Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Mother's Day "Cut Lunch" with the Naberrie Family
by Susu, MaceVindaloo, Rosie

There were a couple of scenes cut from Episode 2 which only show up on the DVD special features, and it's really too bad they were. This particular cut scene was from "dinner" (which some cultures refer to as "lunch") at the Naberrie family home (thus "cut lunch" -- also the term for home-made sandwiches "cut" from leftover meats, bread, etc. ... bad pun, eh?), and they signalled the beginning of Padmé's acceptance that Anakin Skywalker loved her -- and that she loved him, too. True, she wanted to go home and see her family, for it was Mother's Day on Naboo, and they arrived in time for lunch. Her whole family was there to greet her: mother, father, sister and two nieces. How appropriate that the former Queen of Naboo had shown up with her Jedi protector and future husband!

Anakin behaved himself very well and ate everything placed before him. He was very nervous and always hungry, so all of his senses were on especially high alert. Even though he wasn't sure Padmé fully understood his desire for her, he enjoyed playing into the fantasy of the ardent suiter meeting his beloved's parents, walking with her father Ruwee in the garden, complimenting her mother Jobal's cooking, playing with older sister Sola's daughters. For their part, the Naberries were duly impressed by the polite young man, and no one missed the tension between the two young people. Even Padmé's nieces saw it, and asked him if they could be flower girls at the wedding!

The food might seem like it should be the least of the things Anakin would remember, but he found himself very fond of Padmé's mother and her cooking. For one, it's said that if you want to know what a girl will be like when she grew older, look to her mother. Anakin saw a strong woman who was comfortable in her role in life, and was confident enough to comfort and provide for others. She reminded Anakin very much of his own mother, whom he missed enough to disobey his Jedi mandate to protect Padmé, especially on a holiday called "mother's day." Partly to be polite, partly because of the resemblance to his own mother, partly because he wanted to know more about Padmé, but mostly because he found Jobal Naberrie's food really, really wonderful, he helped clean up in the kitchen and dining room after the meal and talked to her about her recipes from this meal, as well as others Padmé particularly liked.

Wrong-Rice Risotto
Risotto is a popular dish in the Italianesque planet kingdom of Naboo. Plump short-grained rice is fried with aromatic vegetables and fat, then stirred constantly while hot liquid is ladled in, cup by cup. Each cup of liquid needs to be absorbed by the agitated rice grains before the next is poured in.

Once, Jobal Naberrie didn't have the special rice for this dish, but she'd promised the then 10-year old Sola that she could have a bacon, mushroom and corn -- all her favorite ingredients -- for a special supper that night. Jobal had been trying to get the picky eater to eat rice, so she didn't want to forego the preparation of the dish, but neither did she have the time to get to the shops before they closed! She did have some "regular" long-grained rice, so she crossed her fingers and made the dish. It came out less creamy and sticky than the real thing, but she needn't have worried -- Sola loved it! Later, Sola confessed she didn't like risotto because it was SO sticky and mushy; this was much less so. And thus "Wrong-Rice Risotto" found its way onto the Naberrie's regular menus, especially when Sola and her children were coming home!

  • 4 tablespoons butter or bacon grease or roast drippings, or if you are panfrying anything, you can use the leftover fat in the pan, along with any drippings and sucs -- just drain off any excess before you start
  • 2 cups long-grained rice (rice must be raw, not "converted" or "quick cooking")
  • about 4 cups stock, broth, or water
  • 14 oz / 400 g mushrooms, drained and chopped (reserve canning liquid)
  • 14 oz / 400 g kernal corn, drained (reserve canning liquid)
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked till crisp and crumbled or chopped (you can reserve the fat from cooking these for the fat in the recipe -- it's okay to mix fats)
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded or grated
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
Heat the fat or oil in a large pot till a rice grain dropped into it sizzles. Add all the rice to the pot and cook with stirring, till the rice starts to brown. Add a cup of hot stock PLUS the reserved liquid from the mushrooms and corn (but not the solid parts) and stir the rice as it cooks. The stock will be absorbed into the rice and the rice will appear to grow bigger. As the liquid disappears, add another cup of stock and repeat. The starch in the rice will start to come out and thicken the liquid also, giving it a creamy appearance. Repeat until the rice is fully cooked -- try a bit and it should be firm, but not at all chalky or gritty. It will take you longer and longer to stir before the liquid disappears. When this happens, you know you are close to "done."

When the rice is tender but still a bit chewy, add the mushroom pieces, the corn and bacon, and stir to combine thoroughly. Remove the pot from the heat, then add the cheese and stir it in until it's all melted and combined with the rice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot. Makes 8 servings.

Back to the Menu: Mother's Day "Cut Lunch" with the Naberrie Family

Mom-Modified Strawberry Cobbler
This recipe started its life as an upside-down apple pie, which Sola had learned in school. She'd made it for the Naberries for their weekly big luncheons, and it was a big hit! Young Padmé was jealous of her sister's new skill, for it seemed to have all the guests and family members fawning over the girl to compliment her. She felt forgotten and insignificant, and her stubborn pride convinced her that she could repeat Sola's performance, but instead of apples, she'd use strawberries, her favorite fruit!

