Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tell-A-Tale (Part 34): Oh My Jumping God!

The pine tree witnessed it all. From the top, it was able to see the activities that took place on both sides of wall. It knew that the Gods would be angry for the holy men could not resist the luring temptation. The tree was helpless and only wished that when lighting strikes, it would hit the neighbouring tree instead.

Two days earlier, the maiden was already hard at work; cutting, sun-drying and frying the pieces of fish maw. When her father announced that a matchmaking session was going to be held in their humble abode, she was sexcited beyond belief. The man was the youngest son of a farmer who lived in the mountain of Hern Bai, which was perpetually snowcapped.

She was definitely not the fairest of them all and her hands were coarse. But these were the same hands that had mesmerized guests from all over the province with dishes that could only be described as exquisite. The maiden was a miserable soul, one who was always waiting for her knight in shining armour to save her from the depressing state of solitude. Cooking saved her life for it was the only distraction she had. Come dawn, she would start to prepare the meals for the day. The evenings always ended with her deciding the menu for the next day.

The plan was to please her potential partner with a stew. One that was full of exotic ingredients like dried scallops, fish maw, chicken feet, abalone, pork ribs, fresh shitake mushrooms and sea cucumber. She sang as she cooked, for she was happy. She imagined how her prince charming would look like and fantasized about the amazing things that they would discover together.

Her voice transcended to the other side of the wall but did not catch the attention of the hardworking monks for it resembled neither Norah Jones nor A-Mei.

The monastery next to the house was known for having the strictest of rules when it came to acceptance of disciples. The candidates had to endure multiple rounds of rigorous physical tests and written examinations before they were allowed to meet the grandmaster whom would then decide on the admission.

They would begin their day meditating, followed by hours of martial arts training which had been incorporated with daily chores like chopping trunks for fuel and transporting water. Qi-style, of course. Come evening, they would meditate again before calling it a day. In between, there were vegetarian meals. And of course, being a monastery (or any sanctuary for that matter), talks and acts of indulgences were forbidden.

But soon, their faith would be tested.

Many would fall.

As the maiden put the finishing touches to the stew, the rich and briny scent of the combination of dried seafood had already penetrated through the walls of her house. She was most satisfied with the result and began fantasizing about her future husband again.

She kept stirring and the aroma travelled further.

And further.

Until it reached the monastery.

As if climaxing, the monks stoned for a good second.

What is this strange, almost enlightening scent?

Moments went by and the aroma had now infused into their bloodstream. Tranced, they began searching for the source of that smell of happiness. It did not take long before they discovered that it actually came from the other side of the wall. Yes, the same place that housed that terrible voice!

The days of martial arts training paid off. With a deep breath to absorb in the surrounding qi, they were able to jump over the wall with just one leap.

Suddenly, it began to rain heavily.

Then, lighting struck.

The huge pine tree fell on the maiden’s house.

***

Note:

This stew is called Buddha Jumps Over The Wall or 佛跳墙. The above fiction is an exaggerated, self-indulging depiction of how the name of the dish was derived. Personally, I thought the more accurate name should be Monks Jump Over The Wall as Lord Buddha himself is not in anyway related to this story.

For a more accurate description, click here.

The somehow dry stew in the photos was prepared by my momma a few weeks back. The ingredients in the cabinet were calling out our names since the Chinese New Year period but we were too busy to attempt this sinful dish. She opted for the dry version as the thick, (naturally) gelatinous gravy would complement the white rice well.

The result, delicious!

28 comments:

Snow White said...

You're very much the storyteller, aren't u? I can just imagine you sitting around the campfire weaving and spinning your tales, with all these boy/girl scouts all eager to lap up your stories :)

and you're one lucky devil as well, got momma to cook such delicacies for you!

550ml jar of faith said...

From the way the story was building up, I was pretty sure the maiden was going to get her man, monk or otherwise. Say there's part 35 when maiden escapes uninjured from fallen tree and enjoys stew with said monk, as the beginning of the end.

