I’ve told you I have the best friends, right? My bell choir partner Jane Masters has won a special place in my heart, by bringing me four vintage cookbooks salvaged from the basement of one of her friend’s relatives. These books are rare beauties, complete with handwritten recipes, clippings from newspapers, and-I kid you not-a dried up four-leaf clover tucked inside one of the copies! The oldest of the books dates back to 1879! I cried when she gave them to me-no kidding.
One of the books is The American Pure Food Cookbook and Household Economist.
Check out the inside cover.
It credits six authors, including David Chidlow, President of the Chidlow Institute of Milling and Baking Technology, Myra Russell Garrett of the Providence, Rhode Island Cooking School, Mary Vail of the Indianapolis Industrial Training School, Cereal Specialist Ella Shuart (I want that job!), Eben Rexford of “Ladies Home Journal”, and R.W. Webster, M.D. from the Rush Medical College in Chicago.
It may need rebinding but I am super thrilled to have this in my collection. My first dish is this easy muffin recipe-perfect for busy mornings or served as a side dish as dinner for a change from the usual biscuit or dinner roll. The muffins are plain and so they go well with butter, jam, peanut butter, or whatever you like. Their name pays homage to their puffy finished appearance.
• ¼ cup butter
• ¼ cup sugar
• 2 eggs, well-beaten
• One cup milk
• 3 teaspoons baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin tins (enough for 15 or 16 muffins) with cooking spray and place into oven while preheating.
Cream butter in a large mixing bowl.
Gradually add sugar, then milk, then eggs. Next add flour and mix, then baking powder, then salt.
Pour mixture into hot greased muffin tins and bake for about 20 minutes, until tops are brown and puffy and resemble little mountains!