Cooking With the Cosmos

by Alyssa Amsbaugh

Jiamia #001-A
Seared “Fish” with Cream Sauce

  • 2 Jiamia root vegetables
  • 8 lbs Jiamia mystery meat
  • 1 cup Jiamia seeds
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • Remove skin from Jiamia mystery meat. Sear on medium heat, five minutes each side
  • Julienne Jiamia root vegetables for side dish. Saute on low heat for eight minutes
  • Boil one cup heavy whipping cream on medium heat. Add in finely chopped Jiamia seeds and continue cooking for additional four minutes, stirring frequently
  • Plate seared meat and drizzle with sauce

This is a nightmare. I’m hopelessly lost in a kitchen without holoplatter tech. I’ve had to remind the captain multiple times that I’m blind, and on top of that, I’ve never heard of any of these ingredients before. I don’t have any recipes, or any familiarity with these foods. I don’t even know what planet we’re on—I think Jiamia?

I’ve lost count of how many times I bumped into the counters. Lucky for me, this kitchen is at least equipped with a hot cooktop proximity sensor—it’s definitely saved me from some burns. One of the other kitchen workers had to basically lay all the utensils out in front of me because I couldn’t find anything.

It was embarrassing to be supervised while I was working, especially with how long it took me to get my bearings. The kitchen worker provided me with a meat, and its texture reminds me of fish. The skin was thick and scaly—took forever to get it off. It seared nicely, had almost an herbal smell to it.

Tried to saute some local root vegetables as a side… big mistake. As soon as I cut into one, I was assaulted by a terrible odor. It overwhelmed the kitchen completely. The smell faded a bit as it cooked out, but it lingered in the taste. I whisked up a sauce with some cream and seeds. It added a great earthiness to the dish, but couldn’t save it from the horrible aftertaste.

The crew complained the whole night about the horrible new chef. Nobody really wants to talk to me, so I found my way to my sleeping quarters. Not much to do when you’re a hostage on a rebel ship… I hope I can impress the crew tomorrow, or who knows what they’ll do to me. It’s not like I’m particularly helpful outside the kitchen. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be back in the Embassy kitchen again.

Rating: 0/5

Jiamia #001-B
Jiamia-style Barbecue Prime Ribs

  • 10 lbs pork spare ribs
  • 1 clove fennel
  • 4 lemons, sliced
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • Barbecue sauce
  • 16 stalks asparagus
  • 1 cup federseeds
  • 1 lb blowstome
  • Mix up barbecue sauce recipe
  • Mix up fennel, paprika, and pepper and dry-rub ribs. Place pork spare ribs on oven grill. Make sure flavor diffuser is ON and set to DISPERSE
  • Slice up lemons to quarter-inch thick slices with calchoppers. Top ribs with sliced lemon
  • Cook ribs at 200 C for two hours
  • Lightly roast federseeds at 200 C for ten minutes; sprinkle over ribs
  • Grill asparagus for ten minutes. Drizzle with extra barbecue sauce and roasted lemon juice
  • Remove excess skin from blowstome and cube. Place in jerkinator until dried. Sprinkle atop asparagus

I convinced the kitchen workers that I needed more time to familiarize myself here and that I didn’t need supervision today. They showed me to the food storage room before leaving me to do my job. I know yesterday was a hot mess, but I had a job with the highest-rated Embassy kitchen on Via Lactea. If they let me prove myself, I can show them I know what I’m doing.

The crew was holding out on me… The back room in the refrigerator has a huge stock of kitchen staples from Via Lactea. I was feeling around for some ingredients when I bumped into something hanging from a meat hook. I rubbed my hands over it gingerly and felt the unmistakable bumps of rib bones. Now we’re talking. I wanted to impress, so I went for a classic favorite back in the Embassy kitchen: country-style spare ribs.

I learned that the fish I cooked yesterday is called a blowstome, and it is delicious when dried. I tossed some in the jerkinator just to try it, and it was so good, I had to find a way to use it in the dish. I figured the herbal flavors would work well with some grilled asparagus, and boy, was I right. The barbecue sauce—same recipe as usual, but with some of those seeds on top. They sort of melted into the sauce, added a nice crunch.

The entire crew was beyond thrilled with tonight’s dinner. It was almost like a celebration, which worked in my favor. The whole way back to my room, I heard people fawning over the food, telling me how glad they were that they found a chef like me. Maybe they were just giving me a hard time yesterday because I’m the rookie. Either way, I know I made a good impression this time.

