The Star Wars Menu: “Uncle Owen’s Burning Love” by Astrid Tuttle Winegar
Owen Lars lived a hard-scrabble life as a moisture farmer on that desolate rock, Tatooine. He comes off as a fairly grouchy guy, but who wouldn’t be grumpy when dealing with a whiny adolescent such as Luke Skywalker? Work needs to be done, Luke, and “You can waste time with your friends when your chores are done.” I don’t blame him; sometimes it’s hard to motivate your kids.
Owen also harbors some (legitimate) resentment toward Obi-Wan Kenobi: “That wizard is just a crazy old man. I don’t think (Obi-Wan) exists anymore… I told you to forget it.” What with his stepbrother Anakin’s problems and the unfortunate death of his beloved stepmother, Shmi Skywalker, it’s no wonder Owen is determined to shield Luke. Alas, Owen and his wife Beru are brutally incinerated by Imperial Stormtroopers (although one theory places the notorious Boba Fett at the scene of this tragic crime…).
Sadly, Luke is now free to pursue his own, orphaned, destiny.
“Uncle Owen’s Burning Love”
6 cups water
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
⅓ cup soft salted butter
⅓ cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon white pepper, divided
1 pound premium thick-cut bacon, cut into ½” pieces
1 pound onions, cut into ¼” slivers
1 pound mushrooms, cut into ¼” slices
1 teaspoon allspice
About 1 cup fresh parsley, minced
Combine the water, 1 teaspoon salt, and the potatoes in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cook on a rather high heat (a rolling boil), uncovered, 20 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup cooking liquid, then drain well using the saucepan lid. Add the butter, buttermilk, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon white pepper, and the reserved cooking liquid. Mash smoothly either by hand or with a hand mixer; cover and let stand.
Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a 5-quart deep skillet for about 12 minutes on rather high heat. Stir frequently. Remove to paper toweling with a slotted spoon. You want the bacon to end up crispy/chewy, but not burnt. Reserve grease in the pan.
Sauté the onions, mushrooms, and all remaining seasonings on rather high heat for 10 minutes. Stir often, scraping up any brown bits. Mix in the parsley and bacon well. Divide the mashed potatoes on plates, then top with the bacon mixture. Cover and chill leftovers. Serves 4-6.
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Astrid Tuttle Winegar
Astrid Tuttle Winegar is the author of Cooking for Halflings & Monsters: 111 Comfy, Cozy Recipes for Fantasy-Loving Souls, which is now available from Oloris Publishing and Amazon! She loves Middle-earth, Narnia, the Final Frontier, and many other things besides. She has a special love for the Galaxy Far, Far Away. She lives in the enchanted city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband and dog. Visit her website for more information: Astrid Tuttle Winegar | Cooking for Halflings & Monsters.