Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dining at J.L. Hudson's, Part II

Joseph Lowthian Hudson, was the founder of the department store that bore his name.  

He was the second child born to Richard and Elizabeth [Lowthian] Hudson, at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England in 1846.  His father was a tea, coffee and spice merchant, and a part-time Methodist preacher.  With his British heritage, and strong Methodist tee-totaling beliefs throughout his life, I like to think he was an avid tea drinker!

Below is an early 1900's Hudson's Ad Card.   The back states: "Hudson's, The Leading Retail Clothing House in America."  I like that Mr. Hudson put a teapot on his ad card!

According to a 1947 Hudsonian employee publication, the five restaurants and tea rooms were staffed with 110 waitresses, eight cashiers, and twenty hostesses.  A waitress' workday began at 10:15 a.m. with a class period where  her supervisor went over every menu item for the customer's benefit.  Then managers inspected each waitress for neatness of hair, hands and nails, hose and shoes.  Uniforms and aprons, had to be spotless.  She was back at her station by 11:00 a.m., and from then until closing at 3:00 p.m. [or whenever the last guest left] her routine was pleasing one customer after another politely, and with a smile.  A Hudson's waitress knew that when a customer stepped into one of the restaurants, they ceased to be a customer and officially became a guest.  Many a guest left with good will for the entire store because they liked the way their waitress served them.

Waitresses having their hands inspected before starting work. 

  Mezzanine Tea Room waitresses being briefed on the menu for the day in 1954.

The classic Maurice Salad was synonymous with Hudson's in later years.  No one seems to know exactly who Maurice was.   Some say he was a chef at the Detroit flagship store where the salad made its debut.  Whoever he was, his salad remained on the menu for more than fifty years, where it seems to have made its first appearance on a Riverview Dining Room menu. 

When Hudson's flagship store closed in 1984, the company merged its other locations into the  Dayton-Hudson Corporation, which later became Target Corporation.   Hudson's became defunct in 2001 when the stores were re-branded Marshall Field's.  In 2006 all Marshall Field's stores were incorporated into the Macy's chain.   With all the changes that  occurred, the Maurice Salad survived, and is said to be the number-one seller in Macy's Michigan "Lakeshore Grille" restaurants.   

The cookbook, Someone's in the Kitchen with Dayton's, Marshall Field's & Hudson's, printed in 1992 by the Dayton-Hudson Corporation, contains the recipe for the Maurice Salad that was such a closely guarded secret for many years.  It's also in The Marshall Field's Cookbook, and has been featured in Detroit newspapers.

 Maurice Salad Recipe
1 lb. ham, julienned
1 lb. cooked turkey breast, julienned
1 lb. Swiss cheese, julienned
1/2 cup slivered sweet gherkin pickles
1 hard-boiled egg, diced
1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
8 - 12 pimiento-stuffed green olives for garnish

2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons teaspoons onion juice
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup mayonnaise, reduced-fat or regular
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt to taste

To prepare the dressing:  In a small bowl combine vinegar, lemon juice, onion juice, sugar, Dijon and dry mustard; whisk well to dissolve the sugar.  Whisk in the mayonnaise and parsley.   Season with salt.

[Note:  Bottles of Maurice Dressing can be purchased at all Macy's Michigan locations.  I've heard Onion Juice, found in the spice section, isn't readily available in grocery stores in other states, but a grated onion will easily produce onion juice.]

To prepare the salad:   Arrange a bed of lettuce on each plate.  Top with meat, cheese, diced egg and slivered pickles.  Garnish with 2 olives and serve with dressing on the side.   Um, Um Good!    Recipe serves four.

I recently had a cup of Canadian Cheese Soup and Popover at Macy's [which was also a Hudson's favorite] accompanied by a "Starter" Maurice.  The photo is not the full-size salad.

The only thing missing that would have made  a complete Hudson's meal was a hot fudge ice cream puff,  but I was too full to eat another bite!

Hudson's will be the theme of our Ladies' Spring Tea at church this year, and  Canadian Cheese Soup, Maurice Salad, and Hot Fudge Ice Cream Puffs are on the menu.   I can hardly wait!


  1. Wonderful history! Loved the photos of the waitstaff, particularly the inspection. Interesting and fun theme for your spring tea.

  2. Oh, wow! Hand inspections! :-) What a great history lesson, thank you.

  3. What a gorgeous trade card, and I love the photos of the waitresses! Now you've got me wanting to go make (and eat) a Maurice Salad sometime soon. Fun, fun, fun post!


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