Kreludan Recipes: Rocket Cookie
(I recently bought a copy of Kreludan Recipes and gave it to my Xweetok, Nainensoturi, to read. Nainensoturi is a little new to reading, so when the book promised to "talk [her] through the recipe as [she] was cooking," it seemed like a perfect fit for her. She seemed pleased with the new purchase, and went off into a quiet corner of the garden to read. When she came back, however, she was frowning.
"I think there's something wrong with the book," she said, and to demonstrate, she pressed the button that read "Rocket Cookie."
The first time through I was shocked. The second time through I had the presence of mind to transcribe what we heard. I'm in the process of sending this same record to the publishing company, as I'm sure it must be a mistake or a hoax. However, I thought it wise to send a copy to the Neopian Times, to warn potential customers. Also, if I or my neopet happen to be mysteriously mutated or harassed, the reason will be very clear.
This is the transcribed recipe for "Rocket Cookies".)
Chef Starman: Greetings, reader and listener! My name is Chef "Hot Boots" Starman, and with me is the lovely Morgo Coalminer. Today we'll be walking you through a recipe for knockout Kreludan rocket cookies! How exciting! Before we begin, I'll turn this over to Morgo so she can walk us through a history of the rocket cookie. Morgo?
Morgo Coalminer: Thank you, Steve!
Chef Starman: -No, no, it's Chef "Hot Boots"-
Morgo: A delectable treat that is as old as Kreludor itself, rocket cookies are a staple of kitchens all over our little moon, and a delight to children everywhere. Why, even Dr. Sloth is known to love these cookies!
Chef Starman: Um, actually, axe that line. Turns out the Sloth testimony was false.
Morgo: Really? But we have him on file saying-
Chef Starman: Well, one of his warships shot a giant hole through Cafe Kreludor the other day, so we don't want to take any risks.
Morgo: Of course, of course. Should we start over?
Chef Starman: No, they'll edit it out later. Just keep going.
Morgo: Okay. Um, rocket cookies are full of nutrients and fiber. Unlike lava cake, these cookies are easy to chew, and recommended for young and elderly alike. Well, Steve, shall we get started?
Chef Starman: "Hot Boots," Morgo! I'm "Hot Boots!"
Morgo: Sorry, "Hot Boots." What equipment do we need to bake these cookies?
Chef Starman: Well, you'll definitely need an oven and a fridge for these. We recommend the Hover Fridge and Fire Faerie Oven, but any brand will do. You will also need two large mixing bowls, a rolling pin, a mixing spoon, a 9x12 baking sheet, a roll of wax paper, and, of course, a rocket-shaped cookie cutter. What ingredients do we need to make these babies, Mor- (An alarm starts wailing in the background.)
Morgo: What is that?
Chef Starman: Hold on, I'll go and check it out. Keep going. You'll probably have to do a lot of it over again, because of the noise, but practice is practice.
Morgo: Ok. (Talks a little louder as the shrill alarm continues) For this recipe you will need: 1 cup of butter, 1 cup of Kreludan rock flour, a pinch of salt, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 regular negg, 1 tablespoon of milk, 1/2 teaspoon of kreluberry extract. If you do not have access to Kreludan rock flour, or do not have time to harvest Kreludan rocks and grind them into powder with a pestle and mortar, wheat flour will do. For a delicious citrus flavor, you can add a quarter teaspoon of Grundo orange zest. Now Steve will tell us how to go about this- Steve, what's going on? What set off the alarm?
Chef Starman: RUN! RUN!
Morgo: What? But Steve-
Chef Starman: SLOTH CLONES! (Laser gun noises can be heard in the background.) HURRY!
(There are a few minutes of running and heavy breathing as the alarm continues, but the laser gun noises get fainter and fainter.)
Morgo: Wait! Stop! We can hide in the cabinet!
Chef Starman: But we need to keep going!
Morgo: That door leads outside, and I'll bet you a neocola token that there are other clones out there.
Chef Starman: They'll find us here!
