Winning the Girl
Menu: The Actor's Glamorous Grilled Tuna | The Surgeon's Smoked Sturgeon with Grilled Potatoes | The General's Grilled Ginger Peaches | The Girl's Fruit Dacquiri
While on a post-holiday idyll on Borleais, Ton and Face drank too much and seemed to make themselves as offensive as possible to everyone. Squadronmates noticed that the men were particularly cranky whenever they were within eye- or ear-shot of Kell and Tyria, who had become a couple in rather an annoying manner. Knowing that the other two men had had their eyes on Tyria, the two aliens simply assumed it was a case of being sore losers in that battle.
But what to do about it? One day, the two men were talking animatedly about a girl they'd seen. In the beach community they were staying in, there were outdoor showers, wrapped on three sides with lattice screening, on which a flowering vine grew, providing privacy. The fourth side backed onto a wall that carried the plumbing and drainage. However, the material that constructed the wall had rotted away somewhat, and it was sometimes possible to get surreptitious peeks through the holes at the occupants within.
This girl staying at the holiday park was showering at night, but if one used night vision apparatus, you could see in the dark. Apparently unaware she could be observed, she bathed under the moonlight and Ton and Faced had seen her body!
She was beautiful and petite, with long, flowing hair. Her body was in stark contrast to Tyria's, which was trim and lean; this girl was stockier, voluptuous and sensual. She took a long time under the taps, and really seemed to enjoy the water flowing over her body. She exuded confidence, even in the process of washing the lather off her body ...
The two men took to talking about how they would proposition the girl; they'd do it to spite Tyria and Kell, as well as to calm their raging desire. But who would get the girl? First, they challenged each other to a drinking endurance contest, then to an arm wrestling bout. When that degraded to a fist fight, Runt and Piggy broke them apart and took them back to barracks.
Kell had witnessed the progression, and understood that his friends were jealous of his success with Tyria, and wanted to help. He wouldn't offer his girlfriend to them, of course, but he could help them find girls for themselves. Also, he knew they were a bit bored, so he thought by giving them a project, they'd be less self-destructive. He discussed this idea with Lieutenant Janson, second in command. He saw Wes trying not to laugh out loud, but that wasn't usual, and he didn't think anything of it. He did ask the Lieutenant not to go after the woman himself, and the man collapsed in hysterical giggling ....
They alloted a budget, fired up grills for each man, and they split into teams to help them. Wes promised that he and Wedge Antilles would keep an eye on the woman so that she didn't see the happenings on the beach. Come time for judging, she'd be presented with the dishes, and the ones she likes best would earn the cook the right to date her!
Since they were in a seaside town, seafood would be the theme. May the best man win!
The Actor's Glamorous Grilled Tuna
Face Loran was a former child movie star, and knew the value of glamour. He decided to sober up and think about how to make this dish have sexy "eye appeal" -- so that he would win her over even before she tasted the meal. Of course, he chose simple cooking techniques -- almost no-brainer, no-fail recipes. A lot of steps, but all simple, and worth it for the "ta-dah!" factor.
Face waited nervously as his plate was carried by the Lieutenant to the officer's lounge where the lady had been sequestered. Wes reported back to Face that the lady gasped when she saw the plate piled high with colorful grilled vegetables and couldn't stop ooh-ing and ahh-ing at it! She appreciated the simple flavors, too, and she had to be reminded that another dish was coming, so as not to fill herself up! Face smiled over these results, and needled Ton, who's dish was served next.
When ready to cook, the coals should be covered in white ash. Oil the rack well, and place the steaks over the fire. Cover the grill and cook till lightly browned on one side, then turn over and cook another few minutes. Try the tuna rare (about 2 to 5 minutes per side, depending on thickness), but cook to your liking. Don't overcook, or you'll dry out the fish.
2) Boil the green beans in water and remove them with tongs when done. Place into a bowl of ice water to set their color and stop them from cooking further. Do not toss out the water yet.
3) In the pot of water you cooked your beans, boil the potatoes till fork-tender. Drain well and put back int he pot with a lid over it to keep it warm. Toss with butter if you like.
4) Grill the asparagus for about a minute, then roll it about a quarter or third of a turn. When done, remove with tongs and keep warm.
The Surgeon's Smoked Sturgeon with Grilled Potatoes
The former surgeon knew his way around a fish, and had not problem about filleting the many fish used in this competition. Not only would they be feeding the lady on whom both men had their eye, but the Wraiths who helped and watched had to be fed, too. Ton, happy to have a mission, good-naturedly cut up the tuna for Face, too.
