Good Deed & 1000 Islands Dressing ***

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Thursday! Having a good day so far. DH is off to do a gardening job. A friend of his daughter just bought a house and he is landscaping it for her. He worked on it a little the other day and has been delayed due to weather conditions. Only draw back is she won't pay him until the end of the project. We are grateful he has the project though.

I ran into SO much material on the Boldt's I have been spending a lot of time trying to condense it. I don't want to tell you the same stuff 5 times. Ha! But if I do please forgive me. Today I have 2 different tales. One is George Boldt's good deed and the other the origin of Thousand Island dressing. Enjoy!

~* George Boldt’s Good Deed *~

One stormy night many years ago, an elderly man and his wife entered the lobby of a small hotel in Philadelphia. Trying to get out of the rain, the couple approached the front desk hoping to get some shelter for the night.

“Could you possibly give us a room here?” the husband asked. The clerk, a friendly man with a winning smile, looked at the couple and explained that there were three conventions in town, and this would be almost impossible.

“All of our rooms are taken,” the clerk told them. “But I can’t send a nice couple like you out into the rain at one o’clock in the morning. How would you feel about sleeping in my room? It’s not exactly a suite, but it will be good enough to make you folks comfortable for the night.”

When the couple declined, the young man pressed on. “Don’t worry about me” he said, “I’ll make out just fine,” So the couple agreed.

As he paid his bill the next morning, the elderly man said to the clerk, “You are just the kind of manager who should be the boss of the best hotel in the United States.
Maybe someday I’ll build one for you.”

The young clerk looked at the couple and smiled. The three of them talked a bit more, then parted ways.

As they drove away, the couple agreed that the helpful clerk was indeed exceptional, that finding people who are both this friendly and helpful wasn’t easy.

Two years passed. The clerk had almost forgotten the incident when he received a letter from the old man. It recalled that stormy night and enclosed a round-trip ticket to New York, asking the young man to pay them a visit.

The old man met him in New York, and led him to the corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. He then pointed to a great new building there, a palace of reddish stone, with turrets and watchtowers thrusting up to the sky.

“That,” said the older man, “is the hotel I have just built for you to manage.”
“You must be joking,” the young man said.

“I can assure you that I am not,” said the older man, a sly smile on his mouth.

The old man’s name was William Waldorf Astor, and the magnificent structure was the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The young clerk who became its first manager was George C. Boldt

In 1893, Astor asked the Boldts to help design and run the ubër-grand Waldorf Hotel, erected on the site of the gajillionaire’s former Park Avenue home. In 1897, Astor’s competitive cousin John Jacob Astor IV opened his own Astoria Hotel next door, and leased it to George. It was profit-sharing George who linked the two structures to form The Waldorf-Astoria, creating the then-largest hotel in the world, and Louise who made it a hub for the city’s most prestigious social events.

**other facts **

Colonel John Jacob Astor, the world's richest man at the time, built the Astoria Hotel in New York City in 1897. It later merged with the Waldorf Hotel and the two became known the Waldorf-Astoria. John Jacob Astor and his second wife Madeline, who was pregnant at the time, were returning on the Titanic from Europe to North America when it struck a massive iceberg at 11:40 p.m. on April 14, 1912. Although his wife survived on a life boat, John, together with 1502 other passengers and crew, died at 2.10 a.m. the following morning when the ship sank 4 kilometers to the North Atlantic Ocean floor.

~** The Origin of 1000 Islands Dressing (Version One) **~

The origin of 1000 Island Dressing is related to George Boldt, one-time manager of the prestigious Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, and owner of the Bellevue-Stratford in Philadelphia. At the turn of the century, whenever Mr. Boldt was not busy managing one of his luxurious hotels, he enjoyed vacationing in the 1000 Islands region of the St. Lawrence River.

He loved the area so much that he began buying up alot of land in the region, including several hundred acres on Wellesley Island, and entertained many of his friends and business associates there. It wasn’t long before several of them began to share George Boldt‘s affection for the area and built their own summer homes on the islands

Occasionally, while Mr. Boldt was on vacation, Oscar Tschirky attended to matters at the Waldorf-Astoria. Best known as “Oscar of the Waldorf,” he served as maitre d’hotel and official greeter of presidents, dignitaries, and visiting nobility.

Oscar was a hard-working, obedient, and modest man. He was the first person hired for the elegant Waldorf Hotel, and soon became Mr. Boldt’s confidant. Oscar’s attention to practicalities helped counter Mr. Boldt’s fancies and create one of the most elegant, successful hotels in the nation. But when food was involved, Oscar’s fancies prevailed.

