As some of you may have read, I celebrated a milestone birthday last week. Yep, fifty years old already. Which surprises me somewhat, because I can still remember what 10 felt like. And 24. Can anyone relate? And while I have gotten considerably wiser and certainly more knowledgeable about a lot of things, 10 and 24 just don’t seem that long ago. When I was 24 years old, more than a quarter of a century ago, we lived in Abu Dhabi and being back here and reconnecting with yet another old friend has freshened those memories enormously! Those days, we spent every weekend with David, eating curry suppers after a rousing game of Pass the Pigs and a few cold beers on a Thursday night, cooking full English breakfasts (often at four or five a.m.), attending marathon “company” lunches that lasted from lunchtime through to early evening, but most especially, we sailed all day Friday and sometimes Saturday as well. We had a Prindle catamaran and David sailed a wooden single hull boat called a Drascombe Lugger. Along with a few other friends, we would launch our crafts in the morning, sailing out to some of the sandy spits offshore Abu Dhabi, bringing along drinks and sausages to grill. We had fabulous weekends!
So guess what we did for my birthday? We went to Abu Dhabi, of course! First there was a fun champagne tasting and dinner at David’s on my actual birthday evening. Then we sailed all the next day, sipping cold wine and eating hot sausages in buns. And then Saturday night we enjoyed a wonderful dinner out that started with champagne and included a specially chosen wine with each delicious course. All in all, a great birthday weekend adding to great memories with a dear friend.
|One of the sandy spits, with a view of the shores of Abu Dhabi. These are often almost covered at high tide|
so you have to plan your lunch stop wisely.
Here are just a few of the things I know after 50 years:
1. Your real friends don’t change and it doesn’t matter how often you get to see them, you will still love them and enjoy their company. And they will love you.
2. Friendships have a collective memory. What you don’t remember, someone else will and vice versa. Which is really important as we age.
3. Having a good giggle about old times reinforces the collective memory of all so we should get together with old friends more often.
4. When people are hurting, you should cook for them. Your time and concern nurture their souls and the food nurtures their bodies.
5. Sailing is one of the best ways to spend a day.
6. When you stay with people, you should bring them food, drink and/or flowers.
7. Love people like you’d like to be loved, because it’s the right thing to do.
8. Be loyal to your friends and they will be loyal in return.
9. The company of good friends makes good food and drink taste even better.
In keeping with number six, I brought these tasty muffins to share for breakfast. Our recipe this week was for a maple apple muffin, but I thought I’d make them an even more complete breakfast by adding bananas and grated carrot and then topping them with some crunchy granola. Perfect.
For the muffins:
1 1/4 cups or 160g all purpose flour
1/2 cup or 100g light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 60g butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1/2 cup ripe banana (about 3/4 of an 8-in or 20cm banana)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup or 60ml honey
1 medium carrot
1 small green apple
For the topping:
1/2 cup or about 60g granola or muesli of your choice
2 tablespoons butter
1/8 cup or 25g light brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C. Fill the muffin tin with liners or grease it really well with butter or non-stick spray.
Measure your flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl and give them a good stir to mix.
Cut chunks off of your banana and mash them with a fork into in a measuring cup. When the mashed banana hits 1/2 cup, eat what’s leftover, if any.
In another smaller bowl, mix the egg, mashed banana, vanilla, honey and butter.
Peel and grate your carrot and mix it into the liquids bowl.
Peel and core your apple and cut it into little pieces. Add them to the liquids bowl as well and stir to coat. This will keep your apple from turning brown.
Make your topping by crunching the granola into small pieces with the end of a thick wooden spoon. Add in the butter and stir and mash until it is combined. Add in the light brown sugar and mix well. Set aside.
Complete the batter by pouring the liquid ingredients into the dry ones and fold until they are just combined.
Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups.
Use your fingers to sprinkle the topping on the batter.
Bake in the preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool for a few minutes in the muffin tin and then remove to a rack to cool completely.
Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop Anuradha a quick line to join her on this journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week. Make sure to go and check out what my fellow bloggers have come up with this week!
Plus learn all you ever need to know about muffins, right here at Muffin 101.