Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Meat Lover’s Guide to the Bedroom

I’m no carnivore … in fact, for many years now, I’ve been quite a fan of throwing together a meatless dish. I’m no vego either; many’s the time that I have moved heaven and earth to wrap my big, Donkey lips around a tender morsal of juicy, prime Vanuatu beef! Mmmmm. Yeah, I do love a good, medium-rare steak, or a succulent, heavily-spiced lamb souvlaki dripping in garlic sauce, or a nice fat, ham steak, or eggs and bacon.

Mmmm, meat. I love it, but I’ve never been one who always has to have it, and given that Mrs Donkey and I often find ourselves living in places in which one would be ill-advised to eat the meat, we have developed an appreciation for, and certain skills in vegetarian cooking which have provided us with an appetizing array of dishes for every night of the week. Couscous and spiced egg plant, risotto with wild mushrooms, capsicum with tangy, cherry tomato innards, pasta with tuna and fresh salad (I know, technically not vegetarian, but if you ask me, there has to be fragrant red blood dripping all over your kitchen bench before it can earn a meat classification) and my all-time favourite, lentil curry.

So how does a young Donkey, from good, honest, suburban, meat-and-three-veg stock come to appreciate, and learn how to cook vegetarian food? Well they say that necessity is the mother of invention, and Donkey hasn’t always had a lovely wife with whom he could retire to the knackery at the end of a long day. There was a time when, unless lonely-old Donkey bucked-up his game a bit, he was gonna find it pretty tough to snare himself a frolicking she-Donkey amongst the cut-and-thrust world of the farm-yard meat market!

And so there came a time in Donkey’s young adult life when necessity became the mother of all re-invention. It was clear that the comic books and Mad magazines would have to go (at least for a couple of years, anyway … they could be brought out again once the deal was signed and sealed), to be replaced with National Geographic and The Economist. The Star Wars action figures would have to step aside for statues of Buddha, incense and CDs entitled The Mystical Land of Tibet: the Chants of the Shaoqui Monks, and the David Eddings novels would have to make way for Homer and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A good knowledge of fine Australian wines was certainly in order (enter The Age Wine Guide – here’s a tip, you get 33% off if you buy it at K-mart), and that wardrobe was going to need a complete overhaul (but don’t worry, it would still be alright for your Mum to buy your underwear!).

So there I was, 23 years old, and a new Donkey. I was ready to hit the social circuit for experimentation in lerve and, more to the point, the procurement of a she-Donkey accessory! The only problem was, when I jumped on the merry-go-round, I noticed that all of the other asses were also dressed in iron-free Chinos and Rivers shirts, spouting their opinions about politics in the Middle East and dropping into conversations the recent find of undiscovered tribes of Aymara Indians in the mountains of Peru. They were all greeting the she-Donkeys with “Hey, peace sister”, and they were big on arguments concerning the merits of ancient poetry versus modern literature. And I’ll be the first to admit that ordering wine at a restaurant was a ridiculous shit-fight as every young, eligible bachelor tried to one-up the other in an effort to order the best Rutherglen had to offer for the bemused fillies who invariably didn’t get their first drink until 9pm!

It was crazy, and very disheartening. All the money and time I’d put into reinventing myself, and it was no good. I didn’t offer anything unique and I was missing Han Solo and Chewbacca terribly! I needed to be different, but in such a way that I was still cool (ie: the same as everybody else; wouldn’t want to look like a freak now). I needed something more … an edge. What was a young SNAD to do in order to stand out from the crowd, while still blending in? What to do? I needed to consult someone, so I asked some discreet questions in the changing-room one day after training – I got nothing but some odd looks and the tightening of towels around wastes. I went to the newsagent for a copy of Cosmo, but all the other young male Donkeys had beaten me to it (in those days we Donkeys didn’t have the benefit of consulting that fine social journal, Ralph!). I was going to have to take a spiritual journey. I was going to have to find myself an edge!

