Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Welcome for Uncle Tycho!
by Susu, Csillag, Jysella

The Organa-Solo children wanted to do something special for their Aunt Winter. She had married Colonel Tycho Celchu, formerly of Rogue Squadron. They discussed giving a gift to her among themselves, but in the end it was young Anakin who pointed out, "The best gift is for us to welcome our new uncle." It was agreed, but how to do it?

Jaina was excited about throwing a holomovie-elegant dinner party for the woman who had looked after them as infants, putting aside her own personal happiness to care for their mother Leia and her needs. Jacen offered to get C3PO to do the cooking, but she stopped him. "It has to come from *us*. It has to be personal, not something a 'droid can do!"

But they hadn't really learned how to cook a full dinner. They could subsist on survival rations, of course, and were capable of making nursery foods like instant pudding or warming up milk. They decided to go to one other person closest to them who was not family to ask for help, and thus they ended up under the Millennium Falcon talking to their father's first mate, Chewbacca.

[You should make what you have confidence in,] he barked at them, [this meal has to come from you. Why don't you just list the things you like, then the things you know how to cook, and I'll bet that will turn out to be a heck of a menu.] The big wookiee wuffled, which served as a giggle.

It sounded logical and reasonable, and so they made up a menu of foods they liked, but which Jaina though was "elegant" and "glamorous" enough to serve as wedding gift and a welcome to their new uncle all in one. (They were sure to invite Chewbacca to the party. "We need you to make an even six," they insisted! It was a line their own mother had used often enough on their Uncle Luke, when she was in need of another gentleman to escort a lady to one of many official government dinners. Children do mimic their elders, after all.)

They got permission from their aunt to use her quarters for the dinner. She and Tycho were away on their honeymoon during the preparations, and Winter thought it was sweet that the children were keen to make her husband feel welcomed into the family. They had known Tycho all their lives, but somehow, being married to their aunt was different! For one, it was an excuse for a big party. For another, they got to eat just what they liked.

They did make a tremendous mess in the kitchen, which Chewbacca and C3PO were sure to make sure the kids cleaned up as they went. They all whined about it, but it did save time by not creating a huge pile of dishes and pots at the end of the evening. They had enough time to rummage through the china cabinets and silverware boxes to set the table.

They found an Alderaanian hand-embroidered damask which their mother had received as a gift from the Alderaanian Forum, and Leia allowed them to give it to Winter. They didn't realize that it needed to be pressed before being used. Otherwise, all the wrinkles would show; oh well ... it was the thought that counted!

They also found dishes with an unusual flower pattern, which they were surprised to learn belonged to Tycho. But when set on the snowy white cloth, they seemed to sink into the table, so Chewbacca took Jaina to a housewares store, where she claimed she had seen the perfect "chargers," or underplates. To everyone's surprise, she had been right: the dark red translucent plates offset Tycho's dishes perfectly.

When the newlyweds came home, they beheld the formally set table with special crystal candlesticks Anakin found in another box (at least, he hoped they were candlesticks). It all made Tycho feel he was indeed with family. He hadn't seen the table set like that since before he'd joined the Imperial military academy. The plates may have been his, but the food spoke of his new family, and it was a memorable and very special feast.

Rarebit with Cut Veggies and Toast
Growing kids love cheese, especially melted onto a toasty fried bread and served warm. They really love fondue, as it's both tasty and social. By making a thick cheese sauce, the best part of melted cheese could be had but it was more stable and could be poured over all manner of vegetables. Best of all to young eyes, the sauce has beer in it, how cool and grown-up is that??

Cold, crisp veggies and crisp toast bathed in hot cheese is something the Solo children could never get enough of, and their mother never minded. Unlike other mothers, she never had any trouble getting the kids to eat their vegetables, as long as she had this cheesy concoction as a dip for them. Even the usually carnivorous Chewbacca liked it, even though it did tend to make a mess of his fur.

Tycho recognized this dish, and it solved a mystery as to why Princess Leia's dinner parties tended to have this cheese sauce — she was having it made to feed her own brood anyway! But it did look very special served in a soup tureen, and he admired the childrens' creativity in using something for a purpose other than its original and formal intention.
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoona Worcestershire sauce
  • salt, to taste (about ½ to 1 teaspoon)
  • black pepper, to taste (about ½ to 1 teaspoon)
  • ¾ cup beer (preferably a dark porter ... but any beer will do — basically any beer dad hasn't finished!)
  • 1 cup milk or cream (more or less, depending how thick you like the sauce)
  • 2 cups grated or shredded or cubed Cheddar cheese
  • hot sauce, to taste (2 or 3 drops, optional)
  • prepared vegetables, peeled and cut into "dipping sized" portions (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, green beans, peppers, etc.)
  • toasty soldiers
In a not-small saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter and add the flour. Mix it together with a whisk till it's well blended, and be careful not to brown it (it will start to smell nutty when it starts to brown — remove it from the heat if this starts to happen). This will take a few minutes.

