Do you remember Asbury Park back in its hey-day? No? Well, I sure do.
|Van Hotel, Asbury Park|
My family on the front porch of the Van Hotel, late 1950’s (L to R: my brother Drew, sister Dawn, Mom, and me having a bad hair day!)
My family stayed at the Van Hotel on 6th Ave owned by the Eretzians. It was our summertime home-away-from-home.
Sixth Avenue was “Armenian Central” with the Hye Hotel, owned by the Kulhanjian family, diagonally across the street, and the Roosevelt-Hye up the block.
|Grace Haronian‘s family photo taken on the steps of the Hye Hotel|
No matter which hotel you stayed in, all of the Armenian families inter-mingled, whether it was on one of the hotel front porches, or on a beach blanket on the sand a few blocks away.
I still bump into Ara Kulhanjian from time to time here in Florida, and we reminisce about the good-old days.
Ara was kind enough to share one of the Hye Hotel’s recipes with me along with a little anecdote about the sumptuous buffet they served every weekend.
Here’s what Ara said:
“Pore” is stomach in Armenian. The original recipe is for stuffed mussels in the actual mussel shell. We had to just make the pore (stuffing) at the Hye hotel since we went thru about 80 lbs. for our buffet every weekend and obviously stuffing 1500 to 2000 mussels for the buffet became too labor intensive. I think about how we did an extravagant buffet each weekend accompanied with Prime Rib on Saturday night and Shish Kebab on Sunday night which included dessert and champagne for $4.75 per person – this was in the 60’s.”
Media Pore – original recipe from Hye Hotel
3 lb. Onions chopped
1 cup Olive Oil
3 cups Uncle Ben’s Rice
1/2 cup Pignolia Nuts (Pine Nuts)
2/3 cup Currants
8 cans minced Clams (drained) –
together it will make 6 cups Clam Juice
2 bottles Clam Juice
3 Tbsp. Allspice
3 Tbsp. Cinnamon
3 Tbsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Black Pepper
3 tsp. Salt
2 Ibs. Mussels – fresh (Make sure they are closed when buying!)
1. Chop onions fine and let simmer in olive oil for at least 15 min.
2. Drain minced clams. Save juice and 2 bottles make 6 cups. Add all to onions.
3. Let it come to a boil. Add rice. Cook 10 min.
4. Add spices & nuts & currants & fresh mussels and let it simmer till all liquid is absorbed (approx. 1 hr.)
NOTE: Stir a lot! Burns very easily!