Morgo: They'll catch us out there. The nearest cave is probably mile away, and there's probably no cover at all. Two orange Grundos would stick out like sore thumbs, especially if they were running.
Chef Starman: But-
Morgo: Come on, Steve! Trust me!
Chef Starman: ...Okay.
(There are some scuffling noises, and a metal door shuts. The alarm is muffled now. A moment of relative silence passes.)
Chef Starman: Are you comfortable?
Morgo: As much as I can be.
Chef Starman: I'm so, so sorry I recommended this job to you. I thought-
Morgo: -Don't be, it's fine-
Chef Starman: - you would like this job, you have such a nice voice and you always manage to be enthusiastic about everything-
Morgo: I have a nice voice?
Chef Starman: Well, yeah. Of course.
Morgo: Thank you.
Chef Starman: You're welcome.
Morgo: You have a nice voice too. I know it sounds like I'm just repeating the compliment to be nice, but I mean it. Your smile is also really nice too.
Chef Starman: Thanks.
Morgo: You're welcome.
(Another moment without dialogue passes.)
Chef Starman: I think the microphones are still on.
Morgo: Do you want to keep doing the recording?
Chef Starman: Of course not. I don't want to spend my last unmutated moments talking about cookies.
Morgo: Well, if we finish it, we'll get paid.
Chef Starman: You won't be able to use your paycheck once you're mutated. I hear it causes amnesia and you won't even remember that you got the job.
Morgo: Well, the company has to forward my last paycheck to my grandmother if something happens to me during the recording. I made sure it was included in the contract.
Chef Starman: You did?
Chef Starman: Why?
Morgo: It's something I always do. Ever since my first job in the mines, I've been worried about that sort of thing. I want Granny to be safe, you know?
Chef Starman: I get it. Okay, let's finish this. Where were we?
Morgo: I finished the ingredients. You're about to describe the procedure.
Chef Starman: Okay. Well, Morgo, the first thing you're going to want to do is sift the flour in the first bowl, and add your other dry ingredients as you go. Then, in the second bowl, you're going to mix together the butter and eggs. To make mixing easier, be sure that the butter has time to sit at room temperature and soften. Then you'll want to gradually add the negg and milk to that same bowl. Then you add the dry goods and mix until all of your ingredients are together. Then you wrap the dough in wax paper and refrigerate it for two hours.
Morgo: Ok, Steve, now let's fast forward through those two hours. What's next?
Chef Starman: Seriously, if we're going to keep doing this, you're going to have to stop calling me Steve. It's "Hot Boots."
Morgo: But what's wrong with your real name?
Chef Starman: Steve is a boring name. There are a whole bunch of dull people named Steve out there.
Morgo: I don't know. "Hot Boots" sounds like a guy trying too hard to sound like he's brave and smart. All the Steves I know are brave, and smart, and really kind.
Chef Starman: How many Steves do you know?
Morgo: Well, just the one, but he's made a really strong impression on me.
(The alarm finally stops, and there's a moment of dead silence.)
Chef Starman: Morgo, I-
Morgo: Shh! I hear them.
(The hosts are quiet, and you can hear very faint thudding sounds in the background. There's a metallic clang - I assume the door has fallen - and then there are loud footsteps. The cabinet door swings open.)
Chef Starman: Wait, what?-
Morgo: You? Why-
(There is static for a few seconds, then transmission resumes.)
Chef Starman: (Strained, stilted, afraid, trying to sound perky nonetheless) Well, folks, it looks like we've got a very special guest here today. Introducing our third, lovely cohost, Vira.
Vira: Hello! I hope I'm not too late to join in the fun!
Chef Starman: Yes, Vira has bound and gagged my cohost Morgo and is insisting very strongly that she be allowed to add her opinions into the recording!
Vira: Yes! Once this recording is sent, I will be holding both little orange hosts for ransom until the Neopian Printing House accepts my generous conditions and publishes my manuscript.
Chef Starman: (Somewhat mechanical, as if reading off of a script) Why, Vira, you have written a book? What is is about?