Unfortunately, Padmé had no experience as a cook, and though she followed the printed recipe very well, strawberries and apples have completely different properties; most apples will absorb flavors and liquid and keep their form when baked. In contrast, strawberries exude juice, then eventually fall apart with long cooking -- what poor Padmé had was basically strawberry syrup sitting under a soggy crust! In tears, she confessed to her mother that she'd "messed up dessert!" Fortunately, Jobal is an experienced and talented cook, and she was able to save the mess by adding a slurry of cornstarch to the syrup, thus thickening it up with heat, then adding whole berries to the "goop" so that the "whole fruit" effect could be preserved. It was a good save, and Padmé learned that if she didn't explain what a disaster it actually was, no one would know and they'd still be impressed with her efforts. Also, though her mother wrote down the modified recipe for her, Padmé never made strawberry pie ever again, though she did pass Jobal's ad hoc recipe on to cooks and handmaidens to make it for her!

  • 1½ to 2 lbs / 650 to 900 g strawberries, hulled and washed
  • 1 to 2 cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust (for a single-crust pie)
Heat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Cut the berries in half or quarters if they are large; smaller ones can be left whole. In a large bowl, toss the berries, sugar (varied according to the sweetness of the berries), cornstarch and salt together till evenly coated. Grease an 8-inch / 20 cm glass baking dish with half the butter and pour the berries in. Tuck the pie crust over and around the edges of the dish. Bake till the crust is browned and the juices are thickened and bubbly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit. It can be served warm or at room temperature. To serve, spoon it out into bowls. Serves 8.

Back to the Menu: Mother's Day "Cut Lunch" with the Naberrie Family

Blueberry Cheese Stuffed French Toast, Puffed or D-flats
This dish should be served hot and puffy right out of the oven. Timing is everything on the serving end, but the preparation should be done the night before and is even simple enough for Pooja and Ryoo -- Padmé's very young nieces -- to help their grandmother assemble, a great excuse to stay up late! They also loved making the purply blueberry syrup, stirring the pot till the berries puffed up all swollen, then finally burst! They got to lick the juice off the bottom of the sieve, too.

The dish can be popped into the oven just as the guests arrive, then served a few minutes after they sit down -- it's a perfect brunch or big breakfast dish for company! If the soufflé cools, it will not be as light and airy, but it will still taste good, even at room temperature or snitched from the 'fridge cold! It reminds all the Naberries of warm summer late afternoons, eating leftover cold blueberry "D-flats" as curly-haired Pooja calls it, for "deflated." Cold, it's great for dessert, too.

    Blueberry Syrup
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ½ cup maple syrup or golden syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated fine
Place the blueberries and syrup in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over medium heat with careful stirring till the blueberries pop open. If desired, sieve the syrup, pressing on the solids with the back of a spoon to get all the blueberry pulp through, leaving the skins behind. Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Serve hot, or allow tocool and store in the refrigerator. To serve, heat in a pot or in the microwave -- be careful if you use the microwave, as syrups can bubble over very suddenly and make a big mess ... plus you'd have less syrup for your breakfast! Yields 1½ cups. Thsi is good as a general dessert sauce over ice cream or sponge cake, or over pancakes, too.

    Blueberry Stuffed French Toast
  • about 10 slices of thick-cut white bread, or about 20 slices of baguette, roughly cubed
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg or ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • 8 oz / 225 g cream cheese (optional)
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups blueberries
Grease a 9" x 13" (22 cm x 32 cm) baking dish. Scatter the cubes of bread over the bottom. In a bowl, beat the eggs, milk, nutmeg or cinnamon, vanilla extract and ½ cup sugar. Pour evenly over the bread pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate till the liquid is absorbed completely into the bread. This requires at least overnight, and up to 24 hours ahead of time.

Heat the oven to 400°F / 200°C. Take the bread and eggs mixture from the refrigerator. Cube up the cold cream cheese and scatter it over the bread. Follow that with a scattering of the nuts (both cream cheese and nuts are optional), then add the blueberries over the top.

In a small pot, add the remaining sugar and butter and melt them together. Drizzle evenly over the bread mixture. Place into the oven and cook for about 20 minutes until the bread is puffy and browned and the blueberries are bursting. Serve immediately, spoon onto plates and top with the blueberry syrup. Leftovers are good at room temperature or cold. Serves 8.

