Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
"Mrs. Antille's" Cracker Brei
by Susu

Not too many people know this, but to Wedge Antilles, Iella Wesseri is his second wife. He was nearly-married very briefly to a sensual, beautiful woman who could cook really, really well. How briefly? She died a few hours after their hasty betrothal ceremony, killed by a spy who had been stalking her. Wedge kept his grief locked in, never letting it surface. He never even told Iella, who, despite her position in NR Intelligence, never knew or suspected. Wedge rarely referred to Iella as "Mrs. Antilles," because in his mind, that was the designation for the mysterious woman with whom he should have been married.

One dish she made haunted him, because it was so unusual and because it was the last meal they had shared. French toast exists everywhere, even in the GFFA, for it's a great way to make a delectable, soufflé-type breakfast pastry out of old, dry bread. But his fiancé made it not from stale bread, but from leftover solder's rations: crackers, hardtack, biscuts. These foods, by definition, are never meant to go stale, and thus were made and shipped cheaply, in huge quantities. She would soften them with hot water, then leave the crackers and such to soak up the egg mixture, then panfry the mess into little cakes, to be served with fruit and syrupy sauces. In her native Chandrilan tongue, she called this dish a "brei."

Wedge was fascinated that something so humble could taste so delectable, and he missed this dish nearly as much as he missed his first wife. Since military hardtack was not normally on the grocery list, he would occasionally hoard crackers from the kiddie restaurants where he would take his daughters, and then when Iella was on assignment and the kids were at school or asleep, he'd furtively try to reproduce the recipe. He finally concluded that though he'd managed to duplicate it pretty well, it would never taste the same without her; he couldn't eat it without choking up with emotion.

So he'd wake up his children and offer it to them. They loved the crispy, chewy mixture, loved the syrup they could pour over it all by themselves. They thought he was a great dad, and Wedge would come out of his depression, grateful for his girls, and for his current wife!

  • About 200 grams crackers or other unleavened bread (about ½ lb.), broken up (but not small or powdered!). If they are saltine or oyster cracker sized, these can be left whole
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon honey, or sugar, brown or white
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon total of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • butter and oil for pan-frying
Place the cracker pieces in a colander in the sink and carefully pour the hot water over it, being sure to hit all the cracker pieces. This should get them wet, but not into a soft, soggy mess. While the hot water is draining, in a shallow pan (like a lasagne pan, for example), beat together the eggs, milk, honey, vanilla and spices. Put the softened crackers in the egg mixture to soak it up.

Heat a frying pan with a spoonful of vegetable oil and about a tablespoon of butter till the butter has melted, frothed and settled. Scoop up about a ½ cup full of the cracker/egg mixture (the egg might not be totally soaked up, but that's okay. Take some of the wet stuff into the pan, too, it'll help the patty set) and put into the middle of the pan (in other words, one at a time). Gently press down to form a sort of pancake. When browned on one side (and the egg should be setting up nicely), flip it over and cook the other side. Transfer to a warm plate, then add more oil and butter for the next patty.

Serve with fruit, syrup, jam or applesauce. Makes about 4 to 6 patties.

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