And so I travelled to the far-east looking for answers. Unfortunately, after two days spent incarcerated in an LA prison for arriving without a visa, I learned that for we antipodeans, the far-east was actually west! Eventually, I landed in India; land of mystique and the birthplace of spiritual enlightenment.
And there, in a relatively short time, while all the Israeli backpackers were up in the monasteries and ashrams of Shimla and Dharamsala searching for their inner selves, I was with my mate Ken, stoned off our heads after two hours in a Government-approved hash-shop, finding my new spiritual enlightenment, my new secret weapon in the ‘War on Loneliness’ in the form of an authentic lentil curry.

This was it! Talk about Nirvana! I’d done it. I’d found my ‘edge’. Right-o then, I’m off home immediately to dazzle a she-Donkey with my new, unique skills in Indian vegetarian cooking. I’m going NOW … or perhaps I’ll just finish these cookies…

Six weeks later, after we’d dragged ourselves from the hash-shop, I was in the kitchen at Glennie cooking up a storm. After a few days, with my technique down, and I was ready. Bang! I was back on the merry-go-round and looking for some action … but hang-on, where had everyone gone? And there it was … What a schmuck! While I was off finding my ‘edge’ in the hash kitchens of Varanasi, all the other Donkeys had broken into the farm shed and had gorged themselves on the oats! As you can imagine, I was devastated. What was a poor young Donkey to do? My new-aged Indian clothes may have sent the sniffer dogs at Melbourne Airport into a frenzy, but they barely registered a blip on the radar of the now-taken she-Donkeys. All I had going for me was a mean repertoire of vegetarian dishes, but they were useless unless I could find someone to take home to my (read “my Mum’s”) kitchen. I was doomed to a life of loneliness unless … unless I took my kitchen to a place where the she-Donkeys were not only desperate and available, but where a spicy lentil curry was a highly sort-after commodity.

I packed up my stuff, and set-off for the gastronomic wasteland of Samoa. Three weeks it took me, but the smells of Donkey’s kitchen eventually lured the unsuspecting Miss Donkey to my door. A couple of weeks and a mountain of turmeric, coriander and cumin later, I’d done it. What an ‘edge’; a strike-rate of 100%!

Unfortunately I am now learning the lesson that she-Donkeys might well be dumb enough to be lured into marriage with mere tricks, but unless you can maintain that ‘edge’, and keep them satisfied in the kitchen department, it doesn’t take them long to start losing interest. Poor ol’ Donkey has put all his eggs in one basket and now he finds himself, new wife in tow, back in the land of lentil curries. No one, not even a bewitched she-Donkey, wants to tuck-into a lentil curry three times a day, and the pressure is on yours truly to expand my culinary repertoire. I’m very rapidly discovering that here in this land where meat in the summertime is definitely a no-go zone, and couscous and pasta are wearing just a little too thin, the options for maintaining a fruitful marriage are very, very limited indeed. What’s a Donkey to do? No meat, no interest in lentils, no Australian wine with which to bedazzle with my limitless knowledge, and definitely no Cosmo to consult for answers. The weather ahead looks very stormy indeed for Donkey … what am I going to do? Maybe I’ll start with a change of wardrobe … “Mum, can you send me some new undies?”


Definitely a good excuse to go vegetarian. Photo: Sally


Mrs Donkey said...

Dear Donkey,
Interesting. While this post is about how your lentils managed to snare you a (albeit "desperate") wife, I will be even more interested in your next post, which I suspect will be about how blogging lost you your spouse....
hee haw,
Mrs Donkey

DonkeyBlog said...

Ooor No, Mrs D!

It was all in fun ... honest. Actually, it was more to poke fun at my lack of prowess in the "ladies" Dept ... ooor hang-on, your my wife, so that's not too flattering either, is it? Nah, I was just saying that I tried hard to nab you ... er, procure you? ... entrap? ...

Look, I'm sorry. Tell you what, I'll make it up to you? What would you like for dinner?

Love DonkeyBlog

lucy said...

You're in so much trouble Don-kay.

Nice post, although god knows what the boys are using these days to 'tempt' the girls, but I don't think Ralph is heping :)

DonkeyBlog said...

No, Lucy? You don't feel 'tempted' by a guy who just wants you to strip down to a g-string, rub yourself in oil, grab him a coldie from the fridge and flick the channels between the footy and the cricket for him?

Sheez, hard to please!

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