From the Kitchen – Hot and Sour Soup, plus a review of the Bible miniseries

hot n sour soupThis weekend I decided to try hot and sour soup, a staple at Chinese-American restaurants.  I find it a great elixir for fighting off colds and since my husband is now snotting around, I though it was about time to make it. 

I used the recipe for hot and sour soup (Suan La Tang) from Saveur (my favorite food magazine).  I altered it in four ways.  I left out the cornstarch since I do not like the gloopy texture that it brings to the soup. I left out the potatoes since I’m currently doing the South Beach diet and added slivered bamboo shoots.  I also left out the mushrooms since my husband does not like them and I thought he might want to try it.  

The tofu I used was extra-firm and had been frozen.  The resultant texture was like a good sourdough crouton in a bowl of French onion soup, quite spongy.  The flavor of the soup was just like I wanted, a very close approximation to what I’ve had in restaurants. 

And I haven’t gotten my husband’s cold yet. 🙂

Now for the entertainment this weekend.  Since I made merciless fun of it, I thought I should watch the miniseries on the “History” Channel, “The Bible”.  The basic review? 


All in all, this is just one more attempt at sanitizing the bible. Unsuprisingly, all of the questionable parts are edited out of this execrable show.  Pretty typical of what you’ll hear in a sermon on Sunday morning.  The quality is not quite as good as an episode of Xena Warrior Princess or Hercules, the fantasy shows I loved back in the 90s.

Pretty typical of a channel that has crap like the Vikings show following this.  Looks like a wannabee Showtime (a cable channel notorious for soft porn and hyperviolent shows like The Borgias, which is actually much better after the first season) show with Vikings and as much sex and violence as they can get away with.  If you are interested in movies and shows about the bible, just about any other one is better than this. 

Now, if you want my comments typed as I was watching it, they’re after the jump.Noah et al are sure getting a rough ride in the ark.  You’d think that they’d have a better ride.  Noah sure is an awful boat builder with those leaks that we see. The leaks disappear as soon as Noah gets on deck since he would fall through it if they remained.  

Mystery fruit for Adam and Eve.  Maybe a passion fruit? 🙂 No snake since talking snakes are silly.  🙂

Noah sounds like a hateful old man who is glad everyone is killed.  Of course the catching Noah naked and cursing his grandson; and his drunkenness is ignored.  

Oh and torture porn for the cruxifiction, but that’s another episode.  The tower of Babel is ignored.  

Good to see that women are ignored, e.g. Lot’s wife.  But what can one expect? It’s the Bible. 

God too stupid to give enough land to “his people”.  The parts with Abraham lying about being Sarah’s brother are ignored.  This lying causes God to hurt the Egyptians for no reason. 

Lovely scene of Lot et all having been captured.  Now, will we see the sights of the Midianites being slaughtered and captured?  And of course this is before “thou shalt not kill” evidently with the lovingly depicted slaughter by the producers. 

Lot was indeed captured, but the circumstances are interesting and are not what is implied.  Lot was captured when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah were defeated.  All of the goods in the cities were carried away including Lot and company. Then we go from Abraham doing a rescue mission to Abraham defeating kings and kingdoms in a paragraph.  Nothing like a good fish story. 

And approved of rape by both owners of their slave. As my husband said, “Creepy.”   Unsuprisingly, the story of how Abraham circumcises everyone doesn’t get told.  Slaves get the knife too.  Again, we have people who do things against this god’s laws, that he doesn’t get around to giving until later.  So he *does* change his mind if such acts are evil at one point and not at another. 

The scene with Abraham’s son via rape, Ishmael, shooting an arrow.  Yeesh, again more people who cannot show archery being done correctly.  IF you want to have an arrow get anywhere, you put the point of the arrow on the opposite side of the bow to your drawing arm. 

Hah!  Here’s where we get the “multi-cultural” part, the angels who come to announce Sarah’s upcoming pregnancy are black, Asian and hmmm, long haired guy (maybe it’s Jesus? Seems to be since he’s just out of focus but you can tell he has a beard.) 

And then we get to see Sodom with evidently round the clock orgies, which would make an actual society a little hard to have. Of course, this is all conjecture since archaeologists have no real idea where Sodom and Gomorrah are. Then we have angels who can be hurt by people.  Really?  Well, that’s not in the bible either.   Now, let us watch Lot being the coward he is and offer his daughters up for rape.  Oh no, we don’t.  Ooops, they didn’t bother showing that. Not suprising, not suprising at all. Lot really says “Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”   Can’t have that little ugly truth come out, now can we?  

 So, we see that the angels were not harmed, ginned up this nonsense and then the angels blind everyone. They certainly don’t show the incest between Lot and those two daughters he tried to give away. 

Oooh, one of the angels is a Hong Kong movie fighter.  Now, if one actually reads the bible, this is just pure horseshit, created by TrueChristianstm who want to revise the bible so they get a bigger audience. I wonder how those boils are doing?  Lot’s wife is turned to salt, which is a typical just so story for the formations along the Dead Sea. 

I am somewhat surprised that they show Abraham kicking out Hagar and Ishmael.  Yep, just send your son away because your god says so and your wife is a twit.  And then we have Abraham being an idiot again and having no problem with murdering his other son.  We see exactly what this god is, a non-omninpotent non-omniscient being that is so unsure of its followers that it must constantly test them with awful requests.  It’s scared to lose obedience. If this god were Omni-max and good, the correct answer to this test is “Fuck no!”  With this story, how can any Christians question those parents who kill their own children and say God said to do so?  I did like the desperation of Sarah depicted, it shows what a dick Abraham and this god really are.    Oh, and it was a ram that this god supposedly sent, not a lamb. 

