Title: Recipe for disaster
Time Frame: Prior to TPM
Characters: Obi Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, Sarabi Messina (OC), Neela Shada (OC).
Genre: Comedy vignette
Summary: Obi-Wan is on a mission...to cook the perfect meal! Will he succeed?
Recipe for disaster
Obi-Wan Kenobi came rushing into the Jedi library like a man on a mission. He got a nasty look from librarian Jocasta Nu, to which he responded by giving her his most charming smile. She simply made a “humph” noise and went back to her work, cataloguing the data pads in the extensive library.
"Why doesn’t that smile ever work on that silly old bantha?" he wondered. “Master Qui-Gon always gets away with it…Hmm, maybe she likes bearded fellows.”
He scanned the room for his friend Sarabi, but she was nowhere in sight.
The shelves, he thought.
Sara had a habit of parking herself on the floor to read, especially when she found something interesting. It was just one of her strange habits. Of course Jocasta Nu always insisted on her sitting at one of the tables, but Sara tended to forget that when she got caught up in her latest fascination.
Sure enough, Obi-Wan found her buried under a pile of data pads in the corner of the library. She was quite oblivious to everything else that was going on around her. Seated cross-legged, leaning against the shelf, she had a look of deep interest on her face. Her eyebrows seemed to have shifted up an inch and those dark eyes widened.
She peered closer, trying to read the fine print in the footnotes, and Obi-Wan found the sight quite comical.
Obviously the book is very interesting, Obi-Wan smiled. And old, if it has not been transcribed onto datapad format.
He read the cover. “Tribes of Old”.
Aah, that was an ancient text.
“Hey Sara,” he said, bending down as to distract her from her reading.
“Kenobi,” she smiled. “Morning.”
“You are not a morning person, Sara,” he commented. “What gives?”
“Just did a wonderful stretch routine and I feel raring to go,” she announced, stretching her arms out, book in hand.
“Really.” Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow. “Have you got a minute?”
“Of course.” she looked up. “What did you do now?” she asked innocently.
“What makes you think I did anything?” he retorted, a sly smile on his face.
“Okay, what’s happening?”
“Well, Master’s out until late tonight and I-.”
“-I’m not running away with you, Kenobi,” she said, looking back down at her book.
Obi-Wan colored slightly. “Running away with me?” he echoed. “Why would I ask you to do that?”
“Relax,” she laughed.” You’re blushing, Kenobi.”
“Am not,” he said, sticking his lip out like a small child.
“All right,” she closed her book “Tell me. What is it?”
“I want to make dinner tonight.”
“Where is Master Qui-Gon anyway?” she interrupted.
“What does that have to do with me preparing dinner?” Obi-Wan asked.
“Well, normally he makes dinner,” she replied.
“So you’re saying I can’t?”
“No, of course not, Obi-Wan.” She patted his arm affectionately.
“Then what are you saying?”
She thought for a moment. “Actually that is what I’m saying.”
“Argh, Sara. ” He let out a frustrated sigh. “I’m not that bad, you know? You have eaten my cooking before.”
“Heating ‘Ready-to-eat’ meals doesn’t qualify as cooking, Kenobi,” she teased.
“Well, I may just surprise you,” he said proudly.
“Well then do, by all means.” She nodded. “What is it that you are planning to make?”
“Soup,” he declared with a flourish.
“What soup?” she asked.
“Er, I’m not sure yet…” he said sheepishly. “I guess I’ll have to see what’s available.”
“What’s his favorite?”
“That vegetable thingy…you know, the one Master Shada likes?”
“Oh, I know the one. I have the recipe. You could borrow it if you like.”
“That would be great,” he grinned.
“You may have to go shopping, though.”
“For ingredients, Kenobi,” she said wryly.
“Oh of course,” he blushed slightly. “I knew that.”
“Come by and pick up the recipe before you go to the shops.”
“You’ll need to know what goes into the soup before you go out buying up the entire market place,” she explained, with a wry smile on her face.
“I knew that,” he said seriously.
“Sure you did,” she teased.
“I’ll go shopping this afternoon,” he said, thinking out loud. “Want to join me?”
“I have a few Chemistry assignments due today and I have to polish them up.” She made a face.
“All right.” He stood up. “Good luck with the assignments.”
“You’ve finished them?”
“Somewhat, but then again…Master is away…” he winked.