Back to the Menu: Mother's Day "Cut Lunch" with the Naberrie Family

Girl's Luncheon Scalloped Eggs
On every planet in the galaxy, springtime was a festival of recovery and relief. The sun wouldn't die, the planet wouldn't freeze, and new birth surrounds everything. Eggs are the symbol of rebirth nearly everywhere, and many planets forbid their ingestion, but on Naboo, they were eaten all year. But in spring, there were so many egg-based festivals and celebrations that there was always a glut of hard-cooked ones in every household. This was a rich, luxurious way to get children to eat eggs, and a bit could go a very long way when served with a crisp salad. It was one of the first dishes Sola and Padmé learned to make for friends and family; it was very forgiving, and it wasn't a weird color and soft in texture. Perfect for fussy and dainty eaters, which would describe Padmé rather well (how else could she fit in those stomach-baring dresses?? And for many people who need to watch their calories, one bite of a delicious rich food is much better than 20 bites of something bland and dull but slimming!).
Place eggs one layer deep in a pot. Sprinkle over with a light coating of salt, then cover with cold water, making sure you add enough water to cover by about an inch of depth over the top of the eggs. Cover the pot and heat over medium heat till the water reaches a medium-rapid boil. Turn off the heat and keep the pot covered, and set your timer for 10 minutes. When the time is up -- no more, no less or else the eggs will overcook and develop that nasty green rind on the surface of the yolk -- drain the hot water and fill the pot with cold tapwater and let sit in the water for 10 minutes, no more -- or they will be difficult to peel. Peel the eggs by tapping on a hard surface, rotating the egg so small cracks cover the whole surface. Roll the eggs on the hard surface, applying only very light pressure; this will help separate the membrane on the surface of the egg white from the egg itself, and help lift the shell away. Peel and dip into cold water to make sure the egg is "clean" of any shell fragments. Keep refrigerated till you're ready to eat them or use them in recipes.
  • 8 hard-boiled eggs, cut in half the long way
  • ¼ cup margarine or butter, softened
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups milk or cream (or half of each), hot
  • ¾ teaspoon seasoned salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard OR curry powder
  • 1 cup grated cheese -- cheddar, gruyère, parmesan, or a mixture
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
Heat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Grease a 9" x 13" (22 cm x 32 cm) baking dish with some of the butter or margarine. Place the eggs cut-side down on the greased surface.

Melt the butter in a pot, then add the flour and cook with constant stirring to make a roux. Cook over medium heat till lightly browned, then add the hot milk or cream (or half of each) while whisking to make a thick white sauce. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, mustard or curry and still to blend, then turn off the heat and stir in the cheese till melted. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

Pour the sauce evenly over the eggs, then sprinkle over with parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has browned nicely. Serves 6 to 8.

Back to the Menu: Mother's Day "Cut Lunch" with the Naberrie Family

Padmé's Dada's Purple Chicken Stew
On lazy Sundays, Ruwee Naberrie liked to help his wife prepare the big meal of the day. He was a good cook, just not as talented as his wife, so he stuck to simple, basic dishes that didn't really need recipes. Surrounded as he was in a house full of beautiful, talented women, there was no point in doing too much and messing it up. Still, he was a man and always tempted to show off -- when allowed to, of course! So he just set up the big skillet and a crockpot-slow cooker and fried up the ingredients and dumped them into the cooker with seasoning and such till he thought it was "right," let his wife make any final adjustments, then turned on the switch and forgot about it till the smells tempted them.

Walking in the garden with Anakin, he related this formula, and confessed how one day they were out of the proper wine, so he figured red wine would be fine as a substitute. It smelled wonderful, but to everyone's surprise, it came out a turgid purple color! They dished it up anyway and it was tasty enough to present in that color from then on, with a loaf of crusty bread for dipping in the savory sauce. At the time of its invention, Padmé was the right age to be impressed by anything her "Dada" did, which made him feel even better about the accident.

He was very impressed when Anakin repeated the formula back to him -- the lad had memorized it! -- explaining if Padmé enjoyed it, he'd want to know how to make it for her. Ruwee told this to Jobal later when they were alone, and she wept a little, knowing that despite her fears, her daughter had found the man she would marry after all. Knowing that her daughter would be cared for by a man who was deeply in love with her, and knowing that she would be a grandmother again -- it was a lovely gift for mother's day!

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 1 cup flour
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 large onions, peeled, cut into 1/8ths
  • 1 lb / 450 g mushrooms, halved or quartered
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 to 4 cups red wine (one 750 mL bottle)
  • 2 to 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
In a large pot or skillet, place the bacon in a cold pan and heat it slowly till crisp. Remove the bacon and leave in the fat. Mix the flour with salt and pepper, then dredge the chicken in this mixture. Place in the bacon fat and cook till browned, about 4 minutes per side. When browned, place in the crockpot. Sauté the garlic, onions, mushrooms and carrots in the hot fat till softened and spoon into the crock pot. Stir in the wine and broth, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour over the chicken and vegetables, adding more stock or wine to barely cover. Add the thyme and bay leaves. Cover the pot and simmer on low heat for about an hour. When the chicken is tender, remove the meat and vegetables to a large shallow bowl and cover with the reserved bacon, crumbled, and cover with foil to keep warm. Increase the heat in the crockpot, or place in another pot on the stove. Add the tomato paste, then boil the sauce rapidly till thickened a bit. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper, as desired. Pour this sauce over the chicken and vegetables in the serving bowl. Serves 8.

Back to the Menu: Mother's Day "Cut Lunch" with the Naberrie Family

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