The Best Blueberry Muffins in Boston

Also set for summer: roasted salmon with rhubarb, fast-track baby back ribs and pickleback slaw.

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By Sam Sifton

Good morning. In 1985, we published a recipe for the blueberry muffins that the pastry chef Gunther Moesinger served at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Boston. Marian Burros, who adapted the recipe, judged them among her favorite muffins in the city. A few years later, a reader wrote to Marian to say that, actually, the best blueberry muffins in Boston were the ones once served at the now-closed Jordan Marsh department store. Marian, ever intrepid, tracked down that recipe (above) so you can judge for yourself.

But exactly who created the Jordan Marsh muffin was unclear until just the other day, when Mara Richmond of Burlington, Vt., wrote to me to say that her father, Arnold Gitlin, had come up with the recipe. He was then the executive food consultant for Allied Stores, which owned Jordan Marsh. His recipe, Mara told me when we spoke on the phone, was an adaptation from one in Esther Howland’s 1847 cookbook, “The New England Economical Housekeeper, and Family Receipt Book.”

Everything old is new again! The Marsh version has a lot more sugar and butter and fewer eggs than the Ritz-Carlton recipe. It also calls for mashing a half cup of berries and adding them to the batter. This produces a very moist muffin, one that will stay fresh longer.

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Jordan Marsh’s Blueberry Muffins

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With breakfast sorted, you can concentrate on dinner. I like Melissa Clark’s new recipe for rhubarb roasted salmon, a real taste of spring, especially if you can lay your hands on some of the Copper River sockeye salmon that’s coming around now. That fatty taste of the wild fish is perfect against the sharp astringency of the rhubarb.

Alternatively, there’s David Tanis’s recipe for wok-fried asparagus with walnuts. I like that one for its big, brawny flavor, though I hardly ever make it with walnuts. I like it better with cashews if I’m feeling flush, and with peanuts if I’m not.

Or if you’re able to cook outside? Try my recipe for fast-track grilled baby back ribs, which employs a supercool basting technique I picked up from the chef Adam Perry Lang. I like those with a pickleback slaw.

Many thousands more recipes to cook this weekend are waiting for you on New York Times Cooking. Yes, you need to have a subscription to read them. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. If you don’t have one already, I hope you will take one out today. Thanks.

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Now, it’s nothing to do with pole beans or pig trotters, but I’m in love with John Wray’s new novel, “Gone to the Wolves,” about three Florida misfits growing up in the heavy metal scenes of the 1980s and 90s.

Here’s Imogen West-Knights in The Guardian, on the endurance of the Guinness World Records.

Kelefa Sanneh’s in The New Yorker with a profile of the singer-songwriter Kim Petras, who aims for superstardom.

Finally, take some time to read Ange Mlinko’s poem, “To My Hummingbird,” in the London Review of Books. And then bake those muffins! I’ll see you on Sunday.

Sam Sifton is an assistant managing editor, responsible for culture and lifestyle coverage, and the founding editor of New York Times Cooking. @samsifton Facebook

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