“Lucky joker.” She gave him a weak smile. “Then I’ll see you this evening. Let me know how it goes…”
“Don’t you want to come over and test it out?”
“I’ll pass,” she giggled.
“Aww, have a little faith in me, Sara.”
“I do have faith in you, Obi Wan.” She stood up and hugged him. Then she added mischievously, “It’s your cooking I don’t trust!”
It was evening when Obi Wan got back to his apartment. He was completely exhausted, having checked every shop in the main market place. “This grocery shopping is hard work,” he grumbled as he placed the bags on the kitchen counter. He opened each one and laid the items on the countertop, reading the labels carefully.
“Blast,” he said. “All these things look the same to me.”
He pulled out a bag of herbs and vegetables that would be the key ingredients in the soup. The he began hunting for the utensils.
“I need a pan,” he thought out aloud. He pulled out a few utensils from one of the lower cupboards. Then he let out a triumphant shout as his hands closed around the handle of a pan he had seen Qui-Gon use before.
He looked at the recipe again. The other thing he needed was a grater.
“Great, what in the galaxy is a grater?” he asked himself.
“It looks something like this,” a voice said calmly.
“Aagh!” Obi Wan jumped.
Sarabi was standing on the other side of the counter, holding an unusual-looking utensil in her hands. It was a sheet of metal with a few rows of serrations in the middle. She fitted it onto a box the same length as the metal sheet.
“You grate vegetables and other condiments over this, Kenobi,” she told him. “It’s easy to use. All the grated stuff falls into the box neatly.”
“Oh?” he wondered. “Where did you find that?”
“It was in one of the cupboards over there,” she said simply.
“On the side of the kitchen you didn’t check,” she said, her eyes glinting with mischief.
“I didn’t hear you come in.”
“Clouded your mind, I did, my padawan,” she giggled.
He laughed, recognizing her imitation of Master Yoda. “Did you really?”
“No,” she chuckled. “You were making so much noise I don’t think the Force could have warned you if it had slapped you on the behind!”
Obi Wan chuckled. “Well, I’m not sure where Master leaves these things, you know.”
“Hmm,” she looked around the kitchen. “My goodness, Kenobi, you’ve brought the entire market back home.”
“Well, I wasn’t too sure about a few things,” he explained. “And then there was this special offer for a dessert that Master and I both love…” He shrugged.
“All right then.” She turned to leave. “I’m off to make dinner with Master Shada, but if you need any help…”
“I’ll holler, Sara,” he smiled.
She left him to his cooking and headed back to the apartment she shared with her master Neela Shada.
“Sarabi, have you finished your assignments?” Neela Shada asked as they sat at the dinner table.
“Yes, master.,” She reached for a plate of vegetables. “The second paper was quite a challenge. I guess I will see the outcome in a few days.’
“Don’t worry, Sarabi,” Neela smiled. “Your chemistry is good. Your physics, on the other hand…”
“I know, Master.” She made a face. “It isn’t my strongest subject, but I’m planning to ask Kenobi to help me out over the weekend. Hopefully, it’ll get me up to the mark. He’s really good.”
“He is,” Neela agreed, “when he isn’t driving Qui-Gon up the wall!”
Sarabi hid a smile. Master Qui-Gon was going to be pleasantly surprised when he arrived for dinner that night.
Good old Kenobi, she thought. He’s a gem under all that mischievousness!
“Master, I may need to check on Kenobi in a little while,” she began, looking up at her master hopefully.
“What is he doing, Sarabi? I saw him hurling bags into his apartment hours ago”
“He’s cooking, Master.” Sarabi bit her lip to hide a smile.
Neela Shada’s lips curved into a smirk. “Then you’d better hurry. That boy might burn this place to the ground!”
Sara choked on a giggle.
Neela looked down at her plate “Don’t be away too long now, Sara. You have an early morning tomorrow. We have to work on your piloting skills.”
Sarabi’s face fell. “Yes Master.” Her reply was somewhat forced.
Neela Shada smiled. “It needs work, Sarabi, and only by practicing, can you master it.”
“Yes Master Shada. Please forgive my tone of voice there.” Sarabi smiled apologetically, stood up and began clearing the dishes from the table. Her master simply nodded, understanding. Then she joined Sarabi in clearing their plates. It was routine for the two of them and they worked well together.
Sarabi helped Neela wash up and then excused herself. She headed out of the apartment, down the corridor and took a turn to the left. She knocked on the door.
“Come in!” Obi-Wan yelled from inside.