Rating: 5/5, a keeper

Jiamia #001-C
Braised Blowstome with Federcream Sauce

  • 8 lbs blowstome
  • 1 cup federseeds
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 stalks wortweed
  • 1 pumplum
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Remove skin from blowstome. Sear on medium heat, five minutes each side
  • Boil whole stalks wortweed for ten minutes, until softened
  • Dice boiled wortweed and pumplum. Saute on low heat for eight minutes
  • Boil heavy whipping cream on medium heat for two minutes. Add in finely chopped federseeds and continue cooking for additional four minutes, stirring frequently
  • Plate blowstome and top with federcream sauce
  • Drizzle lemon juice over federcream sauce

Welp. Apparently, the stash of kitchen staples I found was their supply of goods from their last raid. You know, the one on the Embassy kitchen on Via Lactea. The one where I was kidnapped. Yeah. I have some regrets. I knew that the Comet Chasers were a gang of pirates, but I didn’t realize they relied so heavily on what they stole.

I got chewed out by Captain Rhiemus for running through the specialties so quickly. I’m new, and blind, so she let me off with a warning, but I won’t be allowed unsupervised in the kitchen for a while. The gang will have to plan another raid sooner than expected.

I guess the ingredients they give me are either foraged or bought on whatever planet the ship happens to be near. Seems a little cheap, but I’ll just have to cook with these for now. One of the crewmates—Fyldenn? Faldar?—told me that boiling the root vegetables before cutting into them neutralizes the odor, so I gave that a go. Worked like a charm! After boiling the wortweed, I seared them up with some fruit called a pumplum. It’s crunchy, and has a refreshing amount of sweetness without being overpowering. The boiled wortweed takes on the flavor of whatever it’s cooked with, so it ended up tasting a lot like the pumplum.

The blowstome was fine from my first recipe, so I remade it, sans the stench. I discovered that acid is what caused the federseed to harden on the spare ribs, so after whipping up a federcream sauce and dressing the seared blowstome, I drizzled the dish with some lemon juice. The sauce completely candied; I didn’t expect it to change so quickly.

Rating: 3/5, the side was hit-or-miss, and the candied sauce turned sticky

Galgade #002-A
Galgade Bark Stew

  • 4 lbs small fowl
  • 3 Galgade vegetables
  • 4 pieces tree bark
  • 8 cups bone broth
  • 1 cup corn
  • Pluck small fowl clean. Cube meat and saute for twelve minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently
  • While meat is cooking, add bone broth to large pot. Heat to a boil
  • Dice vegetables and add to mixture. Add in cooked fowl
  • Chop pieces tree bark into strips and add to mixture
  • Add corn. Cook for additional five minutes, or until vegetables are softened. Salt and pepper to taste

The Comet Chasers pulled off a successful raid on Jiamia, so we had to flee. The gang rummaged up some spare ingredients to hold us over. For now, we’re just outside of Galgade. I think they wanted to unload some cargo here, or something.

But, new planet… new ingredients.

Bragnor was on kitchen duty today, and they gave me some small, plump poultry. The things were covered in tiny feathers, and it took me forever to pluck the bird clean, even with the kitchen helping. The meat smelled of exotic spices, even raw. To avoid over-seasoning it, I decided to make a soup. I added some local vegetables to the broth. I even convinced the first mate to let me break into our specialty supply and add some Via Lactea corn. Who wouldn’t like a chicken corn soup?

They also brought me some meaty tree bark. Thick and chewy, but had a great spice and heat to it. It softened nicely in the soup. Bragnor warned me about adding too much of the bark, but I know what I’m doing. A little spice goes a long way.

The dish was incredibly flavorful—maybe too flavorful. A few crewmates were complaining of stomach aches by the end of the night. I think the dish was a touch too much for them. Guess I need more time to experiment with these new ingredients.

