Review – If You Can’t Stand the Heat
When I was first writing Star Trek: Enterprise fanfiction, I began with an idea about writing stories about the five senses.
This story was devoted to taste.
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?
- If You Can’t Stand the Heat on Fanfiction.net
- If You Can’t Stand the Heat on Fictionpad
- If You Can’t Stand the Heat on Ad Astra
- If You Can’t Stand the Heat on Wattpad
- If You Can’t Stand the Heat on G & T Show forums
- If You Can’t Stand the Heat in context
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 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
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
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.
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.