“Everything going smoothly, Kenobi?” she shouted above the sound of the whirring electric beater.
“Splendid!” he shouted back.
She made her way to the kitchen expecting to see a huge mess and a disorganized Obi Wan. Sure enough, there was Obi Wan; a tall white chef’s hat on his head, apron tied around his waist, stirring a mixture in a large bowl and grinning from ear to ear.
“Don’t you look charming,” she commented dryly. “Interesting hat!”
“Master bought in at an open market on one of the Outer Rim planets.” He grinned goofily. “Well, I certainly look the part, don’t I?”
“You certainly do,” she said honestly. “Although I don’t know about the actual cooking part-.”
“Take a look.” He pointed to the pan of simmering liquid on the stove.
She peered in and saw a clear liquid bubbling away in the pan.
“It looks like water,” she remarked.
“It is water,” he said.
“Wonderful. At least we know you can boil water. Did you use the Force to help it along?” she added, teasingly.
Obi Wan colored slightly.
“Well, I have to add the other ingredients,” he informed her seriously.
“Oh dear, are you sure?” she teased. “We couldn’t have you actually cooking something!”
“Watch, and be amazed.”
“I’m already amazed,” she quipped. “You’ve made a huge mess without having actually cooked anything.”
He held his palm up. She gave him a funny look.
“What?” he asked. “That is not a rude gesture. You got it all mixed up.”
“Not on some systems, Kenobi. If you did that on my planet it would be a case of ‘shoot first, ask questions later’.”
Obi Wan shrugged. “Yes, but on some other planets it simply ‘wait’ or ‘I have a point to add’ or something like that. What does it mean on Sohaliel?”
“If you did to it to a leader or an elder it is disrespectful. And if you do that to a woman…well, then it means you were thinking of slapping her!”
Obi-Wan’s eyes widened. “I’ll remember that!”
He sighed. “Will I ever get this done in time?”
“Of course you will.” Sarabi walked around the counter to him. “I’ll help you. First things first. You need to cut up the veggies, then boil them in the water.”
“Well I’ve boiled the water.” Obi Wan looked confused.
“But the veggies have to be in the pan when you boil the water, dear…” she winked.
“Well, of course…I knew that.” He shrugged, as though it was common knowledge to him.
“I’ve got the cream mixture here. This goes over the soup.” He indicated to the bowl on the counter.
“Yes, Kenobi, but that goes on top of the soup once you’ve made it and it’s ready for serving. It’s part of the garnish.”
“Oh.” He raised one of his eyebrows. “I knew that.”
Sarabi rolled her eyeballs and tried to hide a smile. “All right, where are the vegetables?”
“You did buy them?”
“Oh, of course I did.” He picked up a bag and handed it to her.
“We have to chop them up first.”
“Chop?” Obi Wan repeated.
“Well, Kenobi, you take a big vegetable and cut it into smaller pieces that can be consumed. In order to do this you will need a knife. And for best results you ought to use the sharp end of it!” She bit her lip to keep from giggling.
“Oh.” Obi Wan said simply. “I knew that.”
She began pulling out the vegetable one by one, inspecting each one. They looked good. Obi Wan had done a surprisingly good job of selecting them. She rinsed them under the faucet and then proceeded to cut them, neatly and with an expert hand.
Obi Wan watched in awe.
“What?” She looked up at him.
“You do it so well, Sara.”
Sarabi groaned “That’s the expression I wear on my face when I watch you do your physics and pilot a ship.”
Obi Wan shrugged. “There are a few things I’m good at…I guess this isn’t one of them.”
“You can learn, Kenobi” she said seriously. “If you want, I’ll teach you.”
“I’d like that.”
“Well, how about helping me with my physics in exchange for my help with cooking?”
“I can do that.” Obi-Wan nodded.
“Starting this weekend?” She looked hopeful.
“This weekend, it is,” he smiled.
She tried to concentrate on her work, in the hope that it would distract her from the fact that Obi-Wan had tapped into a part of her heart that was normally closed to outsiders.
Obi-Wan had an ability to make her feel more like herself. Perhaps it was because he was the person she was closest to. She was friends with Camilli and a few others, but the fun times like these, that she had shared with Obi-Wan, would last her a lifetime.
Sarabi found a packet of instant soup stock and added it to the pan. Then she deftly scooped up the chopped vegetables and placed them in the pan. Turning the knobs on the cooker, she grabbed a ladle and stirred the simmering liquid a few times.
