Review – If You Can’t Stand the Heat

Review – If You Can’t Stand the Heat

If You Can’t Stand the Heat is an old, old story.


When I was first writing Star Trek: Enterprise fanfiction, I began with an idea about writing stories about the five senses.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | If You Can't Stand the Heat

If You Can’t Stand the Heat

This story covers taste.

I despised the last episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, These Are The Voyages, but I had no problem whatsoever with Jonathan Frakes playing the NX-01‘s chef. An older man seemed right for the job.


Review – If You Can’t Stand the Heat

The chef (originally named Paul Mayer – in later fan fiction, I call him William Slocum) starts  preparations for dinner like he would any other day, by deciding that he’ll make roast chicken. This is before Lili O’Day is hired and after time traveler Richard Daniels departs, so his main helper is Preston Jennings. The Xindi War has not yet started, so he has a multitude of assistants.

When he can’t find his assistants anywhere, and he needs a lemon, so he contacts the ship’s first Botanist, Naomi Curtis (Shelby Pike, like Lili, is brought in after the start of the Xindi War). She doesn’t know what’s going on, either. Because her own helpers are gone, too. So she heads to the kitchen. And when the door slides open it’s obvious that the hallways are freezing. Plus they smell vaguely of rotten eggs.

What’s going on?

Story Postings


The story is Rated K.


Without giving away spoilers, the story does prefigure goings on in later stories such as The Mess and Reversal. One thing I do like about the story is that, although it’s really an alien of the week one-off, it does introduce Slocum pretty well, and it also provides the reader with some context about how things were before the Xindi. E. g. the Enterprise had unnecessary personnel. Replacing Naomi with the more skilled and versatile Shelby makes sense, as does moving Jennings to Navigation and replacing him and anyone else working for Will, with Lili.

As an older story, I can see the holes in the plot and would have emphasized the cooking a lot less.

Recipe for Roast Chicken


1 (6 pound) chicken
also, 1 bunch of celery
1 small bag of baby carrots or 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into half lengthwise
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Paprika to taste
1 lemon, halved
1/2 head garlic
1 medium white onion, quartered, plus 1 onion, sliced in rounds


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Rinse the chicken with cool water, inside and out. Lay the sliced onion, the carrot and celery on the bottom of a roasting pan. Season the bird all over with paprika, salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the lemon, garlic and the quartered onion. Place the chicken, breast-side up, in the roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes.

Turn down the heat to 350 degrees F. and cook for 20 minutes per pound. Hence for a 6 pound chicken, that’s 2 hours.

Review – If You Can’t Stand the Heat

Roast chicken

The chicken has finished cooking when an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees F when you insert it into the thickest part of the thigh. The legs of the chicken should wiggle easily from the sockets, too. Finally, remove the chicken to a platter and let stand for 10 minutes, so the juices settle back into the meat before carving.

Posted by jespah

Shuttlepod pilot, fan fiction writer, sentient marsupial canid.