Belle Trudeau lived in a small town in the north of France with her widower father. She was a simple girl who liked to read and write and dreamed of traveling the world. One day she was walking in the woods near her house when she encountered an angry rabbit.
“Hello,” said the rabbit. “You’re stepping on my clover.”
“Oh, forgive me,” said Belle. “I didn’t realize.”
The rabbit harrumphed and folded his paws across his chest. “You’ll need to do better than apologize.”
Belle flushed and knelt down to the creature. “What can I do, little rabbit?”
“You can follow me.” The rabbit hopped away and Belle scrambled to follow him. Moments later, they emerged onto the grounds of an imposing stone castle. The rabbit darted its eyes left and right and cried out, “Beast, beast! I’ve brought you another!” before scampering away into the forest.
Belle looked around nervously and began to back towards the woods, but it was too late – a large animal was racing towards her from the castle, saliva dripping from its enormous jaws and fangs. She expected to be eaten right away, but Beast merely carried her into an expansive dining hall and plopped her down on a chair at the head of a long table.
“Stay there,” he ordered.
Belle, her curiosity piqued, obeyed. After waiting thirty minutes, she grew bored and began to play with the silver cutlery. Suddenly her fork popped out of her hand and said, “Excuse me, do you mind? I’ve just had my hair done.” Belle gave a little peal of surprise, then began to laugh as she realized that half the furnishings in the castle were enchanted. Surely, if the castle were enchanted, Beast couldn’t mean to eat her.
Moments later, Beast emerged carrying a tray filled with food. He placed a creamy soup in front of Belle, followed by some crusty French bread and a soufflé, and stood back rubbing his paws together eagerly. “This is for you!” he said, his grimace replaced with an expectant smile.
Belle’s face fell. “Oh Beast,” she began. “This is too kind, really…” The Beast’s smile widened. “But, you see, oh how do I put this without hurting your feelings…I’m afraid I can’t eat dairy.”
Beast frowned. “No dairy?” he said, skeptically. “Okay, no problem.” He removed the soup from in front of her. “You can still eat the bread and soufflé.” His smile returned.
“No, I’m afraid not,” mumbled Belle. “Wheat and egg allergies too.”
“WHAT?!!” bellowed the Beast. He knocked the food off the table and onto the floor. Belle began to cry.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” said the Beast, chastened. “Please don’t cry. It’s just that all these stupid talking utensils and clocks can’t eat real food, and I was so bent on trying out my new recipes on a real person.”
Belle nodded eagerly, wiping her tears away. “That’s okay Beast, I understand! I love food too!”
Beast ordered the candlesticks to clean up the floor. “It’s too late to send you home now, so you may as well be our guest for the evening.”
“That would be lovely,” said Belle. Relieved, she went off to her room where a pillowy pile of bedding awaited her. In the morning she awoke, well-rested, and noticed a glass cloche covering what looked like roses on a table near the window. Upon closer inspection, Belle realized the flowers were actually rose-shaped blueberry muffins. She lifted the cloche and was arrested by the sweet aroma of berries and cinnamon.
“It is my life goal to please through food,” said Beast’s note. “Please enjoy these specially crafted muffins.” Belle’s eyes filled again. She bit into a muffin and snuggled up next to the fireplace as the snow came down on the forest outside her window.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mash up bananas well and combine with all other ingredients, adding the ACV right at the end. Spoon into lined muffin tin or silicone muffin cups.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Enjoy with tea or coffee and friends of all eating prescriptions.