|Atlantis's Betty Crocker Thanksgiving Cook Off
Author: Lady Lemons PM
FarFetched and full of fluff. BUT I felt compelled to write it. Totally Complete now. Title is pretty self explanatory and it gets better as it goes. Feedback would be appreciated, but not required.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor - Elizabeth W. & John S. - Chapters: 5 - Words: 9,942 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 09-16-07 - Published: 12-03-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3272617
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter Five: Game On
Not long after the team had arrived back, were the groceries sorted according to participants and official rules of the cook-off sent out via email to everyone.
TO: All Personnel
Subject: Cook-off Rules
As of yesterday all of the remaining necessary goods were purchased to complete all the entrant's recipes, therefore the plan is to have our cook-off the day of Thanksgiving. Contestants may enter under one of three categories: main dish, side, or dessert. All dishes will be made twice, once for the judges and one larger portion to share at the dinner that will commence at the close of the contest to celebrate Thanksgiving. Entrants may start cooking anytime after 8 am, and we will sit down to eat at three AST, hopefully providing everyone with enough time to complete their dishes.
However, we are in need of judges. If you are interested, submit your name to Dr. Zelenka who has in conjunction with Hermiod written a program to randomly select five people to be our judges. This will take place at 7 am the morning of the cook-off.
In the event of an emergency, said cook-off will be postponed. All questions may be sent to Dr. Weir.
Good Luck and Happy Thanksgiving!
Elizabeth was excited about her little project. Everyone she talked to seem to share her sentiments as well. Sadly, the gamblers (This however, included most of the expedition, organized by Zelenka) had already analyzed the list of participants and had placed bets on who would win each category. There also was a pool for who would have the worst tasting dish. Dr. Heightmeyer was projected to win the main dish with all the hype about her fabulous lasagna. One of the German scientists apparently used to be a pastry chief so she was slated to win the dessert category. Many were a little leery of what Ronon was going to make, although no one would dare admit it to his face for fear of bodily injury, nonetheless he was favored to have the worst tasting dish.
Finally, the morning of the competition came and those competing were assembled in the mess. There was plenty of room for everyone to work because several of the adjoining rooms to the main kitchen contained many workstations that would allow all to complete their dishes. The normal kitchen staff were forbidden to enter as they would be cooking the main portion of the feast. In total there were 50 contestants. 15 were entering the dessert part, 15 for the side dish category, and 20 entering a dish under the main course category. There were marines, scientists, medical personnel, and a few of the Athosians entering, not to mention Ronon as well. The excitement was palpable in the air as Dr. Weir entered with Dr. Zelenka who was carrying a laptop. The two took up a place at the front of the room, and everyone quieted to listen to what they had to say.
"Welcome everyone," began Elizabeth, "Hopefully this will be the start of a tradition here on Atlantis. First of all, I just wanted to remind everyone that there will be no sabotaging of anyone's dish, or bribing the judges, since the winner of each category will be earning a special prize. So if there are no questions, we will proceed with the choosing of the judges, Radek?"
Zelenka nodded and typed some things on his computer, "Okay this program was designed to randomly select five names to be our judges. If you are called please come forward. Ah…first off: Major Lorne."
Applause as the Major walked forward. Dr. Weir continued to introduce the judges: "Secondly, Dr. Lindsay Novak from the Daedalus."
There was also applause for the female Doctor who always seemed to hic-up. "Thirdly our very own gate technician, Chuck. (Applause from everyone who had ever stepped through the gate). Our fourth judge is Colonel Caldwell. (Respectful applause.) And our last judge for the cook off is……"
"Rodney?" Came Zelenka's voice containing a hint of disappointment.
"Yes, uh. Dr. McKay is our last judge," finished Elizabeth.
Rodney beamed as he walked up to join the rest of the group, however nobody was applauding. The irritable scientist was going to make things difficult, to say the least. Sheppard turned to Ronon and said semi-loudly, "Well we all know why he entered to be a judge, so he could eat more." This caused everyone within earshot to snicker.