Many times Oscar accompanied Mr. Boldt on his trips to the 1000 Islands and to Mr. Boldt’s beloved castle in Alexandria Bay. Legend has it that while on one such vacation in the 1000 Islands, aboard his yacht ‘Louise’, (named after Mrs. Boldt) George Boldt’s steward, Oscar Tschirky, discovered that the noon meal’s salad fixings had been left sitting on the dock.

Improvising with the ingredients he had on board the yacht, the steward quickly concocted the tasty dressing for which the region is now very well-known around the nation and the world.

Thousand Island Dressing typically consists of chili sauce, mayonnaise, and chopped vegetables such as green olives, onions, pickles and/or bell-peppers; hard-boiled eggs are also a frequent ingredient.

George Boldt liked the dressing so well that he soon started serving it at his hotels and its popularity quickly soared. It was called 1000 Island Dressing in honor of the beautiful area where it was first prepared.

Oscar’s fame as a chef (which he was not, although mistakenly thought to be by many) became widespread not only because of 1000 Islands Dressing, but also such other innovative and improbable creations as Waldorf Salad and Veal Oscar.

Oscar was such a loyal and talented maitre d’hotel that in 1912 Mr. Boldt offered him the opportunity to be manager of the Waldorf. Oscar gracefully declined, explaining that he was content as, and wanted to remain, “Oscar of the Waldorf.”

The Dressing Recipe: Here are two versions of the recipe:

Ingredients: 1/4 cup chopped pimientos, 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup chopped pickles, 1/3 cup chopped green olives, 1 tsp grated onion, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 chopped hard cooked eggs. Method: Combine ingredients in a bowl and add vinegar to taste if desired. Stir and refrigerate. makes approximately 2 cups of dressing.
Ingredients: 1 quart mayonnaise, 1/2 cup chopped olives, 3/4 cup relish, 1/4 cup vinegar, 3 hardboiled eggs (chopped), 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, dash of ground cloves, 1/2 cup diced red pepper, 1 tsp sugar. Method: Combine ingredients in a bowl and add vinegar to taste. Stir and refrigerate

~**The Origin of 1000 Islands Dressing-Version Two**~

Thousand Island Dressing – It is made from bits of green olives,
peppers, pickles, onions, hard-boiled eggs and other finely chopped

The history of Thousand Island Dressing
dates back to the early days of the 20th century and centers in
the small resort village of Clayton, New York. A fishing guide named George
LaLonde, Jr. guided visiting fishermen for Black Bass and Northern Pike
through the waters of the 1000 Islands. After a day of fishing, he and his
wife, Sophia LaLonde, would serve what they called “shore dinners” with a
different and unusual salad dressing. The following story on the origin of
Thousand Island Dressing was given to me by Allen and Susan Benas, owners of
the Thousand Islands Inn:

one particular occasion, George LaLonde, Jr., was guiding a very prominent
New York City stage actress named May Irwin and her husband. May Irwin, a
renowned cook and cookbook authoress in her own right, was particularly
impressed with the dressing and asked George for the recipe. Sophia La Londe,
who created the dressing, was flattered by the request and willingly gave
her the recipe. Sophia also had given the recipe to Ella Bertrand, who’s
family owned the Herald Hotel, one of the most popular hotels in Clayton.
May Irwin and her husband had stayed at the Herald Hotel during their early
vacations in the island and had already tasted the dressing. It was May
Irwin who gave it the name Thousand Island and it was Ella Bertrand who
first served it to the dining public.

Upon her return to New York City, May Irwin gave the recipe to fellow 1000
Islands’ summer visitor, George C. Boldt, who was owner of the Waldorf
Astoria Hotel in New York. Equally impressed with the dressing and its
flavor. Mr. Boldt directed his world famous maitre di, Oscar Tschirky, to
put the dressing on the hotel’s menu. In doing so, Oscar Tschirky earned
credit for introducing the dressing to the world.”

In 1972, Allen and Susan Benas purchased the
Herald Hotel and changed its name to the Thousand Islands Inn. Needless to
say, Thousand Island Dressing is the "official" house dressing at the inn.
The Benas now bottle and sell the dressing at the inn and on the internet.

****Tomorrow I will be doing the giving you the improvement projects and some pictures. Which will lead me to the final posting on Saturday about the people themselves and more detailed information.
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