Do As I Say, My Young Padawan
by Susu, Rosie, MaceVindaloo
Menu: 4 Ways to Cook Bacon: Microwaved, Oven-Roasted, Pan-Fried, Steamed | Force-Choke French Toast, Worth the Risk | Fuzzy Juice | Peekaboo Berry Tarte | Brewing Caf: Drip or Cowboy | Brewing Tea for the Future | Devaronian-shire Cream Tea: Cream Scones with Double-Thick Cream and Jira's Strawberries JamTwelve-year-old Anakin Skywalker snuck out of the Temple just to get enough time to run to Dex's Diner to have his favorite breakfast before running off to the illegal garbage pit races in the early morning. He'd jam the french toast into his mouth, stuff the leftover bacon into his pockets and take the juice to go, then run to the Wicko district maintenance tunnels. There, he repaired the engine-tipped racer he'd bought from the previous owner, who'd broken his back in the very race Anakin would be entering ...
Fortunately, Obiwan was more intuitive and smarter than anyone Anakin might have encountered before, and his master tracked him to the races to save his life. Having survived an attack by a Blood Carver, they felt lucky to be alive, albeit covered in garbage and slime! On the way home, the senior Jedi resisted lecturing Anakin on his obligations and how sneaking out showed disrespect for everyone else at the Temple. It might even force the Council to improve security -- a waste of resources and bound to upset those Padawans who behaved properly. On top of it all, what was Anakin thinking, putting himself at risk in a contraption that would thrust him through the air by an unprotected race-winged missile with steering provided only by a rudimentary rudder on a flight-sandal! They both could have been killed or seriously maimed in that "stupid garbage pit race," as Obiwan termed it. After all, Anakin himself described the experience as "flying between a storm of steel raindrops" -- how safe could THAT be??
Later that night after the Council had interrogated them and had given them a mission to find the missing Jedi Vergere, Anakin had calmed down and decided he needed to apologize to his master on a more personal level than he had to the Council. He sought his Master's rooms, but he was surprised to see Obiwan leaving the Temple after curfew. He made a quick decision to follow, and was surprised to track the older Jedi to Dex's Diner, where Anakin had started his morning. He saw Obiwan sit down shyly, then saw Dex's human waitress, Hermione Bagwa, bring out a platter with a beautiful little tarte on it. Peering through the window, Anakin's mouth watered as the two shy humans shared the tarte and a pot of caf between them ... and then Obiwan got up quickly and ran out the door! It was so sudden that Anakin didn't have time to hide, and was thus caught out of bounds twice in the same day.
"But master, you were out when you shouldn't have been! Why scold me?? I was simply following to make sure you were all right!" Anakin protested loudly as he was dragged down the streets by his ear.
"Anakin, it is none of your concern, but I was invited to Dex's tonight. Besides, I'm a Jedi Knight, you're a Padawan!" Obiwan walked faster, causing Anakin to howl with pain, since the older man didn't let go of Anakin's ear.
"That's not fair, master! You can't admonish me for doing as you do!" Anakin stumbled and fell, and Obiwan finally let go of his ear. The Padawan rubbed it brusquely, trying to wipe out the pain.
"I will only say this once: You do as I say, my very young Padawan, not as I do." And with that, Obiwan strode off back to the Temple, with Anakin running to keep up!
Menu: 4 Ways to Cook Bacon: Microwaved, Oven-Roasted, Pan-Fried, Steamed | Force-Choke French Toast, Worth the Risk | Fuzzy Juice | Peekaboo Berry Tarte | Brewing Caf: Drip or Cowboy | Brewing Tea for the Future | Devaronian-shire Cream Tea: Cream Scones with Double-Thick Cream and Jira's Strawberries Jam
4 Ways to Cook Bacon
Burning with embarassment at having to be saved in the garbage pit, Anakin dared ask Obiwan how he found him? For the first time since he'd realized where his Padawan was that day, Obiwan grinned, "There aren't many boys on Coruscant whose clothing smells of Dex's bacon!" He was referring to Anakin's habit of taking all leftovers into his pockets to chew on later. Dex had different ways to cook the fragrant breakfast meat, depending on how busy he was, how crowded the diner was, and how much he thought his favorite customers might want to eat! He knew the ever-hungry Anakin always appreciated the extra servings.