Elizabeth shot the colonel one of her death glares before continuing on, "Yes, these are the judges who will observe the competition and determine the winners of each category, so without further ado, let the cook-off begin."
--Cook-Off Zone 3--
"What? Are you trying to kill me? Lemon Poppy seed cake? How am I supposed to sample that?" Came a grating voice from the other end of the room, causing a collective sigh to occur in the contestants. "And you! Lemon and herb chicken? Murderers all of you!" The voice had raised another octave in its owner's desperation. Everyone within earshot averted their eyes and tried to look focused on their work. "I am disgusted! Ach, lemon meringue pie?!? I can't work under these conditions!"
"Rodney, that's why there are four other judges who can eat everything," supplied the only one in the room who dared to give the scientist a little taste of their own medicine. "Why did you volunteer to be a judge if you have food allergies?"
McKay stomped over to the station Sheppard was working at, "It's a conspiracy I tell you!" raising his voice, "You all are out to get me! You're doing it on purpose so I can't judge your food. I'm sure it's not all crappy tasting!"
"Yes McKay, see just tell everyone how terrible their food tastes and then they'll like you even more," retorted the Colonel sarcastically as he diced up tomatoes putting them into a bowl next to the already sliced green pepper, black olives, and mushrooms.
Rodney put his hands on his hips and glared at the pilot, "Well it's true. How many of the dishes are going to suck? I mean look at you, like you can cook well? What are you making? A salad!"
"Oh, you may be a "genius", replied Sheppard putting air quotes around 'genius', "But you can be pretty stupid sometimes. It's not a salad, and people can surprise you. Look at Ronon, he cooks too."
Ronon, who was working at the station next to John, look up and pointed at his dish, smiling at McKay.
"Oh yes, let me go try Conan's Satedan Surprise," snarked McKay rolling his eyes looking at the bubbling pot of mystery ingredients, "I am sure seven years of cooking on the run made you a gourmet chef."
Ronon started to crack his knuckles while glaring at McKay, when Lorne walked up to join the little group, "Dr. McKay, not taking bribes are we?"
Rodney huffed and replied, "As if I would sink that low Major. Neither of these look remotely appetizing!"
"I don't know, the Colonel's over here looks pretty appealing," stated Lorne matter-of-factly as he watched his CO start to mix flour and other dry ingredients into dough.
"Why thank you major, at least one of our judges has something other than insults to say. It's called positive reinforcement Rodney; maybe you should try it sometime!"
--Cook-Off Zone 1--
Colonel Steven Caldwell was a man of many tastes, and good food happened to be one of them. He took a great deal of pride in his passion for an excellent dish, and considered himself to be a bit of a food critic. The fact that he was an avid fan of the food network was not something he advertised at work, however he not only liked to sample food, but create it as well. That was why he had submitted his name to be a judge. He felt that he was more than qualified to determine a suitable winner, plus he would have an advantage since many would underestimate the upstanding military man.
Caldwell was silently patrolling the cooking zone, taking in everything. He had already picked up on the people who obviously had a passion for working in the kitchen. The creativity and genius of some of them was astounding. Then again, some were just plain pathetic. These were the people who really did not get out of the office enough to practice the fine art of cooking. Steven turned the corner to find a perfect example staring him in the face. Not literally of course, she was actually in the middle of frosting a slightly lop-sided cake. "Dr. Weir how goes your cake making endeavor?" he asked politely.
She looked up from her cake and Caldwell could see the flour dust contrasting greatly against her usually spotless black pants. She also had a little bit of frosting on the side of her face. Yep, it was apparent that this work-a-holic did not get into the kitchen that much. "Oh, in all honesty I hope this cake tastes better than it looks," she replied with a smile, "I do not get around to practicing that much anymore."
Steven returned her smile with a polite one of his own and said, "Well, I could see how one really would not have too much time to do that here."
"Sadly, I have to agree with that statement," replied Elizabeth.
