Cuba Libre? A hybrid Gluten Free Vegan Morros y Christianos Recipe

Sometimes I want to sit Milton Friedman (to know the devil: down and ask him how all this got started.

The only funny thing about Milton Friedman was his death. It is a cosmic joke that is ironic as thinking markets can save markets: Milton Friedman died of a heart attack. That is to say, Milton Friedman died for the same reasons that other people’s hopes and dreams have died. Milton Friedman died when his heart decided that in order to function properly it needed to free itself from the regulations of its pacemaker. His death was the ultimate success of the free cardial system. Bravo Milton, Bravo. He was a man who put his heart into his work!

Sadly though, the other stuff is not so funny. Milton, although once believing that government intervention could actually help markets and society through making them somewhat more sustainable, came to see government intervention through such frivolities as regulation and post-catastrophe intervention, as the CAUSES of the catastrophes. Which is to say that poor Milton was a little bit unhinged.

However, rather than writing him off as a weirdo who cannot separate cause and effect, for some reason people lauded him as a visionary. Really limited people. With a truly backward prophet. Oh what damage they could do!

Now as a libertarian socialist, people always think that I am either for Milton (libertarian) or for Marx (socialist). This is the conundrum of the fence-sitter, because although I think that Marx had it pretty much down, it feels like this equality nullifies freedom, but that Friedman’s liberation defies rational thought!

I would like to ask Marx where personal expression fits into his models- and not just the personal expression of “goddamn I hated the bourgeoisie, I am so glad we, as a collective historical imperative removed them from the scene!”, but more I would like to ask Milton, poor Milton, what all this ‘economic resources are infinite’,  and how he came to his anti-government pro-money views.

I think that if we remove the compulsion exercised within our society by the authorities that things might get better. So I guess I believe that people will be nice just to be nice, rather than from fear of punishment for being less-than-nice. Most people think that this view is pretty damn stupid!

Yet Milton seems to take it further, and those same people who would chastise me think that it is great- they even live in a society defined by Milton’s extremism and think that his views are good and mine are foolish.

Milton Friedman believed in the direct emancipation of money, I believe in the direct emancipation of people. That is why I get ridiculed, while with him they point to a model or some such idiocy.

The problem is that when Milton is setting money free, he accidentally liberates the people attached to the money, and then suggests that they be guided in their actions by the money. I guess he trusts people more than I do, because he seems to think that this will end in roses for us all (remember of course that economic resources are infinite, so literally everyone can have as many roses as they want!!)! Theoretic roses for everyone!!

However, I have started to see what he means by his anti-governmental stance. I don’t want common ground with this guy, but it appears that it is there. 😦 Never was a sad face more deserved!

I wonder now if Friedman went down this path during his journey from Keynesian to Kooky by encountering too many government employees? (Actually I doubt that any actual human could have this effect- I am sure he saw the government as ‘The Government’ and as more of a vector and entity, ie I am sure all government employees were faceless to Friedman)

I have had the misfortune of dealing with government employees a lot during the past few months, and I gotta say I am feeling a whole lot more anti-government than I was before. There seems to be no drive, no sense of service, and a whole lot of wasted time in government service.

So I have to admit that when faced with the choice of a slow, grey stifling death of creeping melancholy and boredom in a Marxist system, or the hot burning rending chaos of society tearing itself to pieces under Freidmanism, I think I would prefer the fast death.

Which, inevitably, brings us to Cuba. Everyone knows that I have been an apologetist for Castro. I think he and the gang tried to do the right thing. But sadly, I am starting to think that they chose the wrong model to try. How does, or could Cuba function? Everything is government. I guess the reason why it works is because almost nowhere in the world has a functional government to compare to. Cuba has the inefficiencies of state control, while everywhere else (excepting the richest and most developed countries) has the crippling inoperabilities of systemic corruption and regime instability. Where does my first world morality align me in this mess? Is a first world morality ever actually of any use?

And moralities, bringing me back to stupidly dichotomous questions of black and white, brings me back to food. In food the black and white shall dance and find harmony as they realise that they are not opposites; they are in fact just sibling shades of grey. What better dish to celebrate this than Morros y Christianos, a cuban dish of balck beans and white rice?! This one is a bastardisation of a recipe for Venezuelan cariotas (kinda nasty sweet black beans) and morros y christianos as reported by a few Batistan emigrees in Florida.

Let’s celebrate the reunion!!

Morros Y Christianos


2 cups soaked black beans (NB; when soaking beans, change the water a few times to get all those nasty exudates out of the way. And never ever ever cook beans in the soak-water, you will regret it!)

1 onion, diced

3 cloves gralic, chopped

1 green bell pepper/capsicum, cut into chunks

1 tomato, chunked

2 solid dashes of vinegar

2 solid dashes of red wine

2 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 tbsp each of pepper, ground cumin, allspice, chilli powder

1 tbsp random italianish/europeany spices (oregano, thyme tarragon, whatever)

2 bay leaves

1 cup white rice


stock powder

Luscious mojo salsa stuffs: garlic, some acidic liquid, salt, some type of oil

The Method:

Saute onions, garlic, bell pepper, tomato as good practice dictates.

Add the spices, bay leaves, vinegar, wine, tomato paste, and drained soaked beans towards the end of this process, and stir everything around to coat everything with the heating spices.

Add a lot of water, say enough to cover everything plus an inch or so of depth. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the beans are soft (a couple hours?). Make sure it stays wet in there throughout, we don’t want the beans cooking dry.

Once the beans are cooked, and the bay leaves removed (I always count them in and then out to make sure I have no lurking bay leaves!), we have nothing left to fear! Then we add the salt and vegetable stock powder to taste.

Once it tastes all deliscious (!) and is still nice and wet, add the rice. There has to be enough water in the bean soup/sauce to cook the rice and have the whole thing end up pretty damn thick, so make sure you have enough water but not too much. At this point you are on your own, because how you simmered, and how long you sustained said simmering will dictate your own unique water levels at this time. Doesn’t it feel good to be unique?!!

Cook the rice in the sauce, adding water as necessary.

Once it is all thick, and the rice is cooked, you are good to go!

But it just ain’t complete without the mojo salsa stuffs! Grind up garlic (as many as you dare) in some lime juice or vinegar with some oil, and add some salt. I use 3 cloves garlic to 1/3 cup vinegar to 1/2 tbsp oil, and salt to taste. The mojo makes stuff happen that you would never imagine possible!!

Serve the mojo all over the beans!

Enjoy the reconciliation of the halves they told you were never to meet! Reality is a whole, not many parts to be divided and conquered by the appetites of the powerhungry. May your hunger always be for beans, and your eyes see the true definition of colours and shades of truth and action.




~ by maoctopus on October 19, 2010.

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