Rating: 3/5, some conflicting flavors

Galgade #002-B
Roasted Stuffed Bulkbill

  • 6 bulkbills, unplucked
  • 4 didia
  • 3 rokarrots
  • 5 slices dried lavash
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 4 tbsp thickener
  • Clean bulkbills and prep to receive stuffing. Remove gizzards and meat from neck. Rinse birds well and pat dry
  • For stuffing, add chopped didia, rokarrots, and dried, crumbled lavash in a bowl. Add hot water and mix together
  • Loosely pack stuffing mix into cavities inside birds and truss legs
  • Layer premium cooking foil atop birds and place in roaster
  • Cook birds for fifteen minutes at 205 C, and then sixty minutes at 175 C. Ensure that flavor diffuser is ON and set to COLLECT
  • In the meantime, prepare the gravy. Chop and liquefy gizzards and bulkbill neck meat. Add tbsp thickener. Add drippings from oven’s flavor diffuser collection chamber and mix until thickened
  • Add mixture to small porcelain bowl and heat in the oven for fifteen minutes at 175 C
  • Remove birds from oven. Plate and dress with gravy

The bark I used yesterday added a great flavor to the food, and is often used on Galgade to make dishes more spicy. The problem? It’s also used as a laxative. Two of the crewmates were extremely sensitive to the bark’s medicinal properties, and have been suffering from food poisoning most of the day.

Rhiemus was a bit upset, but understood I had no way of knowing. I used this as an opportunity to advocate for the ship to invest in holoplatter software for the kitchen. Not only does it warn me of any biological properties an ingredient may possess, but it also helps me to keep track of food while I’m cooking it. My cooking utensils can be catalogued in the program, and I can keep tabs on them with the tracking feature. It would make everyone’s life so much easier… Plus, they’re pirates. I’m sure they’ve got loads of money.

Captain Rhiemus didn’t go for it. Instead, she ordered me to come along to the marketplace to converse with the vendors from here on out. That way, I can learn the ingredients, and figure out what they’re normally used for. Galgade’s poultry is known as a bulkbill, and—get this—their feathers are so small, if you oven-bake it, it just cooks into a wonderful, crispy skin.

I decided to go with a few stuffed birds, filled with fresh roasted vegetables. I crumbled up some dried lavash and mixed it in with the stuffing. They didn’t take very long to bake, and the feathers crisped up nicely, even if the skin did smell slightly burnt. The bulkbill’s internal spices really brought out the flavor in the skin, and it was delicious.

I also made a vegetable puree from some leftover didia and rokarrots, and spread it on some sliced lavash for the sick mates. Pheldonn walked me over to the ship’s medical ward so I could hand-deliver the dish. I apologized profusely for my ignorance, but they were very understanding. They don’t know the foreign foods any better than I do. I should try to spend more time studying new ingredients before I just throw them into a dish. Maybe talking with the locals will help, too. But also, holoplatter tech… just saying.

Rating: 4/5, the roasted bulkbill is delicious, but the stuffing feels like it’s missing something

Innius VI #003-A
Podcrawler Stir Fry

  • 2 stalks wortweed
  • 5 ganban bean pods
  • 5 concroix pods
  • 3 bronroot bulb pods
  • 2 mammaise pods
  • 2 pounds podcrawler meat, de-shelled
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 cups bulkbill broth
  • Boil off wortweed stalks until tender
  • Julienne wortweed and place in grain processor
  • Marinade podcrawlers in quarter cup soy sauce. Remove shells. Rub meat with salt and pepper and cube
  • Sear meat on medium heat for four minutes
  • Add in bulkbill broth, soy sauce, and wortweed rice
  • Peel bronroot bulbs, taking care to remove the stinger. Dice and add to saucepan
  • Peel concroix pods. Remove stems and add florets to saucepan
  • Peel ganban bean pods. Rinse off fibers. Add beans to saucepan
  • Peel mammaise pods. Remove husks, dice, and add to saucepan
  • Saute on low heat for ten minutes

The first mate—Vrinx?—made a request that we stop at this planet cluster. We made a quick stop in Innius VI, and we’ll be leaving for the neighboring planet, Fhorrus. Captain Rhiemus took me with again to the local marketplace. I guess since we’re stocking up on a lot of ingredients, she wanted to make sure I felt familiar enough with the food. Because of the dense atmospheric conditions on Innius VI, everything grows in a pod. EVERYTHING. Meat is less common here, so the locals tend to depend on beans, nuts, and insects for their protein. The planet is great for agriculture, so there are more types of vegetables and fruits than I could have ever imagined in one place.