“This should do, Kenobi,” she said. She reached for the herbs and spices, and added a bit of each.
“You didn’t measure anything.”
“I know,” she winked. She was an old hand at this. Measuring was no longer something she did with familiar recipes.
She gave it a final swirl with the ladle, added a few more condiments and then spooned out a bit to taste.
“Take it off the stove in approximately five minutes. Then keep it in the oven where it will remain warm until Master Qui-Gon arrives.”
“Thank you, Sara, you’re an absolute angel,” Obi-Wan kissed her cheek. “When you want to be anyway,” he added with a wink.
“Sure, Kenobi.” She grinned and headed for the door. “I’d better get back now.”
“Thanks, Sara.” Obi-Wan said gratefully.
Qui-Gon Jinn hadn’t felt this tired in a long time. His head ached and his back was sore from being seated for hours in a chair with virtually no proper back support. The seminars had gone well, but he was weary, and badly needed dinner and a hot shower. And then sleep.
He trudged up the stairs and to his apartment. Opening the door, he quietly stepped inside, so as not to wake his padawan.
What am I thinking? That boy never sleeps!
The living area was quiet. And dark.
At least it was for a few moments.
It sounded like it came from the kitchen, Qui-Gon thought and he walked steadily towards the kitchen, trying not to anticipate the worst.
The lights were on and there was a song playing in the background. A pretty terrible song at that.
Wait! Someone is singing!
Qui-Gon noticed someone, bent over behind the counter. All he could see was the person’s hat-a tall white chef’s one-and someone’s back, rocking from one side to another in time to the rhythm of the song being hummed.
“Na na na na na naaaa! Na na na na na naaa!” It was Obi-Wan, he realized. Trying to keep a straight face, he watched on as his padawan did the most ridiculous dance, still bent over, his back to his audience.
Obi-Wan stood up suddenly and picking up an empty pan, started to strut around the kitchen singing the same bizarre tune again. He was in the middle of a pirouette, one arm in the air, when he noticed his bemused master standing there watching him.
“Aaaaah!” he yelled in fright and dropped the pan with a loud clatter.
“Master?!?” he grinned stupidly.
“Obi-Wan?” Qui-Gon nodded, fighting a smile.
“It would appear so, my padawan.”
“You frightened me, Master! I didn’t know you were here.”
“Use the Force, padawan.” Qui-Gon reminded him, then added,“Yes, we have a tendency to check up on our padawans at the most unlikely hours.”
He surveyed the scene.
“I can explain, Master,” Obi-Wan began.
“Do tell me, “Qui-Gon sat on one of the high stools that stood next to the kitchen counter. “It ought to be quite interesting.”
“I was going to surprise you, Master.”
“Well, it worked. I’m shocked!” Qui-Gon’s eyes twinkled with merriment.
“I was going to make us dinner.”
“What kind of soup, Obi-Wan?”
“One of your favourites…actually, Sara did most of it. I just watched like an idiot.” Obi- Wan’s face fell.
“Well, your heart was in the right place, my padawan.” Qui-Gon patted his shoulder. “Why don’t we eat, then?”
“Oh, of course, Master.” Obi-Wan scurried about, pouring the soup into bowls, cutting bread and making sure he hadn’t forgotten anything.
Oh drat, he thought. The dessert. I’d better make sure it has set.
Obi-Wan hurried over to the freezer and poked his head in. There stood two tall dessert glasses of green jelly-like dessert, topped with whipped cream.
Looks good, he grinned. This will surprise even Sara! I made dessert! Okay, it came straight from a pack, but hey…I did it myself!
Obi-Wan composed himself and then carried the food over to the table. He had set it earlier and now he beamed with pleasure when he noted the look of admiration on Qui- Gon’s face.
“I must say, Obi-Wan, I’m impressed,” his master said happily. Then he added, “Even though you did leave the kitchen looking like a storm hit it.”
Obi-Wan turned red. “Thank you Master…” I think, he added silently.
Obi-Wan was too excited to eat, watching Qui-Gon as he spooned his first sip into his mouth. The padawan’s eyebrows went up as he waited in anticipation for the verdict.
Qui-Gon’s eyebrows went up too. “Wonderful!” he said. “I’m pleased to hear that you had a part in this endeavor.”
Qui-Gon mopped up the last trace of soup with a slice of bread. “My goodness, what a wonderful meal after a long day.”
