Friday, May 16, 2008

Adam and Eve’s Lamb, Pork or Goat with Coriander

And it came to pass that Adam and Eve sat on a goatskin, huddled naked in a cave. They shuddered from the sounds of the Lord God Jehovah’s wrath as it rained into the valley splitting trees and hurtling boulders. Adam could smell Eve’s hair, her skin, her quick frightened breath, feel her tremors.

They did not comprehend Jehovah’s words nor the reason for His anger. They were dismayed but aware that it had been caused by their new feelings for each other as they had become one within the beauty of their garden, its glorious warmth and succour.

They had not eaten an apple from the Tree of Knowledge. But they had made love. They were young in fact they were all the company they had, apart from The Lord who was away mostly. There was no serpent. The serpent was a metaphor. The author of Genesis knew that the words would be read to the children of Israel.

They had made love for a whole week, following some exploratory fumbles, while The Lord was away. He hadn’t told them they could not, well not exactly. He did say that they shouldn’t do anything He wouldn’t do. God was holy. No doubt about it. He wore an air of kindly benevolence. Until He found out. Then He went ballistic.

They had fallen asleep in Eden. The grass was soft, the sunlight filtered tin golden light hrough the leaves of fig and the aromatic Hasmesh, the doves softly cooed, white goats bleated, and to be frank they were exhausted, but blissfully happy. Then God lobbed in. They had been naked before but now they were entwined and naked, and they became ashamed in His gaze and tried to cover up with a fig leaf. It was mostly ineffective.

God let out a roar that froze waterfalls, stuck birds to the sky and cleaved a valley. Adam blamed it on Eve and said that he had been tempted. He immediately regretted saying it but it was done. God replied that he would put enmity between them, and between Adam’s offspring and hers. This was a bit puzzling but Adam let it go.

God spoke to Eve and said that he would greatly increase her pains in childbirth. As she had never had children this was another mystery. He also said that her desire would be for her husband and that he would rule over her. God did not foresee womens’ liberation, but hey, that was millenniums later.

[This Italian painting by Domenichino depicts Adam shrugging his shoulders and saying “She woulda tempted a blind man, eh she woulda tempted even you - nothing on you Lord….” And The Lord gives Adam the finger.]

The later biblical scholars, particularly those inclined to the theory of Intelligent Design date the ‘Fall of Mankind’ at about 6000BC. The oldest human skeleton is dated at about 4 million. Such discrepancy is dispelled by Faith. Faith is the essence of True Belief. Each religion has its own version of Faith. Faith is a gift from God. There are more gods than you can poke a stick at.

In his divine rage Jehovah ranted that the ground was now cursed, that Adam would painfully toil his days on earth, that weeds would spring up, thorns and thistles, but he would live off the land until he dropped dead and disintegrated to dust. Verily this was a setback.

In His divine anger He expelled them from the Garden of Eden and placed cherubim and a flaming sword, flashing back and forth, as a deterrent. His words fell like hot cinders on their backs as they stumbled into the valley of darkness. After some time, yea they found a goat trail leading to a cave, where we found them earlier.

It was stony damp, dark and cold with a whiff of urine and sulphur, when lo and behold a blue fire formed around a rock and a slim figure appeared before them. “Please allow me to introduce myself. Maximilian Price. Friends call me Max, or Pricey. I imagine you’re both a little upset and a trifle peeved? If it’s any consolation He can be a touch tetchy at times.”

Max Price carried a suave jaunty air. He was an indeterminate age, strangely neither old nor young in our terms, although Adam and Eve didn’t try to guess his age, after all they had just started humanity in Israel or Mesopotamia three weeks back, and had no idea of age; God just looked different…..

Pricey wore a suit of the finest cloth. I say this for your benefit reader, Adam and Eve had no concept of apparel, other than the goat skin God had thrown at them when they parted, which they now sat on. God Himself was sort of luminous.

“This is indeed a pleasure which, incidentally, I have been anticipating for some millenniums past. You must be Adam? Eve? Do call me Max. Max. Yes. Well….. you know… you can do all you can to please and believe me I have been there, where you are, perplexed by such prima donna behaviour which would indeed try a saint…. Ha ha, I mean really what did He expect? He gives you the dangly bits and expects angels? Well there’s the flaw in the design hey? Dangly bits have their own mind ha ha, it is an unrealistic expectation. You guys as the prototype are up the creek without the proverbial if you get my drift hmmm??”

Adam drew Eve closer.

“Look, I’ll give it to you straight. The Lord says I’m not to be trusted – if He’s likely to impart any advice that is…once he’s over His huff, heh heh…. He will tell you that I’m a black angel who was once his favourite but got ambitious for the top job, well hey what’s wrong with a little ambition? You can’t stay second fiddle for eternity. I’ve done my bit, I’ve put in my share. I’m known in other places as a decent chap. India? You’ve heard of India? No? Well over there humanity has a start in fact there are millions and those guys have rolled me in with one of their gods, Shiva I think, basically a good fellow, they love me but oh no not here, oh no, we have to be angels, squeaky clean, what’s wrong with a little raunch every now and then Eve, do you think?”

Eve looked away.

“Yes well, The Lord will tell you I’m a corrupter of souls which to be honest is absolute hogwash. He will tell you that you have free will, you are free agents and can make choices, except that you must make the right choice or you’ll end up in a locale undesirable for the rest of eternity. Look I’ll be straight with you before you start pumping away at humanity. Free choice is an illusion. You are what you are and can merely make one decision which is what you end up doing. You may think you have options, and you do, but being the person you are, there is only one choice. Let me introduce The Panel”

And it came to pass that before their eyes four figures appeareth. They were sitting, smiling with sparkling teeth, each with a hand on a buzzer. Adam and Eve knew not the buzzer, but I say that for you my reader, and Adam and Eve were startled and clung together and Max Price saw their shame and lo placed clothes upon them, which they found were soft and warm, and verily it put a smile on their faces.