With so many fresh vegetables, I thought a stir fry would fit the bill, especially since I wasn’t sure how great the protein source would be. I made up some rice by boiling wortweed and putting it through the grain processor. Since it absorbed flavor from the other foods, it would be a perfect substitute.

I was opening some of the different vegetable pods to figure out what I had to work with. Some bushy florets… some bulb vegetables… some cob vegetables… and some beans. Alright, plenty of great ingredients to use. I moved over to my cooking station to start my prep. And then I felt the beans crawling up my arms and screamed.

Yeah, I had opened up a podcrawler nest by mistake. Why do all these pods feel the same! Bragnor helped to contain the podcrawlers as best as they could. The insects were harmless, albeit annoying as they whizzed past my ears. A lot of the kitchen workers are afraid of bugs, so there was a minor panic, but fortunately, nobody went to Rhiemus about it. Once Bragnor had most of them secure in a glass jar, I began to marinade them in some soy sauce. I knew I’d have to get their shells off, but it would be much easier if they were dead first.

The rest of the dish was pretty straight-forward—chop up whatever was in the pods, and put it in the pan. The podcrawlers were… interesting. The meat was fatty and pulpy, but mixed into a stir fry, you hardly noticed. The wortweed took on a lot of flavor from the soy sauce, so I added some bulkbill broth to even it out. Mammaise was sweet and juicy—almost like corn, but with larger and tougher kernels. Concroix was earthy and savory, but it fell apart quickly in the pan.

After dinner was done, I had the kitchen crew help sort the rest of the ingredient pods so that we could avoid future mistakes. This is the first time I’ve been to a planet and left with so many new kinds of foods. It’ll be a lot of work to learn how to cook all this interplanetary cuisine, but I’m up to the challenge.

Rating: 4/5, the flavors were great, but the concroix fell apart and altered the dish’s texture

Fhorrus #004-A
Brunch Burrito

  • 1 mammaise pod, with the husk
  • 2 tbsp food-grade oil
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 2 pickachix eggs
  • ½ cup fhorrus greens
  • 2 strips blowstome jerky
  • Remove husk from mammaise pod and trim. Dredge in flour and oil and fry for five minutes on low heat
  • In a mixing bowl, combine pickachix eggs and chopped blowstome jerky. Place in pan on medium heat and scramble until eggs are fully-cooked
  • Remove mammaise kernels from cob and add to pain. Cook for additional two minutes on low heat
  • Chop stems off fhorrus greens
  • Take mammaise wrap and bake at 175 C for five minutes to dry excess oil
  • Place egg mixture atop wrap. Top with greens. Wrap and preserve for later consumption

Now that the Comet Chasers has its own chef, Captain Rhiemus decided it was time to focus less on raiding for rations. Sure, it’s nice to have some Embassy-issued packed lunches for when the workers are in a hurry. But I have plenty of free time in my day to start making boxed lunches for everyone. Less stealing, more getting by with what we have. It’ll give me a chance to experiment more, and I’m down for that.

To start, I decided on a simple burrito. The husks from the mammaise pod were a good fit for a wrap. I dredged them in a little oil and flour, and started frying them up—just on low heat; I didn’t want them to fall apart.

Fhorrus is a really dry planet, with lots of fields and not a lot of vegetation. They grow some greens, and some grains, but not much else. As such, they focus mostly on raising livestock. I guess they have a good trade agreement with Innius VI—Fhorrus provides the animal products, and Innius VI provides the crops.

I took some pickachix eggs and scrambled them up. Pheldonn marvelled when I cracked open the first egg—apparently, pickachix eggs have three yolks, and very thin egg whites. The eggs tasted extraordinarily creamy, so I grated some raw bronroot over the dish to give it a little something. To my surprise, raw bronroot is tart and citrusy, whereas cooked bronroot tastes a bit metallic. I topped off the eggs with some fhorrus greens. Leafy and a bit dry, but they picked up some moisture from the steaming eggs, and wilted nicely.

Captain Rhiemus was really impressed with my lunch. She sent Vrinx down to the kitchen to help me seal up the burritos and get them to the commissary. We made some small talk for a while, got to know each other. Eventually, he asked for my name. It’ll be nice to have the Comet Chasers call me Corey. They never did that on the Embassy… they insisted they had to call me by my “birth” name. But these guys, they respect me. They’re good people. After we finished bringing the packaged burritos to the commissary, Vrinx pulled me aside before I could head back to the kitchen. He has some sort of secret project he wants my help with, I guess. I’ll find him after dinner tonight and get some more information.

