Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Memorial Lunchbox
by Susu & Rosie

A party was just the thing to celebrate the beginning of the end of the wars that engulfed the galaxy following the Emperor's death. But before the festive food could be laid out, a big man showed up during cocktails, and moved straight for Corran. The man told Corran that he had a message for him ... but he couldn't remember his own name. The Rogue recognized him immediately; it was none other than Urlor Sette, who protected Corran and helped him escape from the Lusankya, Ysanne Isard's prison ship. Corran greeted him with amazement, and the big man looked relieved as his name was pronounced. But then, blood started to gout from every orifice.

Corran saying the prisoner's name triggered a bomb implanted within Sette that released a neurotoxin, evicerating him from the inside. This was the "message": Isard, who was believed to have been killed while escaping Thyferra, was alive! The festivities halted immediately while Sette's body was taken by Intel for analysis.

But what happened to the untouched, unserved food? It had been made especially for the party, and many individuals had contributed specific and sentimental offerings. It was boxed up by the conscientious catering staff -- none other than the Mon Cal cooks from Home One -- who delivered them as takeaway "lunchbox" style meals during the small memorial service and meeting that was held soon after Sette had died. It was a somber event, but seeing the party food cheered many of them up -- they wouldn't be missing the fare after all! There was one or two of each of the delectable titbits in every box, making for a fine assortment of flavors. The Mon Cals had really done a nice job of presentation.

Wedge Antilles stood and addressed the gathering, "How fortunate are we now, being able to eat party fare during a funeral mass, surrounded by family and friends? How fortunate are we, that we are in a position to save those who are prevented from doing something so simple, yet so indulgent?" He announced that they would go after the Lusankya prisoners and bring them home, at long last. "These lunchboxes, filled with rich party fare, represent many things -- imprisoned minds and bodies, encapsulated joy, the normalcy we hope to attain someday soon. Remember Urlor Sette, and every brave, abused, and sacrificed life. Never forget what we fight for, nor for whom we fight."

Menu: Devils on Banthaback | Asparagus Rolls | Mini Turkey, Cranberry, Cream Cheese on Rye | Home One Meatballs | Biscuit Melts | Home One Ryshcate | Sweet Potato & Pear Cheesecake Bars | Nut Pies

Devils on Banthaback
If you squint very hard, these roundish snacks could be banthas on the gallop, speared by a toothpick to goad them forward. If you are lucky, they are heading for your mouth! These are very popular, and you should feel free to replace the prunes with other small, bite-sized edibles, like oysters, scallops, apricots, waterchestnuts ... you get the idea! Don't overcook them -- they shouldn't burn. Everyone loves these and the smell drives people wild. Booster Terrik sometimes makes these and pumps the fragrance into the ventilation shafts, so that guests arriving on the Errant Venture would smell it and become ravenous. His people made sure to point them to the expensive restaurants on the ship!
  • about 1 lb/450 g prunes, pitted
  • toothpicks
  • 1 lb/450 g streaky bacon
Heat the oven to 400°F/190°C. In a bowl, pour hot water over the toothpicks (one for each prune) so that they don't burn so quickly in the hot oven. Cut the bacon in half, crosswise. Take a strip of bacon, place the prune on one end of it, and roll the prune within the bacon, then secure with a toothpick. Place on a foil- or parchment paper-lined baking pan, or a lightly greased broiler pan. Cook for about 10 minutes if you like soft bacon, about 20 minutes if you prefer it crisper. Do not leave in the oven for too long. The prunes have a high sugar content and could easily scorch and burn; sometimes it ends up looking "tarry" -- so watch carefully! (You will not be able to get ultracrisp "crumbly" bacon without charring the prunes!)