Selba said...

I was blur at first... but seriously, I agreed what Snow White said. I would love to have a story teller beside my bed every nights ;D

Never ever tried Buddha jumps over the wall... have been reading about it many times but no chance to find or eat it... someday.. someday... yeah, someday!

ToyBoy & ToyGirl said...

Your mom is fantastic, this got to be the first FatTiuCheong I ever seen being homecooked. The craving is starting again, I better go get my dose of FatTiuCheong steamboat.. =)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

good story..

never thought the chinese seafood stew we have can be considered the dry version of "buddha jumps over the wall"?

always imagined like some mystery pot when opened up conjures some magic from the ingredients..

Live2Talk said...

nice piece of work sweetie :) so the monk got her first before the future husband can taste her err i meant the sexciting dish? ;P

J2Kfm said...

LOL. it's interesting how a simple dish got you telling stories that sexcite ... i mean, EXcite the readers.

it's this same aroma that attracts flies the most, ain't it?

ladyironchef said...

LOL! i was thinking whether is the story real or not when i read until i saw you wrote its a fiction.

Monks Jump Over The Wall, nice name. heh

ladyironchef said...

oh ya btw dude, last year your every month got 9 post, how come this year start not consistent one? hahahahaha

Life for Beginners said...

@Nic: Monks and maidens and momma's magical meal? Tell me more, Pak Nic, tell me more... :D

@LIC: Wah, you can track how many posts per month he did last year some more?

burpandslurp said...

You have a very creative mind and awesome writing skills. I've always seen this Buddhas Jumps Over the Wall in the chinese restaurant menus and it never appealed to me, as I kept imagining this fat pot-bellied man with enlongated ears jumping over the wall with all his fat jiggling...
but this sounds freaking good. must try now.

CUMI & CIKI said...

wa.. 2 para into the reading, i seriously thought you were taking on Paulo Coelho this time! Was getting swept away in the journey .. the maiden .. the love story, the religious dimension.. was half waiting for the magician to appear!

nicely done hairy. poor orgasmic monks. never knew what hit em.. :P

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

I've only tried this dish once, and I really enjoyed it. How about sharing the recipe with me, eh?

mimid3vils said...

I think u r the monk & have u find ur maiden? hehe :P

Nic (KHKL) said...

snow white, woah! thanks so much for the compliment! i'm not worthy lah..hehe...i think the scouts will all run away when the see the tok janggut la..haha!

yupe, i am really blessed. momma's a really good cook. ;D

550ml jar of faith, i like your part 35! it kinda became romantic with some fantasy thrown in! hmmm, maybe i should do a continuation of this story! let's see what momma's cooking this week..hehe

selba, awwww, thanks so much for the compliment! i too, like to read before i sleep sometimes. well, cos it makes me sleepy..hehe...oh, there are lotsa BJOTW here in malaysia. check it out when u visit kl! ;D

toyboy & toygirl, my momma said thanks for the compliment. ;D as for your steamboat fattiuecheong, can i guess where u'll be having it? heheheh...that hong kong celebrity place, right? ;D

joe, thanks, dude! yeah, i was surprised too, when momma said it's gonna be dry. but it is rather good with the rice. i like it this way. haha, the pot does go well with the theme, doesnt it? ;D

live2talk, thank kew thank kew sweetie! ;D hmmm, u have a good sextory there. that can be part 3 now! ;D so, will the maiden go for the loaded husband or the monk stud? ;D

j2kfm, hahaha! actually, the dish is kinda complicated to make. i think momma spent 2 days preparing the ingredients. if it was me, i think i would rather have it outside...more sexciting. ;D

as for the flies, ya lor. i think it's that "dried" stuff smell.

