Gontran Cherrier’s Rye and Red Miso Bread from Tiong Bahru Bakery, Trends, An Unfashionable God
The appearance of bizarre (or fashion forward, depending on individual taste and future fashion) fig-leaves on an old friend reminded us all how, quite some time ago when we could (and would) fit into such clothes and some even model them, we used to hang out at fashion shows dissecting trends and cheering on friends who were trying not to slip and fall off the catwalk. The haute culture trickle-down effect was less obvious then than it is now with Zara, Forever 21, and all sorts of people scouring the web for the latest shows so they can manufacture “inspired” clothes for the masses.
So it was serendipitous to read, in the most recent issue of Lucky Peach, that our plebian treats/trends had also devolved from the food gods. That molten chocolate cake, for instance, had in fact been “inspired” by the haute cuisine of Michel Bras (reinvented by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, pre-invented by Ella Helfrich for a Pillsbury bake-off in 1966, says Lucky Peach).
And perhaps just as the hundredth monkey effect gives birth to fashion trends for the season, so it is for the chefs in haute kitchens? (Though the effect now supposedly discredited due to failure to take into account a rogue coconut-washing monkey who sojourned on the other island.)
Gontran Cherrier‘s rye and red miso bread (from Tiong Bahru Bakery, 56 Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate) is apparently quite trendy, though it hasn’t quite started a trend of its own, perhaps owing to home bread-bakers not being in quite the same supply as home cake-bakers.
or as a very good companion to the dumpling soup at Real Food Killiney.
What was obvious from reading Jeremiah with someone on Monday and 2 Samuel with another last night was that the God of the Bible has never been quite fashionable. Where it has always been easy to control gods with offerings of their favourite food or the sacrifice of virgins, the God of the Bible could not be told what to do; he did not need sacrifices of things he created himself; he had his own mind and he set the rules. While the trend has always been for gods to reward their followers with prosperity, good health, loads of children etc., the God of the Bible has been quite different: his main concern since the beginning of the world has always been that they acknowledge him as God and obey him from their heart and therefore would bring judgement on them if they did not.
Basically, a really God-like God.
So when God’s king David despised God’s word and did evil by taking Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, and then killing her husband (2 Samuel 12), God declared he would punish his sin by ensuring that his own wives would be taken by his neighbour and that the sword would never leave his own house. This was fulfilled over a number of years as Absalom kills Amnon for taking Tamar, Absalom tries to depose David and takes his 10 concubines, Joab and gang kill Absalom, fighting between the tribes who would later split into Israel and Judah (2 Samuel 13 – 20).
And a few centuries later, when the tribes had already been split into Israel and Judah, and Israel had already been defeated by the Assyrians because of their disobedience to God, God sent Jeremiah to warn Judah that they would be wiped out by the Babylonians if they did not repent and turn back to God. What God wanted was for his own people to repent from despising him and to acknowledge him as God (Jeremiah 1-6); he was not concerned with cheap victories over other nations just to show who was in control. Because the whole world was his, he did not need to keep a nation intact just to show he had power. (Nor did he need to scrounge around for the dreams of random followers, a la the old gods in Neil Gaiman‘s The Sandman.) Yet, despite his omnipotence, he always wooed his people in such a loving and patient manner, which is more than you can of minor dictators these days.
Now, that is a truly a God.