Tanner’s Tearoom Chopped Peanut Sandwiches
Blanched Peanuts, chopped Boiled Dressing (see below) Bread Lettuce
Boiled Dressing: Combine 1/3 cup sugar, ½ teaspoon salt (omit if using salted peanuts), 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1 rounded tablespoon flour. Add 1 egg, mix well. Add 1/3 cup cold water, ½ cup hot water, ¼ cup vinegar. Stir together; bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Pour into jar, refrigerate, use as needed. For sandwiches, combine 4 ounces chopped nuts with 4 tablespoons dressing to make 4 sandwiches. Dressing is also good on fruit salad or coleslaw.
Editorial Notes about the Sandwich: This is an unusual and interesting alternative to the classic PB & J sandwich. That said; it is a little more labor intensive. The dressing is the secret. I was scrupulous in following the recipe – a recipe I found a little vague in outlining the procedure for adding the cold water, hot water and vinegar. After too much thought, I stirred/beat the cold water into the dry ingredient/egg mixture. I then did the same with the hot water and then the vinegar and then followed the instructions for boiling and stirring it until it was thick. It took some patience for it to thicken, but it turned out well. There is another recipe for chopped peanut sandwiches in Savoring Saginaw. However, that is another recipe and another restaurant. We will save that for another week. - - - A Sandwich With History – not to be confused with a history of the sandwich Unless you have memories of pre-1931 Saginaw, you may not recognize the M.W. Tanner Company and you certainly won’t remember meeting your friends in the store’s café - or sometimes more elegantly called the tearoom. Once, however, people throughout Saginaw County would have instantly known that the store was located at 112 -126 N. Franklin with a second entrance at 311-313 E. Genesee and that the store’s café could be accessed through the store or the lobby of the nearby Mecca-Palace Theater.
The store’s founder, Martin W. Tanner, was born in Jackson, Michigan and arrived in Saginaw in 1881. By the 1885 he was involved in the Saginaw Dry Goods & Carpet Company, the ancestor of the M.W. Tanner Company which was officially formed on July 31, 1905. Located in a building in the 100 block of South Franklin – immediately south of the Bearinger Building, when it opened it 1905 it was described as being located in “one of the finest business houses in the state.”
In 1919, an addition was added to the store that created an East Genesee Avenue entrance and connected the M.W. Tanner Co with the palm room of the Mecca-Palace Theater. Period descriptions, suggest that the café was convenient to both shoppers and theater goers.
Martin W. Tanner passed away April 26, 1931. According to the Saginaw News, the store closed later that year, a victim of the Great Depression.
Check out a second Facebook post to see images of the store!