Peabody Hotel Vanilla Muffins

This recipe comes from The Country Gourmet, which was compiled by the Mississippi Animal Rescue League in 1982 and includes this forward by Eudora Welty:

The excellent work of the Mississippi Animal Rescue League has been well known in Jackson and the State for over a decade. It was chartered in 1969 by the State as a non-profit corporation for the prevention of cruelty to animals, and the land on which the Shelter stands (at 4395 South Drive) was leased to the League by the City of Jackson for $1 a year. Its up-to-date record opens our eyes to the scope of its activities. For instance, the number of animals that the League rescues-from abandonment, starvation, cruel treatment, accidents in the streets and as far as possible nurses back to health and offers for adoption as household pets, reaches several thousand a year.

Of necessity, the Shelter has had to grow; it now incorporates a well-equipped Annex. There is at present an operating room set up in a mobile home, but plans have been drawn up for a Clinic, which would offer increased benefit.

The League is in the daily business of saving lives. We who care for the work its personnel, both professional and volunteer, are carrying out, salute them and welcome a chance to support the Mississippi Animal Rescue League. Guarding and protecting, trying to save, all life on earth is a need we all alike share.

It’s startling to find a recipe from the Peabody in a Jackson cookbook. While those of us from north Mississippi and the Delta are quite familiar with the Peabody, people in Jackson seem to consider Memphis (as well as north Mississippi and the Delta) superfluous. Most associate the Peabody with their famous ducks, but the hotel’s vanilla muffins also enjoy a certain notoriety. The recipe dates from well before the 1940s, when they were served as late-night snacks for audiences of the big band orchestras in the Peabody Skyway They’re still served at the hotel for breakfast. You can find an “official” batch recipe at historichotels.org, but this is a scaled-down home version.

Cream two cups of sugar with four eggs. Add four cups plain flour sifted with a tablespoon baking powder, a pint of whole milk, two ounces melted butter, and a tablespoon natural vanilla. Mix to make a sticky dough, spoon into greased muffin tins and bake at 400 for about fifteen minutes.

 

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