never be employed again. Some would find work, but the new jobs would pay them far less that the old ones.
Recovery? Not a good recovery for them. But that's a song this country has heard before: Eddie Cantor performed the brilliantly ironic lyrics during The Great Depression.
As for this cookbook, it was created to raise money for the Mon Valley Food Bank. It was also distributed to families to help them with ideas for cooking at home and eating economical meals. It was done with good humor and good grace, and I'll always cherish it.
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Marc and I have seen versions of this dish around the inter-web, but the recipe predates the digital domain. Given that it was in my late father's Unemployed Cookbook, it's at least 40 years old.
It's also shockingly tasty. Seriously. We could not stop popping these babies into our mouths.
We did tweak the original recipe, adding dry mustard for better complexity of flavor. We used dark brown sugar instead of light brown for the same reason. And if you're serving these at a party, we suggest using a little slow cooker to keep the bourbon bites warm throughout the evening.
Finally, we're sharing our bright idea of using pretzel sticks instead of the usual toothpicks or cocktail forks to spear them. That little bit of salty crunch with the sweet bourbon bite certainly had us eating with joy.
We hope you enjoy it, too...
For a free, illustrated PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here.
Adapted by Cleo Coyle
1 pound of your favorite hot dogs*
Step 1 - Cut both ends off each hot dog, slice cut each wiener into five, 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
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free recipe PDF, and...