Agamarian Feast & Ho-Down
by SuSu, MaceVindaloo
Menu: Cornpops on a Stick | The Mee-Maws' Dainty Pork Butt Sandwiches: Agamarian Smoked Pork Butt cooked with Mee-maw's Spice Rub & Big Mee-maw's Sloshin' Sauce, and served with Double Mee-maw's Dippin' Sauce | Chicken Big, Double, & Mee-maw | Cheatin' and Lyin' Crustacean Bisque | Sticky Chocolate Cake | Banana'misu | Agamar Fancy Coffee | Agamarian Honey Lightning
When the Wraiths infiltrated the planet Storinal, highly recognizable squad members Wedge, Face, and Myn attempted to pass through customs posing as Agamarians in search of brides. Such a "tour" was not uncommon, especially when a planet's male population might outnumber the female. Storinal is a beautiful tourist destination, and would attract young men and women on vacation, thus the customs agents had seen men seeking women of a certain sort coming to vacation.
Agamar is known as a planet of rough-hewn farmers famous for their stubbornness, and the three men played the part to the hilt. Though they got through Immigration inspection with no trouble, they had been stopped by Customs. The customs officers didn't actually suspect they were anything but hard-headed farmers on the pull, but did fear that their clothing and luggage might contain bugs and seeds from their system which could take root and threaten the carefully maintained ecosystem of Storinal. Thus the men were detained as their luggage was checked over for "farm residues."
To "encourage" the customs agents to "want" to release them (none of them had the gift of the Force to affect minds), the three men talked about the down-home party they would have once they found their wives. They talked about the food and beverages they'd enjoy, made up by "the womenfolk" related to them. They were hoping to either bore the customs agents, or make them feel sorry for them, but rather than simply rolling their eyes and hurrying through the inspection, the agents started to listen ... and get hungry! Fortunately, the Wraiths had arrived just before lunch, and their talk of the "amazin' vittles" forced the inspectors to check the bags quickly (and thus miss some of the more "interesting" things the Wraiths were taking into the system) and run off for their own meals!
Cornpops On A Stick
Deep-fried items mounted or impaled on a stick are popular food among the masses when they are having fun. The stick allows them to carry the items without getting stuff all over their hands, and deep-frying tends to encapsulate the food so that it is compact and cohesive. It's also simply a delicious, crunchy treat! Fairs and special events on Agamar always have cornpops thick-sliced cross-sections of sausages, dipped in a thick, sticky batter, then fried in boiling oil. "It's scrummy, and it don't mess your tie at the fancy times, eh!" Face Loran said this with smacks of his lips, while the other two Agamarians in disguise nodded vigorously in agreement with a chorus of "Oh, yah!"
Cut the kielbasa into thick, 1-inch / 2.5-cm wide slices. Place the slices into a bowl or plastic bag with the cornstarch and toss / dredge to coat well. Shake off the excess, then assemble the cornpops: Using a short skewer, pierce the sausage "coin" through the skin, from one end to the other, so that the concoction looks like a lollipop shape.
Heat oil to 375°F / 195°C in a deep fryer appliance or a large heavy pot equipped with a frying or jellying thermometer. Dip the skewered sausage coins through the batter, and place in the hot oil carefully. Do not overcrowd the pot, or the oil will cool down too much and your cornpops will absorb oil rather than frying. When golden brown in color (about 3 or 4 minutes), transfer to a cooling rack set over a sheetpan to drain for about 5 minutes. Serve with a selection of sauces, like ketchup, mustard, Dijon mustard, barbecue sauce.
Yields about 100+ cornpups.
The Mee-Maws' Dainty Pork Butt Sandwiches
On a gornt (pig), the "butt" is actually a cut of meat. And of the quadruped animal's leg can be divided into trotters (the foot), the shank (the calf/shin), and the butt (the top end). However, the back leg has the meaty "gluteous" which is normally salt-and-air cured into hams. Thus the term "butt" tends to refer exclusively to the front legs, or the shoulder portion. That part has a lot of bones, so it's traditional to slow-cook it till its so tender that the meat simply slips off the bones.
It's so overcooked that the meat itself tends to "shred" when it's handled or sliced, "But that's not a bad thing, no way!" explained Face to the customs agent. "You douse on some sauce, slap it between two slices of Mee-maw's good white bread, a man can't ask for a better feast!"
As his "brothers" nodded, Myn Donos mumbled, "Yah, my woman better be cookin' BETTER than Mee-maw or Big Mee-maw, or even Double Mee-Maw! Or there'll be hell to pay!" This comment left the customs agents very confused.
Prepare a barrel smoker cooker by lighting a fire or heating up a gas grill. Place the pork on a foil baking tray, fat-side up (this will form a "fatcap" upon cooking). Do not place the tray directly over the heat this should be cooked indirectly over low heat (about 250°F / 120°C if you built your own fire, it should not drop below 225°F / 110°C and not rise higher than 300°F / 150°C) for 6 hours or so.