I am sure that these producers are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.  Other TrueChistianstm will be sure that they didn’t get it right, and of course atheists like me just find the whole thing silly, and can point out just how they get things wrong.  

Oy, the Christian Mingle ads.  Where you can hear just how treacly and awful modern Christian music is and watch Christians ignore their bible and go with “God helps those who help themselves”  which appears no where in the bible, and indeed is said to be wrong when one is told to trust in god for everything, the lilies of the field thing, etc.  

Isaac makes no more appearances and Jacob and Joseph are footnotes.  One of the things noticeable in the bible is that after the whole sacrifice thing, Isaac does little except screw up  Esau and Jacob (poor Esau doesn’t even get a mention in this piece of crap).  Jacob does the same with Joseph. Fathers, including this god, constantly play favorites and cause much grief for everyone involved.    

Ah, now we end up at the whole exodus nonsense. Of course, we have much added for dramatic effect.  Cute bald guys though.  First is the Moses story, and magically Moses and “first-born” of Pharoah are fighting over a girl.  Shame that lots and lots of people and animals who had no choice in the matter died too. There are a lot of similarities between Moses and Sargon, the leader of the Akkadians

They do play up the slavery nonsense about the Israelites and of course, there is nothing to support this, no archaeology, nothing.   They have Moses killing someone who was abusing slaves and a slave hiding the body. That’s not how the bible says it happens; Moses does the hiding.  

plague_puppets600Did you know that there are ten plague playsets?  Yes, your child can pretend to kill people for no good reason just like God with paper bag puppets.  Another here.  

Moses screws around for years evidently (considering the hair and beard) and finally gets around to chatting up Aaron.  Moses is very fair, just like most of the heroes in this nonsense.  Only the mob of Israelites actually look a little like real Semitic types.  Aaron’s role of speaker is ignored, and so is the whole bit with Moses whining.  

I suspect someone might complain that I am too concerned with how the parts were cast in regards to appearance.  I would have no problem, if this wasn’t presented as some historical documentary. You know, this being on the History Channel and all.  One of my favorite Jesuses (Jesusi?) is Glenn Carter in Jesus Christ Superstar (excellent rock opera) who is as blond and Nordic as one can get.  If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.  One bit of it, with Simon Zealotes:

(changed out the video to my favorite one)

Oh, a ad, which claims that Catholics developed the scientific method.  ROFL!  Perhaps they started the process of inquiry to prove their god, but they ignore the scientific method when it shows their claims are utterly nonsense.  It claims that Jesus started *their* church and that they are the worlds largest charitable organization.  Funny how this “worlds largest” has billions that it does nothing with.   

The show of course ignores the parts of the story where this god controls Pharaoh and god does this only to show off.  Moses jerks people around a bit by telling of the first born dying and then finally reveals that lambs blood on the lintels will let god know who to kill and who not to.  You’d think an Omni-max god wouldn’t need such gory things. It’s very last scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark, this murdering of all of the first born.  Moses acknowledges that their freedom comes at a price.  Nice of him, but killing those who have no choice under Pharaoh is nothing less than murder for no reason.  This show also ignores that this god mind controls the Egyptians and forces them to give the Israelites their wealth.  Nothing like being screwed over several times by this god through no fault of their own. 

The journey to the sea is pretty pitiful. There was supposedly 2 million people going.  We certainly don’t have a “cast of thousands” here.   It looks more like a gathering of parents at a Little League game, a few sun shades, about 50 people.  I guess the CGI for the Egyptian army and the parting sea was all they had money for.  God does do a rather poor job of keeping his people dry, with the driving rain/mist from the walls of water.  Lots of screaming too, for a god that these people supposedly believe in with no question.  Yep, this god has killed for us, has split the sea for us and oooh, he’s gonna let the Egyptian army get us now.  The author isn’t much of a job convincing us that this god is what is claimed; his characters don’t even believe it. Aw, and Moses of course has to be carrying a child who got lost in the melee.  Oy, the clichés. 

Needless to say, the Egyptian army is wiped out; something that no country in the area noticed.  And Pharaoh gets to yell Moses like Kirk yelling Khan.  

Finally, the last ten minutes.  God sure is doing a great Zeus impression, lots of lightning and thunder on Mt.Sinai.  And we finally get the ten commandments. No golden calf mentioned. Joshua shows up and gets his marching orders to conquer the land.  The ark of the covenant is quite a curious looking thing.  In this version, the angels look more like sphinx. Moses vanishes (God buries him you know 🙂 ) and then we get some more violence in the form of Joshua and Jericho.  Israelites are evidently ninjas.  In the story, Rahab the prostitute hides then with the most clichéd of responses and with the most clichéd of reactions, the guards go off without searching her house. It seems that she’s included only so the miniseries can use the word “whore”.    

Can I stomach watching more of this?  Well, we’ll see how bored I am next Sunday.

8 thoughts on “From the Kitchen – Hot and Sour Soup, plus a review of the Bible miniseries

      1. it’s sad since all he did was show how badly off he is. Your post about the clergy project always makes me feel sympathy for people who get themselves into such a situation.


  1. It appears from this summary that the guys who directed the documentary were paid to do as bad a job at sanitizing the bible as they could possibly do!


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