I grew up in Detroit. Over the years, I moved away and came back......moved away and came back.....moved away and came back. Finally, before I turned 40 I left for good. That was more than a few years ago. Although my grandmother told me that a lady never tells her age, I'll give you a little hint. My hair in my avitar is now white - not blond.
My grandmother was from Ireland, born in the late 1890's, and true to her word, she'd never give you her real age. Probably because of her age & upbringing, she never learned to drive. But she sure got around on the city buses, and as soon as I was old enough to take a bus trip alone, we became good shopping buddies. I'd get on the bus near home and head downtown, manage to make the transfer, and get off at the corner of Woodward and State St. There would be Grandma, waiting for me right in front of Woolworth's. We'd spend the day at Crowley's, Himelhoch's, and of course, Hudson's.
Lunch at Hudson's was an obligatory stop on any downtown shopping trip. It was a department store dining room with white tablecloths. Ladies (or young girls wanting to be ladies) still wore white gloves to lunch. One of the signature luncheon plates was their special Maurice Salad. It was a julienne of lettuce, ham, turkey & Swiss in a creamy dressing that you couldn't buy. It was all topped with exactly 2 green olives, and accompanied by the muffin of the day or a hard roll. It was unique. It was delicious. It was worth the 25 mile bus ride.
Over the years I tried to duplicate it. I checked every Junior League cookbook looking for the recipe. Although they all claimed authenticity, none came even close. Eventually I found something with promise, and played with it. It turned out that mashing up a hard boiled egg into the dressing was the key. Don't just chop it - mash it up!
Hudson's isn't Hudson's anymore; it's now part of the Macy's empire. I don't know if they still serve the Maurice salad. Heck, I don't know if they even have a dining room anymore! But I do know that I can finally relive the memories of dressing up to go downtown with Grandma. And it's as good as I remember.
Recipe after the jump - click on 'Read More'.
J.L. Hudson's Maurice Salad
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 1/2 tsp onion juice
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp minced parsley
1 hard cooked egg
dash of dry mustard
Mash the heck out of the egg, and whisk all the ingredients together until smooth. Taste for salt.
6 ounces ham - not a smoked ham or a country ham - just plain boiled ham
6 ounces turkey breast - ditto on the smoked
6 ounces Swiss cheese - buy a chunk - thin slices don't work well here
1/3 cup sweet gherkins
1/2 head of a large head of iceberg lettuce - yes it's gotta be iceberg
8 pimento stuffed green olives
Julienne the ham, turkey and cheese into 1/8 to 1/4 inch sticks. You want some substance here.
Slice the lettuce into 1/4 inch strips.
Cut the little pickles into the thinnest little julienne strips you can without cutting off the end of your finger.
Toss the dressing with the salad.
For authenticity, lay a large leaf of fresh lettuce on each of 4 plates and divide the salad among them. Place exactly 2 olives on each plate.