Fall Into Detroit Flavor

(Satire, in case it isn’t apparent.)

A new season is upon us, so, naturally, our top talent at the Handbuilt Test Kitchen has been hard at work on some recipes for fall flavor. Yea, as we scrape wet leaves off our sidewalks and porches, and particulate matter off our windowsills, we try to honor Detroit’s industrial legacy and Michigan’s business-friendly regulatory environment.

Here’s what our team came up with:

1. Apple Cider Diesel Donuts. Autumn just wouldn’t be autumn without some apple cider donuts from one of Southeast Michigan’s famous cider mills. You know the ones– cash only, lines out the door, drive in behind seventy-four Fords F150 emblazoned with TRUMP 2020 stickers to park in the overflow lot. But the wizards in the Handbuilt Test Kitchen wanted to provide a uniquely Detroit adaptation.The Lewis structure of sulfur dioxide (SO2), showing unshared electron pairs.

Reduce 1 1/2 cups fresh apple cider to about 1/2 cup, simmering in a saucepan on low heat. Set aside too cool. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease donut pan with unsalted butter. Whisk together dry ingredients including 2 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 tsp baking soda, and spices—1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground cardamom, and 1/4 tsp ground allspice. Add a pinch of salt. Whisk together wet ingredients including 2 tbsp melted, unsalted butter, 1 large egg, 1/2 cup whole milk, and 2/3 cup dark brown sugar and granulated sugar, adding in reduction of apple cider.

Toluol.svgNitrogen dioxide subsumed in the mixture will enrich the earthy ochres of the batter. Mix some heavy crude oil into the icing to make for that extra sticky, icky topping. Fold wet and dry ingredients together. Pour batter into donut pan and bake for 10-15 minutes until the smell of roasted, cinnamon toluene wafts through the room, causing dizziness and lightheadedness.

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2. Walkout Walnut Bread. When you’re standing out there on the picket line, you need energy to keep you going. This tried-and-true, high-octane recipe will provide energy and nutrition as you do the good work of keeping America safe from corporate greed.

Recipe: Preheat (preferably a freedom gas-fired) oven to 350F (175C). Butter an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2″ loaf pan. Whisk together  1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, and a generous dash of salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 large eggs, 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup of grapeseed (or comparable) oil, and a liberal dash of vanilla extract. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture and fold in 1 cup of finely chopped walnuts. Pour into pan and bake for 50-65 minutes until golden brown. For extra sugary fatness, add cream cheese icing.

Scabs don’t get a piece.

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3. The Business-Friendly Regulatory Environment. This autumnal cocktail, the colors of a smoggy sunset over the Rouge River, is a foul melange of flavors indeed. But though it will shorten your lifespan, you can drink it comfortable in the knowledge that it provides employment to no fewer than several petrochemical engineers who live in Ohio.

Making the drink: Fill a shaker with ice. Pour in 1 1/2 ounce bourbon– swill preferable. Add a half teaspoon of maple syrup, a half teaspoon of cinnamon syrup, and 1/2 oz. of Grand Marnier. Next, add a dash of petroleum distillate– naphtha is always preferable, but benzene will do in a pinch. Add a dash of bitters. Addition of egg white will prevent prying eyes from seeing what is in the mixture or the public subsidies going to the refinery. Muddle. Serve in a coupe glass. Season finished mixture with a sprinkling of petcoke, and garnish with a spent whippet canister from the streets of Southwest Detroit.


4. Pumpkin Spice Corporate Welfare. Fatigue over fall-themed consumer products has hit hard. You said companies were a little overzealous in making every food product in a “pumpkin spice” variety. We listened! This isn’t a food! Rather, it involves adding that same, coveted flavoring, not to a latte or Oreos, but to the ceaseless parade of subsidy packages that march out of Detroit’s city hall straight into the pockets of Matty Moroun, Mike Ilitch, Dan Gilbert, and more.

Neither you nor, most likely, your kids won’t be able to enjoy this treat. And we can’t even tell you what’s in it, because we don’t want the public to be distracted from the great work we’re doing. But, our executive chef tells us, the sweetness of the icing will actually trickle down from atop a gleaming skyscraper– well, assuming that it ever gets built.

Is it a mound of demolition backfill dirt harvested through mysterious means, the details of which the public shall never know? Or is it a mound of delicious, ground cinnamon? (AllRecipes.)

Real talk: please don’t make any of these recipes. And… please don’t ever drink petroleum distillates. They do not taste good.

Nat Zorach

Nat M. Zorach, AICP is a city planner, community development professional, and MBA candidate at American University's Kogod School of Business, based in Detroit.

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