Add the mustard, Worcestershire, salt and pepper, and keep whisking till it's all blended together. Pour in the beef, continually whisking, till you make a smooth gravy-like sauce. Add the milk and keep whisking. Let the sauce come to the boil so it thickens. Then add the cheese a handful at a time, whisking and letting the cheese melt into the developing sauce before adding more cheese. Keeps whisking, as this will ensure a smooth, non-lumpy sauce. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, and hot sauce if you wish.

Pour over a selection of cut, blanched or vegetables and toast. Serves 6 as an appetizer or side dish, or 2 or 3 for a meal. Serve the rarebit immediately once it's done!

Back to the Menu: Welcoming Uncle Tycho

Toasty Soldiers
The name of this simple dish is Han's fault. Like many fathers, he enjoyed being rough and tumble with his sons and "proper" with his daughter, until he realized that Jaina could kick butt harder than either Jacen or Anakin! She was also impervious to Han's gross-out stories of things he and Chewbacca had eaten on their many adventures. While the boys would squirm noticeably, Jaina would whoop and cheer at every tale of gore Han could dish out. Her favorite bedtime story was about "Imps" who got caught in a firefight and, "Got burnt to a crisp! Out of respect, we lined their bodies down in rows, but they'd gone all stiff and crunchy. You better believe, they were some toasty soldiers!"

Tycho looked carefully at the strips of toasted bread and announced that Han's assessment was wrong — he was fairly certain that burnt Imps did not taste or smell this good. Winter kicked him under the table to shut him up before he could elaborate ... but it didn't stop him from pointing out that the toast being served here ws not toast. "It's more like a bread pudding, you buttered it first before toasting?? It sure ain't toast, wow, but it's good!"

The children ignored him, though Anakin did point out that this pre-buttered toast was very good with cinnamon sugar, too!
  • bread, sliced, crusts not cut off (white, whole wheat, whole grain, rye, pumpernickel, etc.)
  • butter, softened to room temperature or maybe a bit colder
You will need an oven or toaster oven for this preparation. In any case, you can make more in an oven this way than you can with a "toaster" gadget.

Heat the oven to "broil" and check for the largest baking tray that will fit about 6 inches / 15 cm below the broiler flame or heating element. Lay out the bread on the foil-lined baking tray. Place it under the broiler for a few minutes (watch it carefully and constantly) till its as browned as you like it. Remove and turn the slices over — careful, it's hot! Put a pat of butter in the center of each slice and put back under the broiler till the butter is melted and boiling / bubbling and the edges of the bread are browned. Be careful not to burn it! Remove the toast and let it sit for about 30 seconds to let the butter stop bubbling.

Cut the slices in half, so that you have two rectangles of toast to serve with the rarebit. Or you can cut it into quarters as squares, or cut the bread diagonally so you get triangle — this is referred to as toast "points." The taller, thinner slices are called "soldiers."

Toast two slices per person as an appetizer with the rarebit.

Back to the Menu: Welcoming Uncle Tycho

Grilled Chicken Beads
This is one dish the children really loved, and they always begged their mother's protocol 'droid, C3PO, to make it for them. Though the 'droid's memory had been wiped just after Princess Leia had been born, he did retain some memories in the form of what he considered as dreams — if it is possible for a 'droid to dream. He remembered a marinated chicken leg recipe from his past, but has no idea who the woman was who made it, even though he believes he thinks of her fondly. Since the children were small when he first made the dish, he contrived to cut up the meat into small boneless pieces and present it as "beads" on a "necklace" skewer. The children had always been charmed by the idea, and they felt it had to make the menu, the better to show their new uncle something about themselves in their gift choices.

They wanted to do this themselves, so they insisted that C3PO instruct them, rather than making it this time. Chewbacca helped them handle the cooking throughout this whole meal, which made the prissy but caring protocol 'droid less panicky that the Solo children would be playing with fire!

This dish was truly appreciated by Tycho, who told them it reminded him of a dish his mother used to make. In fact, it was almost identical, and the similarity brought tears to his eyes.
  • chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • chicken spice rub mixture
  • soy sauce
Put the chicken thigh pieces into a bowl you can seal (with a lid or plastic wrap). For every cup of chicken pieces, add a tablespoon of spice rub. Toss together till the chicken is coated. Drizzle over with some soy sauce, not so much that the spice rub comes off the chicken — just enough to moisten it a bit. Cover the chicken and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours, or overnight.

Heat the oven to 400°F / 205°C. Using a lasagne pan or a baking dish with sides, line it with foil and place the chicken in it. If you prefer and you have more time, you can thread the chicken onto a skewer and place it on the baking tray. Bake in the oven till it's well-browned and cooked through, about 15 or 20 minutes.