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Asparagus Rolls
You MUST use canned asparagus for this recipe. Fresh or freshly poached will simply not do. The vegetable has to be infused with brine and vinegar enough so it practically mashes on the bread. And the bread must be white and crustless. The humans didn't think it sounded any good, but Khe-Jeen Slee, an Issori pilot with the Rogues, had guaranteed it was good. On his planet, every child was precious -- babies were conceived ceremonially, with the father sprinkling his "packet" over the egg, placed on a pedestal (all recorded with holos!) -- and spoiled, and this treat was universally demanded by the hatchlings. From a child's point of view, they are certainly appealing -- a piece of bread rolled around an asparagus spear, rather then the ubiquitous stacked sandwich. Those who tried it declared it delicious. Both kids and adults loved it!

  • 1 loaf of sliced white sandwich bread, crusts cut off
  • butter, softened for spreading
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 can of asparagus spears, drained
  • toothpicks
With a rolling pin, gently roll over a slice of bread, so it's squashed down to about half it's original width, and less airy that before. Butter it thinly, all the way to the edges. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if you like. Take an asparagus spear (it will fall apart if you handle it badly ... drain and "de-can" the spears onto a plate and pick them up with something wide, like a spatula, or hold the stem-end carefully with your fingers). Place it diagonally on one corner of the bread and roll it up to toward the opposite corner. Spear with a toothpick and place on a platter. Repeat with remaining asparagus and bread. Makes about 20 rolls.

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Mini Turkey, Cranberry, Cream Cheese on Rye
These are fun, with the flavor and feel of a hearty sandwich, but in 1/8th scale. Meaning you can likely eat eight times as many! The ingredients were supplied by the 'droid Emtrey, who is a superlative scavenger, as well as the quartermaster for Rogue Squadron. He's also a great "waste not, want not" type of trader and he found it a simple enough task to buy super-tart fruit and make a relish out of it for trading and use by the squadron, or super-enhanced, sometimes misshapen poultry that no normal family could ever want to eat, or spoiled milk to be made into cheese. He was also a cheapskate (and proud of it) and would slice bread for sandwiches so thinly that it was merely a suggestion of bread. Emtrey is the only being who could feed the whole squadron with just one loaf of bread. And yet they all enjoyed the results, and even came to prefer their sandwiches cut that way!

  • 1 loaf cocktail rye bread, sliced thinly
  • cream cheese, softened
  • turkey meat, sliced thinly (leftovers are fine)
  • cranberry sauce
Spread cream cheese on one side of each rye bread sandwich slices. Spread cranberry sauce on half of the slices, then layer turkey slices over them. Top with the other slice of bread. Press down and cut on a diagonal. If you wish, skewer with a toothpick to keep the sandwich together during serving. One diagonal per serving.

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Home One Meatballs
The New Republic flagship, Home One, is a Mon Calamari cruiser operated by Mon Cals. The humidity is very high and the air is warm, but in deference to the other beings on board, there are zones that visitors would find more comfortable. Equally considerate of alien and human diets, the cafeteria attempted to have a range of foods for all the many beings. But humans, the offering was always some sort of ground meat. It was eventually discovered that the Mon Cal had no clue how to make meatballs, so they just bought them in huge industrial-sized vats and boiled them up in buckets of sauce (per the instructions on the packages)! It sounds really scary, but it's actually rather good, and the human pilots like it a lot.
    You can buy pre-made frozen meatballs, or make your own:
  • 3 lb/1.25 kg ground beef/hamburger
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons powdered allspice or grated nutmeg
Combine the ingredients in a large bowl. Form into bite-size balls, and put into a baking tray. Bake at 375°F/170°C for about 25 minutes, or till browned. Remove from the pan (leaving melted-out fat behind) and simmer in hot sauce till ready to serve.

    Human's Favorite Sauce
  • 4 cups tomato chili sauce (not Chinese, more like Heinz)
  • 1 cup grape jelly
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Put all ingredients into a large saucepan and heat on medium, stirring well. When the jelly melts, its hot enough to receive the cooked meatballs. Serve in the sauce, if you wish, but beware -- this sauce stains!