Rating: 4/5, a good ready-to-eat lunch, nothing mind-blowing

Fhorrus #004-B
Echassian Macaroni and Cheese

  • 2 lbs echassian cheese
  • ½ lb echassian butter
  • ¼ cup echassian milk
  • 2 pickachix eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ lb echassian calf meat, muscle removed
  • 1 tbsp dried tardus seed
  • 3 concroix pods
  • On a flat surface, pour out flour, create a well in the middle
  • Crack pickachix eggs and empty their contents into the well on the counter. Mix by hand, pulling in flour gradually
  • Knead dough until dough has smooth surface texture
  • Place in instant pasta pot to form one pound of pasta—bowtie, small shells, or elbow shaped preferred. Use dye as desired. Cook in pasta pot until al dente
  • In a saucepan, mix echassian cheese, echassian butter, and echassian milk. Season with dried ground tardus seed and heat on low until it reaches a thick and creamy consistency
  • Chop echassian calf meat into thin strips, removing the tough muscle where possible. Sear on low heat for five minutes
  • Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in calf meat strips and pasta
  • Open concroix pods and remove stems. Stir in flourets

Bragnor loves pasta, and apparently a lot of the Comet Chasers crew does, too. They went out of her way on Fhorrus to buy me an instant pasta pot so I could make my own pasta. I think she used her own cash to pay for it, too! Well, if these guys want pasta, I won’t let them down. I used some pickachix eggs and flour to make the dough base. The kitchen crew was concerned when I poured the flour onto the countertop—they thought I had misplaced my mixing bowl. Pheldonn even yelled to warn me. But after watching me add the eggs and knead the dough, he started to understand.

I played around with the instant pasta pot. It can make any type of pasta imaginable, and it can even color it with the built-in dye packets. I let Bragnor pick the colors for tonight’s meal, since they were kind enough to buy me the machine. Everyone was fascinated as the pasta pot went to work, cranking out a pound of bowtie-shaped noodles into its cooking chamber. I set the machine to “al-dente” and left to get the rest of the meal ready.

We got in an order of echassian products. They are one of the livestock on Fhorrus, and produce a creamy milk and, surprisingly, a sweet cheese. And—here’s the kicker—they shed their calf muscles on a weekly basis. Their body regenerates, and the old muscle slides off as the new muscle grows. Granted, the meat is very fibrous and sinewy, but it’s an endless supply of meat, if you know how to work with it.

I grabbed some of the echassian cheese and got it melting on a saucepan with some butter and milk. The sauce was bright and sweet, so I went digging around in the boxes of goods from Innius VI to find something else to add. With Pheldonn’s help, I found some pods with seeds usually used for spices. He called them tardus seeds. I dried them out in the dehydrator, ground them up, and sprinkled some into the cheese. It had a certain sharpness to it, and helped balance some of the flavors out.

I knew I had to find a use for this slab of meat, so I asked the kitchen crew if they could cut it and remove some of the excess fibers. I was handed back some stringy strands of meat. They also had a sweet smell to them, but I figured the sauce would blend it nicely. I seared them on low heat, just to make sure they were fully cooked, before adding them into the sauce. They pulled apart into even thinner strands while I was mixing, gave it a nice texture.

I added in the pasta and combined everything together for a first taste. It was quite good, but the sweetness of the meat was contrasting the cheese sauce a bit. I decided to throw in some concroix—its savory flavors would mask the sweet calf meat, and I added it in last so it wouldn’t completely fall apart and get too grainy, like it did in the stir fry. The crew absolutely adored the meal tonight. Rhiemus, herself, was shocked that I was able to make such great food out of the goods we scavenged; she was used to meals like that being a treat after a successful raid. We popped open a bottle of Via Lactea champagne to celebrate, just the officers and myself.

Vrinx did approach me after the festivities died down. Turns out, we stopped at Fhorrus and Innius VI for certain ingredients. He wants me to make a cake for him—it sounds like it’s for a special occasion, so it has to be perfect. I agreed, on the condition that he be the one to help decorate. I don’t think I can do it without my holoplatter kitchen. We shook on it, and he called me by my name and thanked me. I’m not sure what this cake is for, but I’ll do my best.