Every hour or so, mop the "sloshin' sauce" directly onto the meat do this whenever you maintain your fire or woodchunk supply (when the cooker is open anyway). The internal heat will be about 190°F / 90°C when taken with a meat thermometer.
Remove the pork from the cooker and make sure there is liquid in the pan. If there isn't, add a half a small bottle of beer, and seal the pan tightly with foil. Heat an oven to 300°F / 150°C, and cook for another hour. It will bake / steam, and people swear this is the secret to really tender meat.
If the meat is too hot to touch, you can wear clean rubber gloves to accomplish the shredding. Pull the meat fibers apart with your fingertips. Do not throw out any fat -- instead, just smush that and mix with the meat. There will be a few bones, which can be discarded or used to make a sort of "smoky bacony pork stock."
Construct the sandwiches by making a pile of the shredded meat onto the bottom half of a soft hamburger roll, or in the incision of a hotdog bun. If you wish, just eat as is, or you can add a dollop of Double Mee-maw's Dippin' Sauce. If you like it, you can layer on some coleslaw over that, then close it up and eat. Makes about 12 servings.
If you'd like to make these into appetizer-sized sandwiches, cut the filled hotdog buns into quarters. Makes about 100 appetizer-sized sandwiches.
Chicken Big, Double, & Mee-maw
"Speakin' of Mee-Maw," chuckled Fod, a.k.a. Wedge Antilles, "nuthin' beats Big Mee-maw's chicken 'n gravy, eh?"
Who was this "Mee-maw"? It was a good thing the men had discussed the family background of the ersatz brothers ... Big Mee-maw is their grandmother, and Double Mee-maw is their greatgrandmother, a fact they used to confuse and bemuse the customs agents.
"But Double Mee-maw taught it to her, eh, so I reckon Double Mee-maw's is cahouts better," argued Dod (a.k.a. Myn Donos).
Lod (a.k.a. Face Loran) shook his head, "I don't much care who makes it, it's just gooooood!" All three brothers nodded and smacked their lips, "Oh, yah!"
Heat the oil and cook the bacon pieces in it to render out the fat from the bacon, then add the butter and heat till its melted and frothy. Cook the chicken in this till browned. Set the chicken aside.
In the same the pan you cooked the chicken, cook the carrots, onions, celery, and peppers till the vegetables are softened. Sprinkle over with flour and cook till the flour is browned. Add a cup of hot stock and stir, bringing the mixture to a boil. The sauce will thicken; add more stock till it's the thickness you prefer. Add the thyme, parsley, and bay leaf. Simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally. Long cooking will give it a deep, earthy flavor and redden the sauce to a deep brick color. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can make the sauce ahead at this point and store it covered in the refrigerator.
About 30 minutes before serving, add the chicken to the sauce. Cover and cook over low heat at at simmer till the chicken is heated through. Sprinkle over with chopped parsley, if desired.
Serves 4 as a main course, over rice or noodles.
Cheatin' 'n Lyin' Crustacean Bisque
Peepaw was the father of the Agamarian brothers. Their sire was a philanderer, and they admired him greatly enough to talk to the customs agents about him. "Peepaw was a scoundrel, yessir," declared Face, "but he never did get caught by Mee-maw nor any of the other women in the family!"
"Oh, yah," agreed Myn, warming up to the performance, "Peepaw probably had brides" (he drew out the word 'brides' here) "all over the system, a-yuh." He turned to the customs agents nearest to him and whispered darkly, "That's why me and my brothers, we gotta look for brides out of system, just in case!" Then he winked and elbowed the man in the ribs. The customs agent looked shocked.
"But Mee-maw knew it," admired Wedge, "an' she never gave Peepaw a hard time of it, bless the ol' girl's heart."
"No-ooo! That ain't true, she reminded him of it every time he sat down to supper," corrected Face in his role as Lod. "She'd serve up that bisque every time he was home, the one that was supposin' to have seafood in it?"
"Oh, yah!" agreed Myn again, "But it didn' have a drop!"
The three brothers guffawed at the memory of their clever Mee-maw. "She said she'd make the bisque at our weddin's, she did! To remind us that women-folk ain't none too stupid as Peepaw wished they was!"
Myn took on a dreamy expression on his face. "Mmmmm ... bisque ...!"
Alternatively, heat it all together, then purée with a stick-blender in the pot, or in a food processor or conventional blender. Be careful when blending hot liquids they expand and will burn you, so don't do too much at once.
Serves 6 as a first course.
Sticky Chocolate Cake
"The cake, no doubt about the cake!" Wedge started this part of the conversation. "Double Mee-maw always told us that this cake is too high-falutin' and loaded to be for nuthin' else but a ho-down!"
"Oh, yah," nodded Myn, "loaded, all right!"