“I have dessert, too, Master.” Obi-Wan grinned like a small child.
“Yes, one of your favourites…and it’s a special version of it, too.”
“Special? How come?”
“Oh, that’s a secret, Master…” Obi-Wan said mysteriously.
“Very well.” Qui-Gon looked amused by his padawan.
Obi-Wan ran to the freezer, placed the two glasses on a tray and brought them to the table.
“Aaah, my favourite indeed, Obi-Wan. I’m very touched, my padawan.”
Obi-Wan colored. “Aww, well,” he mumbled.
“This looks good.”
“Well, I made it, Master.., honest, I did.”
Qui-Gon tasted a spoonful. “Amazing! It tastes better than when Neela makes it. What is your secret?”
“I can’t tell Master…” Obi-Wan smirked. “Well, not yet anyway.”
“Aren’t you eating yours? Qui-Gon had now finished his dessert.
“I’m nervous,” Obi-Wan admitted sheepishly.
“May I?” Qui-Gon indicated to Obi-Wan’s dessert glass.
“Oh, by all means, Master!” Obi-Wan grinned happily.
Qui-Gon chuckled and dug into his second glass, enjoying every last bit of it.
“Well, Obi-Wan, I’m going to have a shower and head straight to bed.”
“I’ll clean up here, Master,” Obi-Wan said.
“Hmm, but you must be tired too, so don’t stay up too long.” Qui-Gon smiled fondly at the boy. He reached over and hugged him with one arm.
“Very proud of your efforts, my boy.” He patted Obi-Wan’s head.
“Thank you, Master.” Obi-Wan beamed proudly.
Sarabi was rudely awoken the next morning by the loud beeping of the door buzzer.
“I’ll get it,” she announced to Master Shada.
She ambled over to the door, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes as she went.
“Kenobi? What are you doing here?” She was surprised to see him there so early in the morning. She looked down at her attire and tried not to smile. Her favorite pyjamas weren’t really the most presentable.
But it’s Kenobi…it doesn’t really matter.
“I have a problem!” he told her.
“I thought everything went really well-.”
“Can I come in?” he pleaded.
Sarabi stepped out of his way and motioned for him to come in.
“What happened?” She followed him into the living area.
“Master’s not feeling too good!”
“Oh dear…what is it?”
“Stomach ache.” Obi-Wan paced around nervously.
“Hmm, maybe it was something he ate…” Sarabi’s eyes widened and she let the words hang in the air. She shook her head. “Oh no, Kenobi…you don’t think it was the-”
“Soup?” he added, his face flustered. “No.” He shook his head. “I think it was the dessert!”
“Dessert?” Sarabi’s eyes narrowed. “I don’t remember dessert.”
“I made it myself,” he said sheepishly.
“Hmm, was it out of a package?”
“Er, yes,” he nodded, turning a darker shade of red.
“Still,” she shook her head. “Qui-Gon doesn’t have allergies to those things.”
“I used a special ingredient.” Obi-Wan confessed.
“What was that?”
“It had a funny name and I can’t remember it right now.”
“A flavoring agent?”
“Do you have the package?”
“Here.” He handed a packet over to her.
Sarabi read the label and checked the back of the sachet for the ingredients.
“Appears normal…” She peered closely at the contents.
“Aaah, fine print,” she muttered as she read.
“What does it say?”
“Contains this very long ingredient that will take a day to pronounce. But it enhances the flavor of mint jellies and the like.”
“So what’s wrong with that?”
She shook the package. “You emptied this entire thing into the dessert?”
“Er, yes…” Obi Wan looked at her hesitantly. “Bad idea?”
“Well,” she shrugged.
“Tell me Sara…don’t beat around the bush.”
She bit her lip to hide a smile.
“Oh no…” Obi Wan wailed. “What is it, Sara? Have I caused him to have an ulcer? Is it food poisoning? Is it-. Is master going to be all right? What have I done Sara?”
“He’ll be fine!” She patted him on the shoulder. “Just stay out of his way for a while!”
“Why?” He looked at her suspiciously.
“You didn’t read the fine print,” she said softly, and held the packet up to his face.
“What does it say?” Obi-Wan asked weakly.
“If consumed in excess quantities…”
Obi-Wan looked at her wide-eyed.
Her next words came out in a chuckle.
“…may have a laxative effect!”
I hope you enjoyed it. I'd love to know what you think.