Nic (KHKL) said...

ladyironchef, i think "monks" suits the dish more. cos Lord Buddha himself has reached nirvana and food does nothing to him. hehe..on the 9s, haha! i think there has to be randomness in blogging already lah. it makes the whole process more fun. ;D

kenny, yeah, was so tempted to continue cos it lets the imagination run wild! hmmm, perhaps a sequel with more violence, sex and drugs hor? hehe..kidding...actually, it all depends on what momma's cooking. ;D

burpandslurp, hey, thanks for stopping by! ;D and thanks so much for the compliment! yeah, BJOTW never appeal to me as well. perhaps the taste is too subtle. or the amount of MSG is overwhelming. definitely not becos of the pot-bellied man..haha! do try this out! ;D

cumi & ciki, omg, paulo coelho?? me no alchemist la..hehehe...but so honoured la, to be related to the great author. i'm not worthy. but thanks for the compliment, ciki! on the orgasmic monks, well, there might be a part two. who knows they might have survived and evolved, right? ;D

lyrical lemongrass, i dont have the recipe leh. i guess momma did it without a recipe too...well, it should be similar to a stew, i guess. the preparation itself is damn tiring la. i suggest we go eat at restaurants instead. want or not? ;D

mimi, awwwwww! you so sweet lah! ;D no lar, i have not found my maiden. am still searching high and low. :( but i dont think i can become a monk though. cos i have officially converted to a babitarian a few years ago..hehehe...but of course, i still like vege la. ;D

FBB said...

GUFFFFFFFFFAW, why the pine tree fell on the maiden's house??? chis... or is that a euphemism for something hard penetrating the maiden's "house"???

Chris Lee said...

ooo.. i've never tried a homecooked Buddha jumps over the wall!
love the story :)

CUMI & CIKI said...

fbb, why's ur mind alwyz in the gutter:P

Faye fly said...

where is ur 佛跳牆 abalone leh?! but tis dish full of collagen wor..good 4 ladies...haha

babe_kl said...

next time can ask yr momma invite me or not??? :P

backStreetGluttons said...

Your dear Papa must be a very happy man ever since he set eyes on her and the filial son satisfied beyond belief for he just need to sit down and the muti-sexisfaction guaranteed brew will be served with no jumping up and down

Precious Pea said...

LOL!!!! This dry version deserves a new name!

"Nic jump over the wall and fall flat??" Flat because it's serve on plate instead of the usual soup bowl. Hehehee.

Jason said...

Fuiyoh... how long did you take to come up with the story eh? :P

Jun said...

ah, homecooked stews are always the best! tht looks reli, em, herbly? ;p

Nic (KHKL) said...

fbb, OMG!!!!!! hahaha! well, i certainly din think of it that way. i thought it was a punishment for the monks as they violated the rules of their teachings mah. but yes, yr version has really put things into a new perspective for me! ;D

chris, hey! long time no see! thanks so much for the compliment!!! check it out when u are back in kl, ya! ;D

cumi & ciki, hehehehehe....must really give fbb the credit for being so creative lah. i likez! ;D

faye fly, got! we have a can of abalone there. ;D as for the the collagen, yes, you are right! sea cucumber is loaded with lotsa collagen. ;D

babe_kl, haha! good one. ;D i hope next year, we'll have enough ingredients for a large BJOTW! then, we can makan sama-sama. ;D

backstreetglutton, indeed. my dad is one of those critics, thanks to the spoilt tastebuds....filial? hmm, ok lah. cos i helped out in the cooking process as well. that's why i could eat more... ;D

precious pea, haha! i sound like humpty dumpty liddat..haha! woah, i dont mind falling into a plate or bowl if it's filled with fart tiew cheong!!! i likezzzz! ;D

jason, hmmm, i think 1 hour plus la. cos it was so fun making fun of the dish..hehehe..omg, i'm such a bad person! hehehe...glad u liked the story. ;D

jun, yupe, nothing beats home cooks. no la, this one not herbly. in fact, there are no herbs involved. it was more on the meats than the herbs, which i preferred..hehehe..

ling239 said...

erm...
not sharing the recipe meh ? :p

Nic (KHKL) said...

haha, i think my mum cooked without a recipe la...so sad. ;(