Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Vaporator-Foraged Mushroom Stew
by Runt & SuSu

Cliegg Lars told Anakin that his mother was abducted by the Sand People on her way home from collecting mushrooms that would grow nightly on the vaporators. The troublesome condensers leaked moisture, and opportunistic fungus spores would home in on the relative wetness and would grow rapidly, overnight. Shmi had to collect them before they bloomed and withered in the morning light of the burning suns. Thus she would have be out in the "wilderness" when it was dark. She never would have seen the Raiders approach her.

Beru Whitesun made up Shmi's simple mushroom stew for Padmé while Anakin was away searching for his mother. The former Queen of Naboo was impressed, and wished she could see Shmi again, if only to beg forgiveness for not coming back for her 10 years ago, or even letting her know Anakin had been approved for training as a Jedi Knight. Alas, when Anakin came back to the Lars farm, he carried Shmi's lifeless body with him.

Padmé's guilt at losing her chance to thank the woman who had given everything she had away -- to Padmé's benefit -- sat heavily with her. It later contributed to her confession to Anakin on Geonosis, for now she understood the transience of life, and the horror of lost opportunities.

  • 5 lbs. mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. bacon, cubed or chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 cooked ears of corn, kernels cut off the cob, or two 12 oz. cans kernel corn
  • 1 to 2 cups milk
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • loaf of stale bread
  • olive oil
  • garlic clove, sliced in half
In a soup pot, dump the chopped mushrooms, put the lid on, and cook over very low heat on the stove. Stir occasionally. The mushrooms will cook, exuding their juice. When the mushrooms take on a darkish color and is swimming in its juice, remove from the heat.

In another pot, cook the bacon, rendering the fat and crisping up the meaty bits. Add the chopped onion and sauté in the bacon fat. When translucent, sprinkle the flour over the onions and bacon and cook with stirring till the flour is lightly browned and doesn't seem raw.

A couple of ladlefuls at a time, add the mushroom juice. Stir in the flour mixture till the mixture is thickened, then add more juice. The mixture will need to at least simmer for the thickening to work. When the mushrooms and their juice are completely incorporated, stir in the corn. (If you use canned kernel corn, feel free to add the water from the can to the soup.) Thin with milk, as desired, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Depending on the flavor the mushrooms have, you may not need any salt or pepper.

To make croûtons, slice bread. If you are using a French or Italian loaf, try cutting it on the diagonal -- it's pretty. Brush with olive oil and the cut edge of a clove of garlic. Place upside down on a baking sheet or cookie tray lined with foil, and toast under the broiler. Watch them carefully, they'll burn quickly! When browned on one side, flip the croutons over and brown on the other side, again taking care not to burn them. Serve with soup.

Makes a complete meal for 4!

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