At a party, serve these in a crockpot to keep them warm and bubbly, or skewer with toothpicks and place on a platter. Make sure there are napkins!

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Biscuit Melts
Corran actually created this meal starter from leftovers. Wedge and Qui Xux had flown to Yavin 4 to resupply the Jedi Academy; Qui was not used to space rations, so Wedge made sure to bring other food, but unfortunately, she didn't like those either. Thus, there was a case of leftover baking powder biscuits, bags of cheese, and lots of freeze-dried chicken-like substance. Corran snagged them -- he loved biscuits -- but serving them as is seemed kind of cheesy. Hmn ... cheesy ... And thus were born open-face sandwiches with melted cheese! (If you don't have biscuits on hand, English muffins or even regular bread will do.) It was a popular offering at any Rogue or Jedi party.

  • chicken, cooked, chopped, or canned tuna, flaked
  • mayonnaise
  • biscuits, split open
  • Dijon mustard, smooth or grainy
  • tomato, sliced
  • scallions, cross cut thinly
  • sliced cheese
Heat the oven to 400°F/190°C. In a bowl, blend together the chicken and mayonnaise to taste.

Spread mustard on each biscuit half, stack a tomato slice, a little pile of chopped chicken or tuna, then sprinkle with some scallions, then top with a slice of cheese. On a foil- or parchment paper-lined baking sheet, place the open-faced sandwiches. Place in the oven till the cheese is melted and a bit bubbly.

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Home One Ryshcate
The Mon Cal cooks couldn't really understand how to prepare food for other species -- and who could blame them -- so relied on ready-made preparations and rations to feed the various beings on board, as mentioned before. One thing the Mon Cals really didn't understand was cake or baked goods in general. In the humidity they preferred, cake simply would not have survived. It would have fallen apart or gone moldy.

One cake that didn't collapse was a sturdy ryshcate, densely populated with dried fruit that actually benefited from the humidity. The traditional Corellian offering was heavily doused with alcohol, preserving it further. Han Solo was the one who gave this recipe to the cooks; it was a very simple one he learned from Mala, the Wookiee who saved him when he was a young man. It keeps pretty well, with or without a healthy sprinkling of Whyrren's reserve!

  • 1 lb./450 g mixed dried fruit (such as: raisins, figs, cranberries, strawberries, dates, or any other dried fruit)
  • ½ lb./275 g maraschino cherries, drained well
  • ½ cup hot water or sherry
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey or golden syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon whiskey or bourbon (optional)
Heat the oven to 325°F/145°C, and grease and flour an 8-inch square baking pan. Put the fruit in a small bowl and pour the hot water or sherry over it, then set aside to steep and cool. Cream the butter, sugar and syrup together, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add one-third of the flour mixture into the butter and combine well, then one-third of the fruit mixture, and mix well. Repeat, making three additions each of flour and fruit, alternating them.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Level the top, making sure the thick batter gets into the corners. Bake for 90 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve hot or cooled to room temperature. If you wish, sprinkle whiskey or bourbon over the cake while it's still hot -- this will help prevent the cake from cracking. Makes about 20 servings.

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Sweet Potato & Pear Cheesecake Bars
Growing up as she did, Inyri Forge had never had much in the way of dairy products till she started dating Zekka Thyne while still on Kessel. Though a prisoner, he was very well connected and could receive small luxury items. In general had a better time of it than other prisoners. Inyri got a few crumbs of a dairy pie that was sent to him on his birthday, and it haunted her. She started fantasizing about this thing called a cheesecake, about how it should taste, it's texture and color. After Thrawn's death, when the Rogues finally got some leave time, Inyri at last tried making some of her fantasy cheesecakes. Being so unfamiliar with dairy products, Inyri wasn't acquainted with some of the more common properties of cheese or cream, such as color or texture. In the poor light in the prison, she thought the cake was orange, so the fantasy cake she'd created in her mind was quite orange in color. And perhaps because of the dampness of the Kessel mines, she remembered the cake as somewhat earthy tasting, with a cake-like crust, rather than the crumbly crusts commonly found in cheesecake. In addition, there seemed to be a hint of orchard fruit -- it's possible Thyne's plate had been garnished with it, but Inyri wanted it IN her cheesecake, sandwiched between fluffy layers. After many attempts, she finally got it to match her dreams, and she made several large ones for the party. To her delight, the cake kept well, and was even better served sometime later in the lunchboxes.

