So I recently got the opportunity to do something I have, since the tender days of my youth, always wanted to do. Nope, I’m not talking about flying, kissing a girl on the mouth or finger-blasting a giraffe. I’m talking about something slightly more satisfying!
Ladies and gentlemen … I have eaten Yoda’s stew.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, but no, I’m not making an innuendo … though I do admit that “eating Yoda’s stew” would make for an admirable, if not slightly disconcerting, sexual euphemism…
“Yo, what base you get to with that girl last night?”
“Nah man, it isn’t like that. I really like her. So I just ate Yoda’s stew.”
Regardless, what I refer to, quite possibly for the first (and probably last) time in the history of this blog, is something rather more innocent … if not literal.
Like most other young sprites of the male persuasion finding their crazy ways through the ankle-lined tube sock days of the early 1980s, I was hopelessly addicted to Star Wars. What can I say? The original trilogy taught me a lot, like how to destroy a planet-sized war machine, how to recognize a trap and why you should never, ever trust a black man in a baby blue cape. Yup, turns out Hooper X was right. Star Wars is totally racist.
One of the other things it inspired in me was a deep, carnal hunger for Yoda … ‘s stew. I’m sure you remember the scene, wherein our hero, Luke Skywalker, lands on the swamp planet Dagobah looking for the legendary jedi master Yoda, only to realize that the hairy latex booger thing that first welcomes him to the planet IS Yoda! SO meta.
Before Luke begins his jedi training, Yoda feeds him up good with a stew bubbling away in his little cauldron on his little hearth, served with a little wooden spoon. If you don’t remember the scene, or are some kind of douchenozzle and have never seen Empire Strikes Back, you can find it on glorious YouTube HERE.
Now I ask you, how can you NOT want to eat that stew? Picture it: you’re stranded on a lost planet with bog monsters everywhere, your chirping mailbot is sitting patiently outside, a backwards-talking mutant frog invites you to cozy up in his rape shack in the woods and creepily demands that you drink his magic pixie potion. Who wouldn’t say yes? Dickbags, that’s who!
But seriously, the whole scene looks all too cozy and I always KNEW that stew would be absolutely bangin’. I mean, that little bastard can crush like a whole case of Dr. Pepper with his mind – mother fucker’s GOTTA know how to sling a spice or two. And so, I became a little bit obsessed with the stew, but never thought I would actually get the chance to try it.
That’s when my friend Anthony and his fiancee Karen (whose lifestyle blog, Project-Kaye, definitely deserves a shameless plug) dropped a bombshell on me more powerful than the payload of even the most tricked-out TIE Bomber. They were going to make the stew.
Apparently, Anthony found the recipe in a book collecting Star Wars paraphernalia. It harkens back to 1983, when famous chef Craig Claiborne was invited to make the stew for a National Public Radio (NPR) program. So, not only does it turn out that others were jonesing for Yoda’s stew, but also, books are useful. Who knew? Still, reading’s for suckers, so to save you the trouble of going through an entire book, I’ve posted the recipe below, but with cleverer headlines.
Don’t say I never gave you anything … besides the clap. Sorry about that, by the way, but at least wherever you go now, there’s applause.
3 pounds lean lamb or other meat
6 tablespoons oil
6 cups parsley; finely chopped
3 cups onions; thinly sliced
1 tablespoon garlic; finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons ginger root; finely minced
1 teaspoon hot green or red chilies; finely chopped, seeded
1/4 teaspoon cardamon; ground
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 bay leaf
3 pounds fresh spinach; well rinsed and tough stems removed.
1) Cut the meat into 1″ (one inch) cubes; add salt and pepper to taste.
2) Heat half the oil in a heavy skilet and add the meat until the pieces turn brown on all sides.
3) Heat the remaining oil in a Dutch oven or heavy casserole and add parsley, onions, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are wilted. Add the meat, coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger root, chilies, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir.
4) Add water to cover, bring to boil and cover tightly. Let simmer about 2 to 2 1/2 hours until the meat is quite tender.
5) Meanwhile, drop the spinach into a kettle of boiling water with salt to taste and let simmer about 5 minutes. Drain well and run under cold water. Drain thoroughly.
6) Squeeze the spinach to remove all excess liquid. Place the spinach on a chopping block and chop coarsely.
7) Add the spinach to the stew and stir. Let simmer together about 5 minutes. Yield: 8 servings.
So how was it in the Endor? Well, it turns out Anthony isn’t a complete R2 Dbag, and showed some impressive skill as a bite saver. Filling, tasty and with a great texture, Yoda’s stew couldn’t have been better if it was made by the wrinkly little muppet, himself. Even my dull wooden spoon (a prerequisite for eating that night to preserve authenticity) was able to cut through the tender beef like a lightsaber through a Tauntaun.
Anthony tapped into the “light” side of the force and didn’t over-spice the stew with a heavy hand, which I was afraid he might. As we all know, fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to Anthony suffering a swift kick to the nuts. Luckily, he used restraint and did an admirable Akbar job.
I have only now to thank Anthony for fulfilling my dreams by finally allowing me to eat Yoda’s stew … this time I DO mean that sexually.
If reading you are this … the Stevolution you are.
A bit of extra credit this time – here are some other movie foods I’ve always wanted to eat. What about you? What would be on your cinematic plate?
1.) The Feast of the Ghost of Christmas Present in Mickey’s Christmas Carol
2.) The Lost Boys’ Dinner in Hook
3.) The Chocolate River in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
4.) The Dude-yuck in Troll 2 … (That’s right, feed me your dude-yuck!)