Vira: I'm glad you asked, you delightfully hideous mass of orange matter! I've decided that I've lurked in the shadows of obscurity for too long, and it's high time to capitalize on my lovely mystique. My new book, called Vira Obliterates All Nuisances, is a combination spell book, self-help book, and memoir. The Neopian Publishing House had the gall to reject that brilliant piece of nonfiction, can you believe it?
Chef Starman: (Not as mechanical.) Um, did you try Faerie Books or Neovian Printing Press? I hear they-
Vira: Faerie Books won't accept it because they're afraid Jhudora will sue for slander. Neovian Printing Press' audience is too small. Stay on the script or the sloth clones will mutate your cohost.
Chef Starman: Okay. Sorry. Ahem. (Mechanical again.) That is tragically unjust, but your perseverance and resourcefulness are admirable.
Vira: Well, to quote a proverb from my own book, "If at first you don't succeed, cast evil spells on your foes until they are forced to admit your supremacy."
Chef Starman: (What is quite possibly the most dry, soulless, terrified laugh that has ever been uttered) Ha. Ha.
Vira: Well, enough about me, how are those cookies coming along?
Chef Starman: Just great, Vira. Our ingredients are mixed, and now we are going to preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit...
Chef Starman: I'm sorry, this is Morgo's part. In the original script I turn it over to her.
Vira: Oh, all right. (To the clones, one assumes.) Let the girl go.
(A scuffle ensues. A laser gun goes off four times. One assumes from the following dialogue that Morgo grabs the laser gun and dispatches the sloth clones, then turns it on Vira.)
Morgo: Step away from my friend.
Vira: Nice try, sweetheart, but you forgot the tiny detail where I'm an evil sorceress.
(Cobrall hissing sound. Morgo screams.)
Vira: The transmutation of regular objects into cobralls can be found in my book "Chapter Five: Fear Itself." It takes an extreme practiced sorceress like myself to use it nonverbally. I normally use it on hair, but it also works with laser guns.
Morgo: (Shaken but trying to sound tough) I'd rather not flatter you, but that book does sound awesome.
Vira: Doesn't it, though? How could anyone possibly turn it down? Anyway, tell us how to make cookies.
Morgo: Okay. Well, the dough has been refrigerated and the oven has been preheated. Your next step is to lightly dust flour over the surface where you will be rolling out the cookie dough. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll it out until it is a quarter of an inch thick. You'll want to move the dough around to make sure it doesn't stick to the surface, you understand.
Chef Starman: Of course.
Vira: There's actually a recipe for a non-stick potion in my book. Reduces the friction of any surface, because physics is made to be defied.
Morgo: Interesting. Do you use it for cooking?
Vira: I generally recommend smearing it on people's shoes. The potion is in "Chapter One: Petty Mischief."
Morgo: Ah. Well, maybe it can be used here too. Anyway, once your dough is cut, you can finally start with- (the same alarm goes off again) Really? Really? Are we being serious right now?
Vira: What's happening?
Chef Starman: Wait, you're not causing this?
Morgo: (Hysteria creeps into her voice) This recipe is jinxed! It's cursed! Every single time we start, something goes horribly wrong! WE ARE NEVER GOING TO GET THROUGH THIS!
Chef Starman: It's okay, Morgo, it's okay-
Vira: If this recipe is actually cursed, may I have a copy of the script?
(There is a loud "VORP" sound.)
Morgo: YOU ARE KIDDING ME WITH THIS RIGHT NOW.
Vira: Heeey, Frank-
Dr. Frank Sloth: I assure you, little one, I am kidding no one. As for you-
Vira: What are you so mad about? I won your warship and these clones in that poker game, fair and square.
Dr. Frank Sloth: You blew a hole in my favorite cafe!
Vira: That was an accident! Flying a warship is hard!
Dr. Frank Sloth: You're holding representatives of my company hostage! How DARE you?
Vira: Wait, your company? You own the Neopian Publishing House?