If you've put the meat onto skewers, you can grill these on a barbecue grill. The small pieces of meat aren't likely to fall into the fire this way. Don't try this if you aren't threading the meat together!

Allow for one or two chicken thighs per person, or one or two skewers per person (depending how big the skewers are, etc.)

Back to the Menu: Welcoming Uncle Tycho

Baby-Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
This side dish goes well with red meat, like steak or lamb. But the children were not really interested in good combinations — they were more determined to give Winter and Tycho the best meal they could muster, which meant all "swelegant" stuff THEY really liked. Besides, these looked very pretty on the plates they set out from Tycho's larder.

As for the "baby crab," in our world we call it surimi, or mock-crab. It's sweeter and has a less stringy texture than real crab, and it doesn't come from something that looks like an arachnid! They are, however, made from real fish, just reprocessed, textured, flavored, and colored to resemble crab. This was important for Anakin; though he would eat anything, he PREFERRED "baby crab" over real crab ... not because he thought the real things were gross, but because he would give the creatures names and wouldn't allow the cooks to kill his friends!

Though the others teased Anakin, Tycho defended him, explaining that he never got over the spidery appearance of live crabs. (Winter made a note to include some rubber spiders in his pillow that night.)
  • 24 medium to large mushrooms with stems
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped OR 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • ½ cup finely chopped surimi or mock crab
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil OR melted butter
Pull stems out of mushrooms so there is a nice "bowl" in the mushroom cap for the stuffing to go into. Toss the caps in a bowl with lemon juice or vinager and set aside.

Chop up the mushroom stems quite fine. In a sauté pan, melt the butter and cook the mushroom stems in the butter till the pieces are softened. Remove these from the heat and allow to cool to room temperatures. In a bowl, mix together mushrooms, bread crumbs, parsley, mock crab, half the cheese, egg, salt, and pepper.

Heat the oven to 400°F / 205°C. In a foil-lined baking sheet, place the reserved mushrooms caps, open end upwards. Mound filling into each cap. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, and drizzle with a bit of oil or melted butter. Bake for 15 minutes or until heated through.

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SW-elegant Tower Cake Roll
Jacen used to play with blocks, piling them high, balancing the pile with each cube so though it wasn't perfectly straight, it held. At least until Jaina came through with a flying drop kick! Eventually, Jacen learned the value and use of mortar.

This "cake" recipe is reminiscent of his tower-building exercises, and Winter had created it for him after a particularly fierce battle with his twin after her latest run-by destruction of his architectural efforts. This is where he learned that pudding made a dandy mortar to "glue" the sandwich cookies together. The crunchy chocolate sandwiches would soften so they were actually cake-like. Jacen would cut the cake diagonally to make an unusual layered, striped slice of "cake." It was one tower that Jaina would not destroy, except with her fork.

Tycho was rather startled by the appearance of the cake slice and was fascinated by the provenance. He didn't realize twins could be so adversarial. He felt right at home with the tale though, realizing how much he missed his own siblings, who had died when Alderaan had been destroyed.
  • 1 package (4 oz / 110 g) instant pudding, any flavor
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 cup whipped topping or whipped cream
  • 16 chocolate sandwich cookies (or other flavor)
In a bowl, beat together the milk and pudding powder mix for a minute or so till thickend. Fold in the whipped topping or whipped cream. Put a tablespoon of this mixture between each cookie sandwich and stack them together sideways, so they form and oblong log. "Frost" the log with the remaining pudding. Cover and refrigerate a minimum of overnight, preferably more. When ready to serve, cut this "cake log" diagonally to form 12 lozenge-shaped slices.

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Café Mocha
Having grown up under the eyes of everyone in the galaxy, the Solo children did not have a "normal" childhood. They were expected to behave as adults; at the very least, they were to be seen, but not heard. Most children would have been bored and mischevous; it's not that the Solos were not, but they had learned to accommodate the adults and yet get something out of it for themselves.

Case in point: this "coffee." They would sit at the formal dais table and C3PO, Chewbacca, or Winter would be sure to have this special brew made for them. It made them feel grown up to have this slightly bitter tasting hot drink served to them in the same crystal and porcelain cups as the grown-ups were having their coffee, straight. And Winter and Chewbacca had to admit that the kids' brew was often just what they needed. (Though sweet, Tycho learned to like it, too!)

They served it in a pot rather than mixing the powder in the cup, as it usually done in informal situations. Just another way to make the beverage extra special.
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate milk powder or hot cocoa mix
  • 1 cup hot coffee
Mix together the chocolate milk powder of cococa mix with hot coffee in a pitcher or mug, depending how many servings you wish to make. Stir or whisk togethr so there are no lumps.

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