Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Queen of the Ball Pasta and Veggie Salad
by Susu

Lieutenant Soontir Fel graduated salutatorian in his class at the Imperial Academy on Carida. His family could not afford the inter-system fare to attend the ceremony, but they'd watched him via holovideo and he knew they were proud of him.

As is traditional, the new graduates were sent home before they reported to their new assignments. Many had not been home the whole time they were at the Academy, and they looked forward to the month-long hiatus.

Soontir was repeatedly questioned by his mother about what foods she should prepare for his brief holiday at home. In truth, he craved everything, but she had pressed him a number of times, and he came up with "fresh vegetable and pasta salad," thinking it would be enough work to keep her from asking again.

The day he returned to Corellia, he was greeted at the spaceport by his whole family, close friends, neighbors, even Ivr Drop, the capo of the agro-combine the Fels worked and lived on. There were an unusual number of young girls there, too. He didn't think anything of it at the time.

Of course, when he got home, his mother sat him down in the kitchen and put a big platter of cookies and candies in front of him with a large glass of his favorite milk. THEN, she let the bomb drop. She'd circulated holos of Soontir from his graduation to all the girls in the agro-combine and announced a pasta salad contest. Soontir would be the sole judge ... as well as the prize! The winner would have Soontir as her date to the harvest dance that weekend!

"Motherrrrr!" wailed a horrified Lt. Fel, suddenly no more than a child again. "How could you! How humiliating, to be put forth like so much graded manure!!"

"It's just one dance, dear," his mother replied, calmly, "Besides, I agreed to this contest as a favor for the Rams, who needed it to promote their section. And Celiat said she'd arrange for her daughter Clarinna to go to the prom as Todr's date! I know he's told you how crazy he is about her ..."

"You sold me so that my kid brother could have a date to the prom?" Even in his shock, Soontir never stopped munching the cookies.

"Besides that, remember you're the judge. If you like the girl, you can choose HER salad as the winner."

Soontir snorted, "I don't do things like that, mother!"

She smiled at her boy, "I know, I'm just teasing,dear. You'll choose the best salad, and you'll dance with the girl long enough to weedle her recipe out of her."

Soontir sighed. He silently wondered if all mothers were so manipulative, and were so used to getting their way.

He did get the recipe -- it took him only one dance, so simple was the formula -- which she got it from her Uncle Bert, a well-known chef. But the gentleman that he was, he danced with her the whole time, kissed her good night, then ran home to polish off the remains of her winning salad.

Here's the winner! (And she was gorgeous -- she was voted Queen of the Ball!)

  • 1 lb. ziti noodles (or penne, rigatoni, rotini, farfalle)
  • 2 medium green peppers, cored, seeded, chopped roughly
  • 2 medium tomatoes, ripe, chopped roughly
  • 1 medium sweet onion, like vidalia, maui, or a red onion, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 6 - 12 sweet gherkins, chopped, according to taste
  • large handful of dill tops, chopped
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup pickle juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 packet G. Washington Bouillon powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Boil the pasta in lots of hot water until al dente tender and rinse quickly with cold water to stop cooking. Place in a very large bowl.

Make the sauce by mixing together milk, sour cream, mayonnaise, pickly juice, dill and bouillon powder. Blend very well and pour over the pasta. Dump the chopped vegetables in. Then with your hands, fold everything together till blended well. Be careful not to tear the pasta.

Serve chilled. Refrigerate leftovers.

Makes a lot. Probably 10 servings. Variation: Instead of pasta, boil, peel and slice new potatoes and use in place of pasta, for a great potato salad. Try to use a waxy potato. If you use a floury one, increase the amount of sauce.

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