Dr. Frank Sloth: Of course! I started blackmailing the owners last month!
Vira: Your company rejected my book?
Dr. Frank Sloth: You sent in a manuscript?
Vira: YES! That's why I'm ransoming your employees!
Dr. Frank Sloth: Oh dear, if I'd have known I would have righted this wrong immediately! My new policy dictates that the company should only accept absolute drivel now, so we can further lower the morale and education level of Neopians everywhere. It's part of my latest evil scheme. Diabolical, isn't it?
Vira: Up until the point where you refuse to publish my hard work.
Dr. Frank Sloth: I'm so sorry, I was completely unaware of your submission. I'll have the editor who rejected your manuscript mutated and fired immediately.
Vira: If you really want to make amends you'll hand him over to me. I've been meaning to try out a few new spells.
Dr. Frank Sloth: Anything to appease you. I'll have your book printed in no time. I'm so sorry, Vira. An author's work is their soul, and I've vicariously done you a horrible wrong. I would only inflict the gut-wrenching pain of denial on a law-abiding citizen of Neopia; never would I dream of torturing a dastardly friend like yourself in such a way.
Vira: "Dastardly" huh? Well, publish my book and we'll call it even. I'll even release these little weird things that you call "employees" after the recording's finished.
Chef Starman: Please do.
Dr. Frank Sloth: Indeed. Now, you were recording something for a cookbook?
Morgo: Yes, we're actually finishing up a recipe for rocket cookies.
Dr. Frank Sloth: Oh, I'm sorry, that recipe has been completely redone. You'll have to re-record the whole thing.
Dr. Frank Sloth: Yes. This is actually my cookbook, I thought, "What better way to subdue the entire population of Neopia and Kreludor than to teach its denizens to make high-calorie, fattening, disgusting food?" But this rocket cookie recipe is magnificent, because I didn't want people going to my cafe, buying my favorite snack, and driving the prices up through increased demand. However, I realize now that if I include a horrifying, disgusting recipe that creates horrible cookies, everyone will assume rocket cookies are terrible. Demand will fall, and I can enjoy a perfect pleasure on the cheap.
Vira: You know, now that we've been talking about cookies for the past hour, I'm actually really hungry.
Sloth: Shall we go to Cafe Kreludor? You should buy me a rocket cookie because you partially destroyed my favorite eatery.
Vira: No, you should buy me a Kreludan fruit salad because you rejected my manuscript.
Sloth: (Slightly fainter, as if he is walking away.) Oh boo, I apologized for that. And you still stole my ship and almost blasted a lovely venue off the face of this small moon.
Vira: (Fainter still, as if she is walking away too) I can't hear you through this gut-wrenching pain. Look at my gut. It's so wrenched.
Chef Starman: ... Are you okay, Morgo?
Morgo: ARGH! We spent all day- our lives were totally- WHAT.
Chef Starman: It's okay, it's okay, calm down.
Morgo: Give me a minute, I'll be fine. (Breathes slowly, sighs) Jeez.
Chef Starman: It's been a really rough day for both of us. Tell you what, let's take a break and come back to the studio. Maybe tonight we can take a shuttle down to Neopia and go out for some ice cream or something? It would be a little expensive, but considering the day we've had...
Morgo: Yeah. I think I'd like that. I'd like that a lot.
Chef Starman: Great! Should we go right now?
Morgo: Do lets.
Chef Starman: Fantastic, I'll just get my stuff.
Morgo: Wait, Hot Boots, before I forget-
Chef Starman: No, call me Steve. I've been thinking about what you said, and maybe "Hot Boots" is a little too pretentious.
Morgo: Ok Steve. Before we go I wanted to tell you-
(A loud hissing sound.)
Chef Starman: Oh no, the cobrall!
(This is where the transmission ends. If this is a true story and not a hoax, I will be simultaneously disturbed and relieved. If Chef Starman and Morgo are actual neopets, I give them my best and hope that this report does not get them in trouble.)