Tag Archives: Chef Slocum

Review – Before the Fall

Review – Before the Fall

Before the Fall references pride.

Background

For an early Lili story, I got the idea as I was given a prompt for a story about the seven deadly sins. I chose pride.

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Jonathan Frakes as Chef Will Slocum (image is for educational purposes only) | Before the Fall
Jonathan Frakes as Chef Will Slocum (image is for educational purposes only)

For quite a while, I had had the idea of pitting Will and Lili against each other in an Iron Chef-style competition.

Putting together the prequel idea, pride and the competition brought me directly to this story.

Plot

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Naomi Watts as Lili O'Day (image is for educational purposes)
Naomi Watts as Lili O’Day (image is for educational purposes)

Lili is a new employee on the NX-01, recently hired by Will and so this is after both Voracious and Harvest.

It’s the middle of the Xindi War, and the crew needs a break. Apart from an extra Movie Night, what do you do for entertainment? Hence the idea for a competition was thought up.

I decided the judges would be Jonathan, Malcolm and Jay, thereby prefiguring Lili’s relationship with Malcolm and her connection to Jay, plus her failed connection, during the first E2 alternate timeline, with Jonathan. The food, too, would prefigure some things, including the smoky cumin which is referenced in Temper.

Review – Before the Fall

Preston Jennings makes an appearance, thereby tying the story to More, More, More! He is Chef’s assistant between Daniels and Lili. Lili selects Brian Delacroix as her assistant, thereby neatly prefiguring his becoming a chef (hinted at in Reversal, and then fully realized in Together and Fortune).

Hoshi and Chip host the event, which is broadcast throughout the ship. The secret ingredient, almonds, must be incorporated into all of the dishes that Lili and Will make. Then the judges anonymously taste and decide, giving points for flavor, originality and presentation. Lili and Brian work well as a team, and poor Preston has a bit of a meltdown. As for Will, well, you know what pride goeth before, right?

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I like the frenzied nature of the competition and the details about the work that goes into it. I have watched these kinds of shows more than once, and they continue to amaze me with people’s creativity and risk-taking. Plus, truth be told, it’s a bit of a slam at the Frakes character, given my annoyance with These Are the Voyages. I think it worked out pretty well.

Review – If You Can’t Stand the Heat

Review – If You Can’t Stand the Heat

Background

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

Review – If You Can’t Stand the Heat
If You Can’t Stand the Heat

This story was devoted to 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.

Plot

Review – If You Can’t Stand the Heat

The chef (originally named Paul Mayer – in later fan fiction, he’s named 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, as her own helpers are nowhere to be found. She heads to the kitchen. When the door slides open it’s obvious that the hallways are freezing. And they smell vaguely of rotten eggs.

What’s going on?

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

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 was loaded with 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

Ingredients

1 (6 pound) chicken
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

Directions

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. For a 6 pound chicken, that’s 2 hours.

Review – If You Can’t Stand the Heat
Roast chicken

The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (the legs of the chicken should wiggle easily from the sockets too.) Remove the chicken to a platter and let stand for 10 minutes, so the juices settle back into the meat before carving.

Review – Onions

Background

On Ad Astra, there was a weekly prompt about crying. Now, I am not a fan of making my characters cry. It’s not that I don’t – God knows they weep up a storm at times. But for whatever reason, I don’t love writing the specifics of that in fanfiction. I tend to use more euphemistic expressions, such as wet face or red face. I wanted to answer the prompt, but I wanted a kind of back-handed reason for crying that wouldn’t be quite so readily apparent. And of course it came to me – chopping onions. And who better to do that than sous-chef extraordinaire Lili O’Day?

Plot

It’s Christmas Eve of 2153, and Lili and Will are putting together supper for everyone. French onion soup is on the menu, so she is chopping. And chopping. And chopping.

Chopping onions
Chopping onions

And of course her eyes are tearing and her arms are killing her.

But then Will puts his foot in his mouth, big time. She hasn’t been working with him for that long, and he decides to make conversation. He asks her what her family normally made for Christmas dinner. She mutters something about coquilles St. Jacques grilled or baked,  served in their shells with a cream sauce. But she doesn’t tell him anything else.

And Will, like a fool, persists and pushes her. And she has to blurt out that holidays are hurtful, because of the deaths of her parents.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I wanted to honor Lili’s parents and, at the same time, get across that holidays, for a lot of people, are just plain godawful. Plus I wanted a reason for her to be crying. The onions set her off, but it’s the memory – and the Will’s misguided persistence – that really ice it for her.

I think the story came out well, and packs a lot into only 560 words.


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