From Official Star Trek Cooking Manual
Compiled by Mary Ann Piccard
Taken from the logbook of Nurse Christine Chapel.
I’ve had many requests from friends for recipes from places that I’ve visited while on duty aboard the Enterprise. Just answering these requests has come to mean a lot of writing, and has taken up a good bit of my allotted share of personal communications time on subspace radio. So, to forestall further requests and to simplify things a bit for myself, I shall take you on a culinary odyssey through the known and not so well-known parts of our galaxy. Perhaps this way, each of you will get the recipes you asked for – and a bit more besides. Hopefully, by sharing with you these off-world recipes, as well as some of the favorites of the bridge crew, and some of my own, I can share with you also a bit of the flavour of life aboard the Enterprise.
Being aboard her is exciting, fascinating, exhilarating, an intellectual challenge… hard rewarding work and…well, none of these all the time. There are ups and downs, and quiet lulls between bouts of fierce activity, when all of us now and again can find time to pursue our favourite interests. My duties as Dr. McCoy’s Medical Assistant and Chief Nurse include those of ship’s dietician, so my hobby of recipe collecting fits in very neatly.
We have a fully automated food synthesizer in place of the old traditional ship’s galley, and it works with somewhat different raw materials than the ordinary at-home cook uses; in fact these basic food building blocks, while available in quantity to Star Fleet are hardly what you buy in your neighbourhood market. Mr. Sulu, with his interest in botany, is a great deal of help to the hydroponics team in providing what might be called colloquially the icing on the cake, or a wee bit of extra spice and variety to our diet.
Just as the lighting aboard ship is arranged to simulate the diurnal cycle, so the produce of the hydroponics unit is arranged to approximately follow the cycle of seasons. This lends substance to the passage of time, and a sense of reality to the holidays celebrated aboard ship. For instance, we can have pumpkins for pie at Thanksgiving or fresh fargon root tea at the Feast of Tai Q’Wan, and even Antarean pomegranates’ for the Honor Day of Nephi. We have a variety of greens and berries in the spring, and a progression of fruits and vegetables through the summer right on to fall again.
Fortunately, with our knowledge of plant hormones and nutrient requirements, we are able to get abundant crops from a minimum of space devoted to such ‘gardening’. There are some things grown year-round, not so much from a need to fulfil nutritional requirements, as from the necessity of providing the crew with a pleasant environment.
Most of the recipes I will give you here were easily come by; a polite request to a gracious host or hostess, or a request to one or another of the diplomatic corps; these netted us a great variety of delicacies. More difficult was persuading an innkeeper to divulge his secrets. It was predictable that we should finally get some Romulan recipes; after all, there are and have been sporadic diplomatic relations between the Federation and the Romulan Empire, and Mr. Spock did spend some time in the company of Romulan Commander being ‘entertained’ as part of a ruse to get the Romulans’ secret cloaking device. But that we should eventually chance on a collection of Klingon recipes was the purest of luck; I’ll tell you the story later.
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I knew that Mr. Spock’s own favorite dishes would provide the real crowning glory for this book. An austere Vulcan he may be, but he is also half human. From his mother he inherited a taste for the finer things, which is really not in conflict with the aristocratic Vulcan traditions that shaped the other side of his character.
I was not sure he would like having his personal eating preferences made public in a cook book, so I thought I would just check the frequency of use records in the Enterprise’s food synthesizer to see what he had been eating. As soon as I saw the computer printout, I knew better. In the first place, this superbly disciplined Vulcan does not wear out his taste for, or weaken his enjoyment of his real favorites by having them often. With due allowance for this, the printout still didn’t fit the person.
Dr. McCoy then reminded me that Spock’s severely plain looking living quarters included simple but adequate cooking facilities, and we all know that he often likes to do things himself.
There was nothing for it but to ask him, and I’m very glad I did. He has been an immense help, both about his own favorites and also with the chapter on Vulcan. I should like to tell you that these two chapters have all the best of Vulcan cooking but I know there are many traditional dishes which even today are eaten only on special memorable occasions and only by persons of appropriate rank. Even without them, Mr Spock’s acknowledged selection is superb.
Plomeek Soup (orange vegetable soup)
In spite of Mr Spock’s one time illogical behavior, Plomeek Soup is for eating not for throwing. It is made by blending together a great many native Vulcan vegetables; Mr Spock has helped me translate the recipe into more readily available ingredients. Plomeek Soup is traditionally served with a spoonful of sour cream on top; this is carefully swirled out with a spoon to make a spiral shape, representative of the galaxy. The outline of the galaxy is then emphasized with very finely chopped parsley. For less festive occasions, it may be served without garnish, or it may be served with a small spoonful of butter (or margarine) in the center. The recipe makes 6 to 7 cups of soup.
2 tb butter or margarine
2 or 3 med to large onions, peeled and sliced
1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced
½ lb turnips, peeled and sliced
10 ounces of potatoes, peeled & sliced
5 tb tomato paste
3 cup water
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 ½ teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoons dried basil
¼ teaspoons nutmeg
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper (optional)
1 cup water, to rinse pan and blender to be added to soup
Sour cream -- for garnish
Parsley -- finely chopped for garnish
In the pot, melt the butter and when it is foamy, add the onion and fry until golden. Add everything else to the pot except the last cup of water and the sour cream and parsley garnishes. Simmer, covered, for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are tender. Run it all through the blender, about 1 to 11/2 cups at a time. When it is all pureed, rinse the cooking pot with the cup of water and add that to the 'empty' blender. Run the blender for a few seconds and then slosh the water about to get as much of the vegetable puree as possible off the sides of the blender. Add this liquid to the soup. Pour the soup back into the cleaned out pot and reheat it before serving (use very gentle heat). Ladle into bowls. Garnish with sour cream and parsley as described above.