Well, I don’t know when I clipped this from the “Heirloom Cooking” column in the Chicago Tribune, but I do know it was before August 30, 2005 because the prize for printing a reader’s recipe was a gift certificate for $25 to Marshall Field’s department store.
|Marshall Field's on State Street, Chicago, note the clock!|
It infuriated many area people when Marshall Field’s doors closed on that August day to become Macy’s. Its massive retail store at State and Washington Streets in the Loop—built in stages between 1893 and 1915—occupied an entire city block and was one of the world's largest retail buildings.
A fun Christmas time outing was to go to Marshall Field’s on State Street to take in its gorgeous animated holiday window displays. Then, off for a delicious lunch in the wood paneled Walnut Room; seating 450 diners, under crystal chandeliers ~ surrounded by imported dark Russian wood paneling. While enjoying lunch, the diner had an up-close view of the 45-foot tall Christmas tree with over 1,000 ornaments in the center of the dining room.
|Walnut Room at Christmas time|
|45 foot Christmas tree in the Walnut Room|
Actually, Marshall Field’s is credited with the tea room concept. Back in the 1800’s, ladies shopping in the city had to return home for lunch, as being unescorted by a gentleman was frowned upon and not ladylike. One day, a Marshall Field’s clerk shared her chicken pot pie lunch with a tired shopper; providing Marshall Field’s the concept of opening a lunch/tea room. Hence, the Walnut Room opened in 1907, allowing ladies to shop and enjoy lunch with friends; a place for ladies to socialize. That chicken pot pie became “Mrs. Herring’s Pot Pie” and is still served there today filled with tender white meat chicken, peas and carrots in veloute sauce, hidden just below a thick puff pastry!
On the menu, in later times, you would see Peach Nest, the famous chicken salad in a nest of shoestring potatoes, with peaches, grapes, strawberries, and a trio of bread ~ plus, coconut shrimp, skewered to a chunk of pineapple and dipped into sesame-mango and chipotle-cream sauces. Also, Spinach Ricotta Ravioli, with asparagus, smoked tomatoes, garlic, basil, Parmesan cheese and chili flakes, in a light roasted yellow pepper sauce. Then, to top off the meal: a dessert of another Chicago classic ~ the Frango mint chocolate ice cream pie! Heavenly!!!
I could go on and on, but seeing this recipe for Cherry Muffins brought back great memories of the most magnificent store you could imagine and there are still rallies occasionally to bring back the old Marshall Field’s! That would be dreams come true for thousands of shoppers, including me!
RIP, Marshall Field’s!
Back to the muffin recipe: Even though the fresh tart cherry season is over here, this recipe adapts well to frozen or canned cherries. The muffins are moist and flavorful with the cherries, cinnamon and cloves blended together.
This is a delicious fruity muffin to enjoy with your morning cup of coffee, for afternoon tea time or a tasty treat any time of the day. I hope you bake them!
|All ready for baking|
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon each: ground cinnamon, baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 stick (½-cup) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups fresh or frozen pitted sour cherries
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and clove; set aside.
Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy; beat in egg until smooth.
Reduce mixer speed to medium-low.
Alternate mixing in the flour mixture and the buttermilk to batter, beating just until combined.
Fold in the cherries.
Fill lined muffin tin three-quarters full with batter.
Bake until a tester tests clean, about 35 minutes.
Cool on wire rack.
Yield: 12 muffins
Love these cherry muffins!
Go visit my friend, Linda’s blog, @My Kind of Cooking for excellent tips and recipes. She’s having a great giveaway now!!!