Ton had found a source of clean, dry hardwood chips. He tried soaking them and putting them over the hot coals of the barbeque. They emitted huge quantities of hot, sweet-smelling smoke; he had heard about cooking with this smoke, rather than over direct heat. A strong-tasting, heavy-oil fish like salmon, tuna or bluefish would be able to take on the flavor of the smoke and still retain it's identity. Ton decided that novelty and rich flavors might win over a woman so interested in food. How did he know she was a foodie? He was impressed by her curves ...
Wedge brought the plate of grilled potatoes, salad and smoked sturgeon (he decided since he was a surgeon, that a surgeon's sturgeon would be memorable, and might give him an edge in the competition) fillet to the woman, and reported back that she moaned in a most becoming manner at the first bite. She declared the complex smokiness to be a perfect counterpoint to the fish, and she really loved the potatoes, too! She admitted the simplicity of this presentation was just as appealing as the artfulness of the previous one. Here was a problem -- the two very different dishes were wonderful in and of themselves, and she just couldn't decide!
Soak the wood chips in water while your barbeque grill heats up. Remove the rack cover it in foil. Poke holes in the oil to let the smoke through, then oil the foil by brushing on oil with a clean, dry brush or a wad of paper towel. When the coals are covered with white ash, put the damp wood chips over them, then quickly put the fish on the foil-lined rack and place the rack onto the grill. Cover the grill for about 5 to 10 minutes. The fish is done with it's firm to the touch and they are opaque -- it doesn't take long! Don't walk away from the grill! Remove from the grill with a large spatula and serve immediately. If you have leftovers, chill them and eat with salad fixings or with cream cheese on bread.
Serves 8 to 16.
The General's Grilled Ginger Peaches
When Wedge reported the woman's indecision, the group realize they had no tie-breaker planned. They were wondering how to break the deadlock, when General Han Solo showed up. Wedge and Wes run out to meet him before he got too close to the group and the Wraiths watched the three of them talking, then the general broke into a smile. The senior officer held up a bag he was carrying and Wedge nodded, then ordered the Wraiths to clear out. Wes herded them into a tapcaf, smiling merrily, and they sat with their noses pressed up into the transparasteel so they could watch Wedge and Han pull things out of the bag and place them on the grill. After a few minutes, the items were put on a plate and Wedge carried it into the officer's lounge.
Boil water and immerse the peaches for a minute. Remove them from the hot water and refresh in a cold ice water bath. Dry off the fruit, then cut in half along the axis, then peel the skins off, starting from the stem side. (Starting from the other side results in a rough surface to the peeled peach.) Place on a pie pan, cut side up, and poke holes in the pit holes. Fill the holes with ginger syrup or wine or sherry and place on the grill or in the oven. When the liquid reduces and the peaches exude juice and soften, remove from the heat. Serves 8.
The Girl's Fruit Dacquiri
The Wraiths, especially Ton and Face, wondered what was going on, and they tried to pump Lieutenant Janson for information. He kept smiling and ordering more lomin for them all. Not ones to look a gift nuna in the wattles, they sipped and ruminated. Eventually, as the sky grew dark, they lost sight of the officer's lounge, but Wedge finally came to find them at the tapcaf. "We have a winner, gentlemen," he addressed the two hopefuls, "please sit down." Confused and now full of lomin, they did so, but they did demand to know who the lucky man was?
"He's with her now," admitted Wedge. Now they were thoroughly confused, since both contestants were here in the tapcaf. At that moment, General Solo came in, arm in arm with the lady the men were after. They did a double-take, and the whole squadron was stunned into silence. Now they understood their commander's comment, for the lady with the long, dark hair and well-proportioned petite body was none other than Princess Leia Organa! In a sarong and bikini top, with her hair drawn back away from her face with a headband of flowers, she was indeed exotic looking; from a distance, they never would have recognized her. But in the embrace of General Solo, there was no mistaking her luminous brown eyes and meltingly lovely smile. Neither man dared complain of the outcome.
Han demanded the right to be the third contestant, and had made the grilled peach dessert as his entry. He had planned to do so anyway, thus he had brought the ingredients with him. True, he had not complied with the seafood theme, but he did outrank all of them, and had invoked General's Privilage to change the rules! In any case, Leia chose Han's dessert offering, one of her favorites. The outdoor grill make the peaches even tastier than usual.
Leia was finally told what this contest was all about, and she told them she as flattered by their oggling her as a sex object. Taking over the bar, she offered this drink to the gathering, and the Wraiths quaffed it gladly -- it went very well with the grilled leftovers, which they'd gathered up to share amongst themselves. Everyone had a great time partying into the night, and the Princess even graciously danced with each of the two men who had vied for her.
Alas, Ton and Face were further back from where they started, but it did keep them out of trouble for the day! As for the night, they over-imbibed ... again ...
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