Rating: 5/5, might be room for improvement with other meats

Fhorrus #004-D
Innius VI Salad

  • 4 Innius VI concroix pods
  • 4 Innius VI bronroot bulb pods
  • 4 Innius VI frifri berry pods
  • 2 tbsp dried ground Innius VI tardus seeds
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup processed tybex nectar
  • ¼ cup Via Lactea vinegar
  • ¼ cup food grade oil
  • Open concroix pods. Remove stems
  • Open bronroot bulb pods and remove stingers. Dice up raw bronroot
  • Open frifri berry pods and set aside excess seeds
  • In a mixing bowl, combine tybex nectar, vinegar, oil, tardus seeds, and pepper. Add in frifri berry seeds
  • Combine ingredients together and top with dressing. Preserve for later consumption

I figured a salad would be an easy packaged lunch. Hopefully the sweet and tangy dressing will be a crowd-pleaser. Tybex are another one of the livestock on Fhorrus. They pull pollen from the dry grassy plains, and process it into a nectar inside their bodies. Farmers are able to harvest it once they’ve produced enough, with almost no discomfort to the animals. Fascinating, really, when you compare them to pollinators on Via Lactea, which rely heavily on pollinating flowers.

The rest of the salad was pretty easy to put together. I decided to try one of the frifri berry seeds, and while they’re not any good dried, they’re very flavorful. Tossed them into the salad dressing, and it added a great texture to the salad. Pheldonn helped me box up the salads and took them to the commissary himself. I guess it’s time to start thinking about how to handle this cake. I have until after dinner to figure it out, and then Vrinx and I are going to get to work. There should be plenty of fruits and sweets to work with in the food storage chamber. I know I can whip up something delicious.

Rating: 4/5, it’s a tasty salad, maybe another dressing would fit better

Picclite #005-A
Comet Chaser Carbonara

  • 8 Fhorrus pickachix egg yolks
  • 1 ½ cups Fhorrus echassian milk
  • 1 cup grated Via Lactea Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb spaghetti noodles
  • 2 lbs Galgade bulkbill meat
  • ½ lb Fhorrus echassian calf meat, muscle removed
  • 1 tbsp grated Innius VI bronroot
  • 1 tsp ground currentcorn
  • Prepare spaghetti noodles with the instant pasta pot. Refer to #004-B for pasta dough recipe. Cook on “al-dente”
  • Cube bulkbill meat, leaving feathers on
  • Sear bulkbill meat on medium heat for 8 minutes. Drain juices
  • Prepare echassian calf meat with muscle removed. Sear calf meat on low heat for 4 minutes. Drain juices
  • In a medium bowl, combine pickachix egg yolks with echassian milk and grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well
  • Add spaghetti to large saucepan on medium heat. Add in sauce mixture. Be careful not to overcook sauce, or the eggs will scramble
  • Add in echassian calf meat and bulkbill meat and stir to coat
  • Sprinkle with ground currentcorn and pepper to taste

We’ve come a long way from mystery meat and stinky root vegetables. I’ve been on board the ship for a month now. I decided to celebrate my anniversary by making my favorite food from back on Via Lactea, but with an interplanetary twist on it: chicken carbonara… yum.

We already had most of the ingredients from our past few planets, but we were stopped on Picclite, and I decided to visit the local market with the ship officers. Picclite is a planet of pirates; they don’t export much, or have any focus on agriculture or trade. However, they’ve picked up a lot of goods from their heists. I stocked up on a lot of Via Lactea spices, as well as some new ingredients.

I haven’t had chicken carbonara since my last birthday, so this is the first bit of comfort food I’ve really been looking forward to digging into. I got to use the instant pasta pot again. It has many different sizes and textures of spaghetti, but I went with the traditional thick and smooth noodle. I let Pheldonn pick out the color this time. I was surprised; he picked a color and told me it reminded him of me. I thought it was sweet. I wonder what color it was.

The carbonara sauce was pretty simple. With the creaminess of the pickachix eggs, I barely needed to add any cream, so I substituted with some echassian milk to bind the sauce. I also found some Via Lactea Parmesan cheese, and knew that its sharp and light flavor would be much better than echassian cheese’s fatty sweetness. I’ll always go for the real thing any day.