"Brothers, we shouldn't even be talkin' about that there cake in front of polite strangerhood! Liable to get all of us in trouble!" Face whispered this very loudly, obviously so the customs agents would stop and listen.
After a few minutes of silence, one of the customs officers called out, "What are you fellows up to?"
"Oh, nuthin' officer!" replied Face, "Just about a cake that's so sticky and sweet that it's only for women-folk and sappy romantics!"
"Mmmmm ... sticky cake ..." Myn acted as if entranced by the thought of the cake.
"What's so special about the cake?" The customs agents were truly curious, "What makes it sticky?"
"Shhh!" warned Wedge.
Face nodded, "Bein' they're asking in a civil tone, we should tell 'em, so they'll know to be careful." Then he turned to the customs agent and said in a loud whisper, "It's kinda a voodoo women make up this cake to stick them to ya. It's dangerous, but mighty tasty, and has trapped many a man to an otherwise unqualified female!"
"Mmmmm ..." repeated Myn, "unqualified female!"
In a saucepan, heat the caramels and canned milk over low heat, till the caramels are melted. (Alternatively, you can do this in a microwave.) When the cake comes out of the oven, pour the caramel mixture evenly over the hot cake, then sprinkle over with nuts and chocolate chips. Spread the remaining batter over the nuts and chips, then return to the oven for another 30 minutes. Run the knife around the sides of the pan to loosen it, and let the cake cool in the pan for at least an hour. Invert it and cut into 2" x 2" (5-cm x 5-cm) squares to serve. If desired, offer whipped cream at the table. Yields 20 pieces of cake.
"But this sweet vittle, it's not like any cake or puddin' you've ever had before!" declared Wedge. "Made of wafers but not a cookie, stacked like a cake, but not a cake ..."
"Oh, yah!" agreed Myn, licking his lips, "And lots of bananas!"
They claimed a "misu" on Agamar was a concoction where stale cookies would be layered between dollops of a custard or pudding, up to three layers deep, then left to steep, "Like a tea, eh!" informed Myn. The result was like "milk an' cookies, but classy," assured Wedge.
"What's better," Face winked broadly at his audience, "It's usually us menfolk who make it no cookin' unless me want to be real fancy-like. So we don't have to put up with the womanly guff if we want it."
The customs agents had to admit it sounded mighty good!
Mix the pudding powder with the milk, beating together to combine well. Stir in the rum extract. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate till thickened. In a large bowl, fold the whipped cream and sour cream into the vanilla pudding.
In a pretty glass bowl or baking pan, place a wall-to-wall layer of vanilla wafers, and top it with a dense layer of cooked bananas. Put the pudding mixture over that, and repeat, ending with the pudding mixture. Refrigerate to set; the vanilla wafers will soften to a cake-like texture, like tiramisu.
Serves about 12.
Agamar Fancy Coffee
"It's not like were unsophisticated when we should be," said Myn. "We drink some mightly bitter brews with our pinkies up in the air and everything!"
"Yeah, it's a bit sissy, but at a weddin' and stuff like that, everyone knows its to keep the women-folk busy," explained Face, "so we do the pinky thing, makes the women think they've tamed us."
Wedge winked at the customs agents who had stopped looking through the men's luggage and were sitting with them, listening to the three apparent yokels who did seem to have a happy life. "The women-folk don't know, us men-folk put a dash of demon-run into the dainty coffee!"
Myn reached into his pocket to pull out a worn, hand-carved, old-fashioned flask. "Peepaw gave me this, it used to be Big Peepaw's!" The customs agents thought about inspecting it, but instead decided to let the affable yokels get away with having their flasks. No one this blatant could be hiding anything, they thought.
"Gotta offset that frou-frou frothy cream they put on it, after all," muttered Myn, in way of explanation.
Agamarian Honey Lightning
Myn Donos offered everyone in the office a swig of what he called "honey lightning" from his hipflask. Face and Wedge each accepted, and several of the customs agents looked like they really wanted to try it ... but being on duty, they politely declined. Knowing that officers would not try the brew, the flask actually only contained lemonade, but the three men certainly had no problems acting like there was nothing but high-alcohol brew in there. Recognizing that their inspection was done, and not wanting to be responsible if the three Agamarians suddenly got raucous or fell asleep, the customs people quickly stamped the passports and other documents and let the men go. The three "brothers" shouldered their bags, loudly thanking the fellows for "a grand ol' time, may the fruit of your loins be fruitful in the belly of your women!" and staggered in a drunken weave till they were out of sight. They needn't have worried about carrying on the charade, for the customs agents had gotten very, very hungry while listening to the brothers carry on about the food they'd expect at their wedding feast, and they'd run off to lunch!
In the serving pitcher or bowl, place the lemon juice, rum or bourbon, and strained syrup. Blend together, then top up with water and ice so the total volume equals 1 gallon. Yields 16 1-cup servings.
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