1) Microwaved Bacon -- On a microwave-safe plate, place a sheet of paper toweling, then cover bacon strips without overlapping them. Place another paper towel over the bacon and microwave on high power. Watch it carefully -- depending on the wattage of your microwave, the bacon takes 2¾ minutes for soft and 3½ to 4 minutes for crispy.
2) Oven Roasted Bacon -- Heat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Lay slices of bacon on a wire rack set over a lipped baking tray. They should lay flat without touching or overlapping. Place in the oven and cook till desired doneness is achieved -- takes about 10 minutes for soft, more for hard and crispy. (If you like your bacon "frizzled" -- with a fried texture -- you can cook it directly in the pan, so that the exuded fat will fry the bacon as it cooks and make it crispier.)
3) Pan-fried Bacon -- Lay slices of bacon in a cold heavy-bottomed skillet without overlapping. If you like your bacon flat, you can:
4) Steamed Bacon -- This is only for people who like their bacon cooked soft. Separate slices of bacon and place on a steamer rack or tray, set over a pot of boiling water. Place a lid over the steamer and boil the water till the bacon is cooked, about 5 minutes or so.
Force-Choke French Toast, Worth the Risk
There was something about eating french toast at Dex's Diner, rather than back at the Temple dining room. Maybe it was the savory seasoning that doing something you shouldn't be that gave it a more appealing -- if illicit -- flavor ... maybe it was the special rich, egg-based bread Dex used, instead of plain white leftover loaves? Even when Anakin ran out of time to eat this dish, he'd make one bite out of five and cram it all in his mouth before running off to wherever he was going. Obiwan often admonished him for using the Force to help him do something as trivial as swallow the huge mouthful. But if he didn't, Anakin would have choked! (At least he'd know what it felt like when he performed the Force-choke on others in the future ...)
Heat a skillet or griddle. If you are using a non-stick surface, you won't need the oil or butter, but butter does help brown the slices and lends a nice flavor. Heat equal portions of butter and oil over medium heat till the butter melts then foams up. Place the soaked bread slices into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes per side, till browned. You can keep the finished french toast in a low oven (250°F / 120°C) while you finish cooking the rest. Add more butter and oil to the pan as needed.
Serve the french toast sprinkled over with powdered sugar, to taste. You can also serve it with jam, preserves, and syrup, as desired. Serves 8.
Dex never had children (at least that he knew of!) but he liked them, and would make somewhat healthy kid versions of adult drinks, so that the kids would feel grown up coming to Dex's Diner. One such concoction mixed fruit juice, lemon-lime soda, and a splash of milk -- depending on the juice you use, it's a bit reminiscent of the blue milk Luke drank in Ep4. Anakin loved the potion -- do you suppose that's where Luke got his predilection???
Peekaboo Berry Tarte
Hermione Bagwa was the daughter of a miner who befriended Dex when the Besalisk was still working the trade, and Dex had promised Bagwa he'd look after his daughter. As noted, Dex had no children -- except for Hermione. It warmed his hearts when she developed a crush on his favorite Jedi, Obiwan Kenobi. Rather than discouraging the union, knowing that "a Jedi shall know not love," he let her find her own way through her emotional tangle. That included teaching Hermione how to make a nut-encrusted berry tarte, so that she could invite the handsome Jedi for a late night caf and pie date. She sent the invitation and nervously prepared the dough and the jam filling. And rather than the plain top crust Dex showed her how to make, Hermione fidgetted with strips of dough to make a decorative "peekaboo" lattice top, which hid and showed the berry filling within in an artful manner. Appropriate for two shy humans who really shouldn't have been meeting late at night!
Heat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Roll out the three-quarters of the pastry (put the portion you aren't using back into the refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap while you're busy with the other pieces) to fit two 9-inch / 22-cm cake pans (the dough should come almost an inch up the sides), or into 10 4-inch / 10-cm tart shells. Fill the centers with the berry preserves -- about 1 tablespoon for the smaller tart shells, about ½ cup for the larger pie sized shells.