  • 1 pound cake or sponge cake, cut into thin slices
  • 24 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 sweet potato or yam, baked, peeled, mashed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg, freshly grated, or ground cinnamon
  • 2 large pears, peeled and sliced (sprinkle over with lemon juice to prevent browning on exposure to air)
Heat the oven to 350°F/160°C. Lightly grease the bottom of a 9" x 13" pan with the pound cake slices, allowing them to overlap a bit so the filling doesn't end up at the bottom of the pan. Press firmly and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar till light. Add the sweet potato mash and mix very well, then pour in the eggs and heavy cream; again, mix well. Stir in the extract and nutmeg, the pour half the mixture into the pan, over the cake slices. Layer the pear slices flat on top of the batter, then pour over the rest of the batter. Bake for about an hour, or until the custard is set, but still wobbly in the center. Allow to cool overnight, then cut with a damp knife into bars. This cake is very moist and kind of "fluffy," so be careful when serving. Yields about 24 servings.

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Nut Pies
Gavin Darklighter grew up on a small holding on Tatooine, one of many, many children. His father, Jula, had purchased the Lars farm, undercutting Huff Darklighter -- the father of Biggs, and Gavin's uncle. Still, the brothers were close in their way. Huff, a wealthy food merchant, grew fruit and nut trees on his enormous holding, in broad channels dug into the sand. He bought water at a cut rate from local farmers, using it for his extensive hydroponic gardens. Huff generously allowed Jula's family to forage and harvest a portion of the crop; he grew more than his family could consume or trade, and it pleased him to think that his brother's family depended on him.

One of Gavin's fondest memories was his mother and her sister (who was also Huff's third wife) preserving nuts. They would usually dry the pods, but some were encased in a sugary gel and could be eaten as a sort of confit. But his favorite way to eat it was as a pie, with the gel and nut mixture simply dumped into a pie crust and baked.

Gavin told his fiancée, Asyr Sei'lar, about the pies late one night, when they were sharing childhood memories. They had discussed adopting children, and were talking about their upbringings, so that they could understand one another's priorities and expectations. As a gesture to indicate she understood him, Asyr decided to make the nut pie for Gavin, but she misunderstood the size of the Darklighter clan -- the pies made by Gavin's mother were enormous, enough to feed the twenty or so people in the extended family. Because they were talking about children, Asyr interpreted the pies to be smaller, about palm-sized or smaller. She presented a tray of bite-sized pie-lets at the "post-Thrawn" party. Gavin was startled, and Asyr thought she had messed up. To prove she hadn't, he stole pies from every other lunchbox, and made a feast of them. He loved that in this way, he got more crunchy pastry to eat!

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 1 cup broken up pecans
  • 4 tablespoons butter (½ stick), melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the flour and sugar, then rub int the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Knead the dough till it holds together as a ball. Cut the dough into 16 portions. Grease a muffin tray and press each dough portion into the cup, along the bottom and up the sides. Divide the nut meats equally into all the tins. Place the prepared tray in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 375°F/170°C. Combine the melted butter, egg, brown sugar and vanilla until the mixture is goopy and smooth. Spoon filling into each muffin cup, not quite full. Bake for about 20 miutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is puffy. Remove the pies from the hot tray and place on a wire rack to cool. Makes 16 pies.

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