The Wall

Today I want to reflect a bit about The Wall. No, not the Great Wall or the Berlin Wall or even Mending Wall (that is another discussion for another day), but rather The Wall. The Wall immortalized by Pink Floyd. I recently watched the latest webisode of On the Table with Eric Ripert, featuring guest Roger Waters. Having grown up in the 90s, I will admit that my knowledge of classic rock (or anything pre-Spice Girls) is a bit… lacking. While I don’t agree with everything Waters said (he is a bit of an eccentric radical), a lot did resonate with me. And in particular, I felt that with recent events, namely the inauguration earlier this week, it was quite timely. Waters states that humans, we behave differently due to the accidents of our births. And because these are accidents, they are therefore reversible. I am not so different from that small child in the favelas of Rio or the cloaked pilgrims in Mina preparing for Hajj. Nor am I so beneath the jetsetter who divides his time between Mont Blanc and Ibiza. I am no less.. dare I say… important than that banking executive or the dotcom billionaire. The common denominator here is very simple – we are all human. We are all just another brick on the wall. And yet we create so much conflict and strife and war and sorrow and despair to justify these accidental differences. Why is that? Would not the world be a much nicer place if we could simply put these accidents of birth aside? And perhaps sit down to some tea.

Baked

Banana Speculoos Muffins
Source: Let Me Eat Cake
This is a wonderfully straightforward recipe that has helped me overcome my winter doldrums. It’s been well below freezing these last few days, and it seems no amount of clothing can warm me. I made this on a whim, and it was such a good idea – the warm spices found in the Speculoos biscuit – namely cinnamon and nutmeg – paired so well with the fragrance of the banana. Together, they create little muffin bundles of warmth and happiness. I would add chopped walnuts or pecans next time, and perhaps even a quick Speculoos icing. The recipe is open to infinite permutations, so please enjoy.

Ingredients
1 1/4 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed [I like bigger chunks]
1 stick (1/2 c) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 c sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c Speculoos Cookie Butter spread

For streusel topping:
1/8 c granulated sugar
1/8 c brown sugar
1/4 c all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
3-4 tbs butter, softened
1/4 c pecans or walnuts, chopped and toasted

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tin with liners or butter/flour the ramekins, making sure to tap out the excess flour.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar, bananas, egg, Speculoos spread, and vanilla. Whisk vigorously to evenly distribute the ingredients. To the bowl, add flour, baking powder and salt, again mixing just enough until combined. Set aside.

Before

Meanwhile, to make the streusel topping, combine all ingredients and roughly mix together until it develops a crumby, coarse texture, about the size of peas. Alternately, you can pulse the ingredients in a food processor.

Two

Divide the batter among the muffin cups and/or ramekins and top each with 1-2 spoonfuls of the streusel topping. BAke the muffins until golden and a tooth pick tester comes out clean. The muffins took me 15 minutes, and the deeper ramekins took closer to 20. Allow muffins to cool before consuming. Enjoy.

Top

Take a bite – so delicious. So fragrant.

Eat

After baking these, my whole apartment smelled like heaven – or rather this is what my heaven would smell like. I could bottle this up and sell it as an air freshener. Thanks for reading everyone and I hope to catch you next time. I have a couple more Superbowl recipes to share with you in the next few days, so please come back soon.

Yours,
AnhD

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