Further conversation was forestalled at their attention was drawn to the opposite end of the room where the biting tones of one of Caldwell's fellow judges was chewing someone out rather loudly. You told me I could try it, but failed to mention that there was LEMON in it! You are just lucky I have my Benadryl on me!
Caldwell had been hearing complaints about McKay's behavior since the start of the competition, and by now he was pretty fed up with the over-vocal physicist. "If you will excuse me Dr. Weir, I need to go have a word with Dr. McKay."
Elizabeth watched as he strode over to Rodney and said to no one in particular, "Best of luck with that," and then resumed the work of decorating her cake.
--Cook-Off Zone 2--
After being chewed out by Caldwell for being too pessimistic, Rodney wandered over to where Chuck and Novak were standing, entranced by something interesting. To his surprise, he soon found himself drawn in as well. The German ex-pastry-chef-turned-scientist was in the middle of creating a masterpiece. Dr. Werden was creating some highly complex bonbons of a sort, and all three judges could not help but stare.
"Hic-up," started Dr. Novak, "How does she do it? It looks like ones you'd see at some high end restaurant."
Chuck nodded his head in agreement even though they were all focused on Werden, "This is going to be excellent to test taste."
By this point in the competition Rodney was really starting to get hungry, but all his test-tasting attempts had turned into fiascos. However, it never hurt to ask right? So he asked Dr. Werden in his most polite voice, "Any chance that perhaps we could sample some of your delicious looking work?" Unconsciously moving closer to the work station.
"Nein," was her brusque response.
"Nine samples! Sweet!" came McKay's enthusiastic response as he reached a hand for one of the completed plates of truffles.
However his fingers soon were smacked away as the German scientist brought her wooden spoon down on his hand saying angrily, "Nein means NO, dummkopf!"
"I think that means 'no free samples' McKay," replied Chuck with a smile.
Novak also chimed in, "Hic, I think she called you an hic idiot hic as well."
The two giggled as McKay stalked away massaging his still stinging hand. Humph, since when did people have to be so violent? He just wanted to test taste a little. Was everyone out to get him? Elizabeth had said this was supposed to be fun, well right now he most certainly was not having fun!
--Dish Submission and Judging Zone--
"Pizza? For thanksgiving?" queried Rodney as he watched the platter being put down before him.
"It looks like really good pizza," chimed in Chuck, who was standing next to McKay, also taking submissions.
"Well what else am I going to eat while watching football?"
"You have some seriously screwed up logic Colonel," retorted McKay.
'Thanks Rodney!" replied Sheppard before exiting the submission line. He heard Rodney call 'next' before starting to criticize their work as well. John wandered over to where Elizabeth was standing and said, "You know, he's worse than Simon from American Idol."
Elizabeth smiled and replied, "I think I would have to agree with you on that. However some of the contestants got sick of his negative comments and started to fight back. Half of them added lemon in some way to their recipe so that he can't eat it."
"Poor Rodney, will he ever learn?" said John in a mock innocent voice as they continued to watch as McKay handled the submission of more dishes.
"RONON you have to take it out of the POT and put it on SOMETHING! You don't just hand someone a hot pot," cried McKay, "I think I burnt my hand! I need a medic. Ahh the flesh, it burns."
Lorne walked up to Rodney with Carson in tow and said, "Calm down McKay, go with Dr. Beckett and I'll take it from here."
Carson led the distraught scientist away as he kept muttering about 'sabotage' and 'stupid cavemen who didn't know basic kitchen safety.'
--Thanksgiving Dinner in the Mess--
Finally the time had come for most of the city's inhabitants to sit down for the long awaited Thanksgiving meal. Even those who were still on duty manning their posts would be rotated out so that everyone could get to enjoy at least a little of the feast. The little tables in the mess hall had been pushed together to form five really long tables that had been covered with table clothes, really they were pilfered sheets but it was the thought that really mattered, so that everyone could eat together as a family, since that's what they were, one really big extended Atlantis family.
The kitchen staff had really outdone themselves, creating numerous dishes from different nationalities to supplement the other dishes created by the cook-off contestants. There of course was the traditional American Thanksgiving fair as well, consisting of several Turkeys (or their Pegasus galaxy equivalents), corn, cranberry sauce, potatoes, pumpkin pie etc.