“The Panel my dears is an ancient Greek concept and here we have four ancient Greeks who estimate your next move. Let me introduce Zeus, Persephone, Stavros and Maria. Stavros and Maria run a fish and chip emporium at the far end of Hades, melt in your mouth and the aroma is to die for ha ha. You may think of these folk as gods and they often think of themselves that way but in reality they are like you and I, well not I ha ha, but certainly thou.

“The sequence of events known as ‘history’ is recorded and understood by the concept of ‘time’. In fact all events have occurred and can be accessed at any point. Think of it as a flat picture, a cave drawing. The aim of The Panel is to have fun, with real live players, and how do they do it? They do it because they have your specifications, your characteristics, your DNA, your personality, and so given a set of circumstance, for example if Eve were to bear children, using the information they project what should happen in the future, in minutes, hours, days or years – the sex of the children, what she might name them and so on. Now, the score is greater the further the prediction. Fun? It’s more fun than you can poke a stick at. What? The estimate is checked against the actuality. What? So fun guys.”

Lo the anguish of The Lord then echoed into the Valley of Darkness and boulders boomed into the darkest chasms and shook the earth. The Panel disappeared. Adam drew Eve closer. Max Price’s dark figure filled the cave which became icy, glittering with stalactites like knives poised to strike. His voice hardened and ripped into the void. They covered their ears but verily they could hear. They covered their eyes but still they saw.

“I…I …will NOT be compromised nor praised by posterity. My shadow will cause the earth to groan in its burden of fear and destruction. My legions will roam the earth. Yea verily I will wrought such ill that even you Jehovah will tire of my vengeance. Awe will be my greeting, Woe my fortune and Death my legacy. I am random disorder. I am the Unwelcome Guest.”

Eve looked at Adam. “Shee-it. Heaveey eh Ads? This place is freezing my tits off. Whaddya reckon?” Max Price looked at Eve, then at Adam, then at Eve, stunned disbelief on his face as he slowly vanished, saying “You know……”

“Cripes Chicky Babe, just as well he pissed off. I was bored shitless eh? Could eat the crutch out of a low flyin’ duck.”

And it came to pass that Ads failed to score a low flying duck but lo he did leap upon an unwary goat and Eve found many herbs and stuff and it became a fine wholesome meal. In the fullness of time Ads (and Eve) begot Cain and Abel who were wayward youths with a liking for herbs and stuff. Verily after a night on the turps Cain slew Abel. Shit happens.

In accordance with Genesis 5.5 Ads lived to a ripe old 930 but had separated from Eve 903 years before. Eve married Mario of whom she had been carnally familiar and had 25 children and 102 grandkids. Eve was rapt. Ads married Kiralee 903 years back, she was 6 years younger and spunky as, eh? Kiralee bore Ads 4 children: Little Ads, Kezza, Stevie and Jack and became less spunky after each one. Lo she found Ads was in an adulterous relationship with That Bitch Lenore “Hey, call me Lennie” and so left him for Nicko of whom she had been carnally familiar on occasion usually Christmas parties. She kept the boys and Adam kept Lenore which lasted for 10 years before Lennie left Ads for Todd “Let me turn your lights on babe” The Electrician.

And so the Earth spun around with neither favour nor malice in tune with the nature of this particular existence. The Panel played their game unbeknownst to anyone, always smiling. Adam and his seed stumbled and fumbled onward as humanity increased, making mistakes, making progeny, dying, waging wars, and occasionally being beset with natural disasters, plagues, pestilence, famine, flood and other population reducing inconveniences. In early years it was believed that the Lord God Jehovah launched these initiatives at mankind, to teach respect, or in recognition of the errors of their ways. Later humanity following arguments by Dawkins and Hitchens, among others, generally regarded religion as superstition and mythology and it became clear that no superior celestial being, if there were any, had any interest whatsoever, beneficial or malicious. Except maybe Batman. Shit happens.

The Recipe

The recipe which commences “if you are hungry, catch a slow goat” has long since gone. So, I have appropriated an excellent Sri Lankan recipe to tack onto my story. Of course it has been modified to my taste. Folk culture, whether cuisine, music or other art benefits from interaction, and is reborn. You can substitute lamb, pork or beef for goat meat, in fact adapt to your own taste.

Finely grind the following spices:

2 tsp brown mustard seeds
½ teaspoon whole peppercorns
3 tbls coriander seeds
2 cloves

Grind or blend the following:

1/4 medium Spanish red onion
½ inch piece ginger
3 medium cloves garlic
4 coriander roots
2 small hot chillies, red or green

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil – corn, macadamia, olive or peanut – to medium and add

1 medium cinnamon stick
2 whole cardamom pods (crushed to put a split in pod)
2 bay leaves
½ kilo approximately (can be more) lamb, goat, pork or beef

Sear the meat quickly. Add the spices from the first bracket. Fry for 1 minute. Add the 2nd bracket. Fry for 5 minutes.

Add 1 cup good dry white wine and 1 cup water, 1 tsp lemon juice, 2 tablespoons Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce and 1 tsp salt.

Cover and cook on low heat - 90 mins for beef, 60 minutes for goat, lamb or pork. Add 2 chopped coriander plants and 270 ml tin of coconut cream.

1 comment:

Minerva said...

Ha Ha, thoroughly enjoyed this Barry ..

Haiku From The Far East

Sea swell Osaka liquid lead and white Suddenly the sun Tokyo. Tokyo yo So many minted faces One could never know Can...