Roll out the remaining dough and cut into strips -- the width depends on whether you are using large or small tart pans. Criss-cross these strips across the top. (It's okay if you just lay them down one way, then the other, but you might want to try a basket-weave pattern.) Cut the edges of the strips level with the edge of the tart, and press a bit to join them. If you'd like a shiny top, beat the last (optional) egg and brush over the top crust. Bake for 1 hour for the larger tartes, and 35 minutes for the smaller, till the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool in the baking pan on a wire rack. When completely cook, unmold from the pan onto a cakeplate or individual dessert plates. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired. Serves 10 or so.
Brewing Caf: Drip or Cowboy
Dex had a loyal clientele who were positively "addicted" to his food, and mean-spirited competitors complained that Dex put "substances" in his food and beverages to incite this response. He always denied it, and in truth, it was simply that he did things properly. Take this caf, for instance -- the secret? Fresh beans, pure water, and a clean pot. Dex had told this to Anakin, too, when the young lad asked why his caf was so good and the Temple's so nasty? It was up to Anakin to figure out on what part of this formula the Temple was stinting. The young Padawan sighed that it seemed EVERYONE was trying to teach him something!
1) Filter Drip -- place ground coffee (medium grind) in a filter set in a cone or basket and pour boiling water over them just to soak. Wait a few seconds till you smell the aroma of coffee. Put the serving amount of coffee evenly over the grounds and allow to drip through into your cup.
2) Cowboy -- place finely ground coffee in a heat-proof bottle or pot, then pour all at once over the grounds. Cover and allow to steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Strain the coffee through a coffee filter-and-cone or basket, or a very fine sieve. Or if you let the grounds settles to the bottom of the pot or jar, you can "decant" the liquid coffee by pouring it carefully out into your serving cup. This is a variation on the "french press" method.
Coffee can be served with milk or half-and-half coffee cream, and sugar. Try coffee with brown or Demarara sugar!
Brewing Tea for the Future
More than good caf, Obiwan enjoyed a tisane -- a brew of dried leaves or flowers or spices steeped in boiling hot water. It's easy to make, but also easy to do badly. Diner owner Dex explained the process to Anakin, who remembered his mother doing the same on Tatooine. Water wasn't rare on Coruscant as it had been on Tatooine, but Anakin still felt the hot brew was magical whenever he prepared it for his master. Many years later, Obiwan would remember the care with which is former Padawan prepared this brew for him whenever he prepared the tea as Anakin had taught it to him. It was a good memory in a terrible time, when Obiwan was sequestered on Anakin's home planet, watching after Anakin's young son ...
Devaronian-shire Cream Tea: Cream Scones with Double-Thick Cream and Jira's Strawberries Jam
If Anakin was in trouble with the Council, he learned to seek forgiveness from his master Obiwan by serving him a simple, profound snack: a Devaronian-shire 'cream tea,' which was a scone, cream, and jam served with a small pot of very hot tea. He'd lay the carefully arranted tray beside his master as Obiwan sat meditating. Obiwan could "wake up" to the smell of the perfect, tender scones, and the little pots of thick cream and strawberry jam his Padawan had made all by himself. Anakin learned to make this special conserve from Jira, the old fruit seller he'd befriended on Tatooine. She grew delicate fruits in damp caves deep within Beggar's Canyon, and she'd give the ones that didn't sell and were too ripe to make to to the next day to Anakin, simply because he was a good boy who helped her when she needed it. With only a minimum of water, his mother Shmi would make the quick jam in the microwave cooker, so as not to add heat to their apartment. Remembering the formula, Anakin made it for his master, who found its flavor more intense and berry-like than even the berries themselves. Imbibing in this decadent treat -- split the warm scone, add a dollop of jam, and a dollop of cream -- it was impossible to remain angry at his Padawan. As he bit down on the delicious peace offering, he'd sigh, wondering what the future held for his troublesome, precocious, brilliant, talented Padawan.
Add the remaining sugar and stir until it's dissolved. Return to the microwave uncovered and heat on high power for about 20 minutes, stopping the oven regularly and stirring down the mixture. Watch out -- it's hot and the mixture can overflow the container if it's too small!
Test for setting -- place about 2 teaspoons of liquid onto a cold plate and allow to cool. The jam is set when the cooled jam forms a skin which wrinkles when the plate is tipped sideways. Makes about 2½ pints. Bottle and preserve using the hot water method, or place in containers and keep in the refrigerator until you want them.
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