Everyone was eating and talking and having an all around good time together. Since the tables were all combined military mixed with scientist creating interesting table discussion between the brains and brawn of the expedition. Several of the Athosians had also been transported to the city to take part in this Earth custom that they had heard about, and were rather enjoying themselves as well.
--At the table--
At one end of the long table, most of the senior staff sat eating together. They had made a sport out of trying all of the different dishes located at their end. However, there was one dish that no one was brave enough to try. The dish just did not look edible. It was a disgusting looking greenish brown goopy mess. The whole thing just looked vile.
Ronon sat munching out of a large bowl of his creation and remarked at the mix of disgusted and odd looks thrown his direction, "Tastes good to me."
Rodney rolled his eyes and replied sarcastically, "Of course it does. You'll eat anything."
"Try it McKay," said Ronon pro-offering the bowl.
Rodney made a disgusted face and shook his head, "Nah, I think I'll pass."
However the look Ronon gave him quickly made him change his mind, "Okay…ah on second thought….maybe a little bit won't hurt."
The scientist dipped his spoon into the bowl and hesitantly put it in his mouth and swallowed before replying, "Whoa…what's in this stuff?"
Ronon chuckled and replied, "Old family recipe."
"Oh, well pass me some more of that stuff!" Causing everyone around to burst into laughter.
Dinner was winding down as everyone sat sipping on their drinks or attempting to finish any last remaining desserts. The five judges of the cook-off rose and gathered at the front of the room to announce the winners of the contest. It was Colonel Caldwell who made the long anticipated announcement, "The other judges and I have sampled all of the submitted entries and have decided upon winners from each category. The winner of the side dish category is Dr. Zelenka with his unique borsch."
Radek walked up to the front where the judges were to claim his prize, a large goodie box filled with gourmet coffee and chocolate. "The winner of the main dish category," continued Lorne this time, "Was actually a tie, between Dr. Heightmeyer's lasagna and Colonel Sheppard's pizza. Interestingly enough, Italian cuisine does work for Thanksgiving."
Both winners walked up to claim their prize which consisted of two bottles of expensive wine and a large box of assorted chocolate. (Chocolate was a prime item to have on the city, and in shortages a well stocked person could sell some for a steep price on the city's black-market.) "So I guess we get to split it then?" remarked Sheppard.
"Lastly, our winner from the dessert category," finished Caldwell, "Is Dr. Werner, who by unanimous vote and popular demand dominated the category with her exquisite truffles and bonbons."
This came as no surprise, since everyone who had had one of them had been instantly transported to a five second heaven. Dr. Werner had also won a large box of gourmet chocolates, wine, and coffee.
Afterwards everyone was forced to vacate the mess, so that it could be cleaned for dinner. Most of the women chose to head to the media room, where they would be showing a Thanksgiving classic, Miracle on 34th Street. The sports fans however, broke off to head to the gym where they were projecting the day's football game that the SGC had generously taped and sent via data burst to the city.
Before they parted ways however, the two city leaders stepped aside to comment on the day's activities. "So, what's your plan for Christmas? Decorating contest? Secret Santa?" joked Sheppard.
"Hmmm, not a bad idea Colonel," replied Elizabeth cheekily before walking into the media room, "I'll remember your suggestions, just know you thought of it, so you plan it!"
That left John standing outside the door silently shaking his head. Oh that would be fun, not! Then again…….he could always annoy McKay with Christmas carols 24/7.
"Christmas is coming…." Or "On the first day of Christmas…"
Author's Note: (3131 words of story, Cool!)
Wow, I finished the first FF I ever started. I definitely can see the differences in my writing from when I first started this fic to how I went about completing it (I think I have totally improved since then). Thank you to whoever has actually followed it from the beginning and I am really sorry about the long delays, really long delays, BUT it's done. Thank goodness. I am never doing a WIP again if I can help it! I feel too bad when I don't get around to updating it regularly.