I decided to go with some seared bulkbill and echassian calf meat for protein sources. The stringiness of the calf meat worked well with the texture of the noodles, and the spiced flavors of the bulkbill cut against the sweetness of the sauce. I added some grated bronroot to balance out the creaminess, and a new ingredient from Picclite: ground currentcorn. It’s like a combination of garlic and oregano, very savory and rich.

I almost like this recipe better than the one I used to use on the Embassy Kitchen. It’s refreshing, exciting, new… It’s been so much fun creating these recipes from the different planets. I thought I was more of a “cookie-cutter” cook, but this expedition has shown me what I’m really capable of. The crew was a huge fan of my food tonight—they liked it even more than my prime ribs. I’m looking forward to seeing what planet we’ll get to next, and what new flavors await.

Rating: 5/5, a keeper

Picclite #005-B
Cosmic Cake

  • 2 pickachix eggs
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup tybex nectar
  • 1 ½ cups echassian butter
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup echassian milk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp okress extract
  • 2 frifri berry pods
  • In a mixing bowl, hand cream half pound of butter with half cup sugar
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together pickachix eggs, half cup tybex nectar, and okress extract
  • Slowly add egg mixture to mixing bowl and stir
  • Add in flour and baking powder and combine. Pour in milk and stir until smooth
  • Open one frifri berry pod and remove excess seeds. Muddle frifri berries and add to batter
  • Spoon batter into prepared cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 175 C
  • Make the frosting. In a mixing bowl, hand cream one pound butter with two cups sugar
  • Open other frifri berry pod and remove excess seeds. Blend frifri berries and tybex nectar and add to frosting
  • Wait for cake to cool completely, and then frost with frosting mix

I got to make a cake tonight. I never was much into baking, but Vrinx helped. He’s a lot of fun in the kitchen; he has NO idea what he’s doing. I made a pretty standard cake mix with pickachix eggs, sugar, flour, and echassian butter and milk. Went with some okress, too—took the blossoms and steeped them for a few minutes, then reduced the water down on low heat until I had a thick extract.

Vrinx told me that the cake had to have frifri berries, so I obliged. I muddled some up to put in the batter, and even put some in a buttercream frosting. I snuck a taste of the batter when Vrinx wasn’t looking—it’s so good. And I’m not big on cake.

After it came out of the oven, Vrinx tried to start frosting right away, and I had to yell at him that it wasn’t ready. Really… and he was supposed to be helping me. Ah well. The final product was wonderful. We aren’t able to have any tonight, but he promised he’d show me what all of this was for tomorrow morning.

I found out today that Picclite is Rhiemus’s planet. She was coming home for her daughter Vaylen’s birthday. That’s what the cake was for. Frifri berries are her favorite, and she loved that cake… more than most ten year-olds love cake.

Vaylen spent her entire birthday begging her mom to take her aboard the ship. At ten years old, she can choose to pursue traditional education at a nearby Embassy school, or take on an apprenticeship. It’s a great way to figure out what you want to do, and I can’t imagine a better way to learn about the universe than by seeing it firsthand. That’s why I took on an apprenticeship at the Embassy kitchen in the first place.

Rhiemus had actually been pondering Vaylen’s request for a while now. Remember when we started making packaged lunches so we wouldn’t have to raid as often? She was trying to get the Comet Chasers to stop raiding altogether, be self-sufficient. A pirate ship isn’t a safe place for her daughter to see the world. But a crew of cosmic adventurers? That’s another story.

She took us all onto the deck, and told us that our days of piracy were over. We’d make ends meet by travelling the galaxy, peddling goods, and taking on odd jobs. In lieu of this career change, she gave everyone on the crew an out, if they desired. Of course, nobody took her up on it. Not even me, their captive cook. For the first time in years, I feel free.

I offered to start up a cooking class to bring in additional revenue. After taking a day to study the ingredients, I could host a class on the ship and show the locals how to make a great meal. I want to save up for that holoplatter tech myself. Rhiemus loved the idea and gave me my first promotion. First Chief of Culinary Science… I like the sound of it.

Each morning, I will get to work in the kitchen with whatever ingredients we have available. Each lunar cycle, more new recipes await. Each planet is a goldmine for new flavors and tastes. I know I was pulled from the Embassy Kitchen before I was ready, but I’m glad I was. I had outgrown them, and didn’t even know it yet. I’m able to be who I was always meant to be: Corey, the Comet Chaser.

Rating: 5/5

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