StarWars.com is shining a light on those who truly give the saga its power: the fans. In the StarWars.com Fan Spotlight, we’re honored to tell their stories.
During the pandemic, Jacquelyn Smith found herself returning to two comforts, Star Wars books and baking, while taking care of her mother who passed away from cancer last year. “She was a voracious reader, and when she read I picked up reading novels again,” she tells StarWars.com. “My pre-order of Light of the Jedi arrived just a few days before she died, and although it was weeks before I could bring myself to read it, I found solace and comfort in the story and characters. Star Wars is ultimately about hope, and that’s just what I needed, what we all need in trying times.”
Posting as Blue Milk Mama on social media, Jacquelyn now shares Star Wars themed desserts (many of which are, you guessed it, blue in color) in photos paired with books and other Star Wars props.
The idea came together while she was searching for Star Wars books online and found a set of dishes made for the 40th anniversary of Star Wars: A New Hope designed to look like those used on Lars Homestead. When her family inquired what she was planning to use those dishes for, Jacquelyn replied, “I am going to make blue food!” Starting with a classic blue milk drink, Jacquelyn soon discovered turning food blue was not always an easy process.
To get the perfect hue Jacquelyn turned to a variety of coloring agents. “I use a combination of food dyes, and natural ingredients such as butterfly pea powder or flowers, and blue spirulina. Not everything can be made blue, and I learn more about kitchen chemistry with every dish,” she says. “The first blue milk dish I attempted was a pistachio pudding that I tried to make blue, but it turned into the most sickly green color. It still tasted pretty good though! After a few more attempts, I made a baked chocolate oatmeal with a blue mint cream cheese filling. It was so good and was the first treat I posted online. I still make it about once a month. Very rich and indulgent.”
Some of Jacquelyn’s Star Wars desserts come from adapting her own recipes, while others are recipes she finds online and tries to adapt by turning them blue. The amount of time and planning involved in making Blue Milk Mama’s desserts can vary. “Sometimes I think of something in the morning, grab the ingredients and have it done later that day. That’s about half the things I make. Sometimes they have been months in the planning.” Many treats are posted in celebration of a book release, or “book birthday.” “As soon as the cover is revealed, I try to take some inspiration from that.”
Jacquelyn’s cake to celebrate Timothy Zahn’s novel Thrawn Ascendency: Lesser Evil took more time than many of her other creations. “I had to make the cake, the buttercream and top it with fondant. Then I cut out every individual piece of the fabulous chimaera design. I had originally planned to use a template, but that didn’t work and so every little piece was cut freehand. The whole thing took two days, and then I was hesitant to actually cut and eat it!”
All of the photos Jacquelyn posts as Blue Milk Mama online were taken on her phone with free photo editing apps. Props for the photos include dishes, books, LEGO Star Wars minifigures, and small items she finds at secondhand stores. And despite her title, not all of Jacquelyn’s desserts end up blue, including a Star Destroyer pie, Forest Moon cupcakes, and a Grogu drink.
The dessert she created for Emma Candon’s novel Star Wars Visions: Ronin — a Ronin Red Velvet Cheesecake — remains her favorite. It turned out exactly as she envisioned it. Her creations have caught the attention of both Star Wars fans and authors, much to her delight. “High Republic authors Cavan Scott and Daniel José Older, writer E.K. Johnston, and the Del Rey Star Wars account on Twitter have all been amazing in their support for my desserts, which as a fan is very exciting,” she says.
While the Blue Milk Tres Leches cake is Jacquelyn’s pick for the best tasting dessert she has made so far, she recommends her Blue Milkshake or Blue Yogurt Bark for beginners just starting out. In every post, Jacquelyn includes recipes and instructions along with the photos of her desserts.
While she might be the foremost expert on blue baking projects, Jacquelyn knows that not all of her desserts are going to turn out — and that’s okay. “Making boba tea pearls took seven tries before I made it work, and I’ve had some other truly spectacular failures,” she admits. “Usually it means they’re still edible, but they look completely unappetizing. I tried making a blue bread that just looked like a penicillin experiment gone wrong. It had flecks of green and blue. My kids wouldn’t even eat that one!”
With Phase II of Star Wars: The High Republic on shelves now, there are sure to be many more blue desserts in Jacquelyn’s future. “I am fully invested in The High Republic and am loving it, even reading comics which I never did before the initiative. I even created my version of Torban Buck’s entry for the High Republic Adventures Galactic Bake-Off Spectacular’s variant cover!”
The StarWars.com Fan Spotlight Q&A
What’s your favorite Star Wars movie, and why?
Jacquelyn: The Phantom Menace! Although I grew up with the original trilogy, The Phantom Menace is my comfort movie. Duel of the Fates, a young Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn…I just love it.
Would you join the Rebel Alliance or the Empire?
Jacquelyn: The Rebel Alliance of course!
You can have Mando’s Darksaber, Kylo Ren’s unstable red lightsaber, or Luke Skywalker’s green lightsaber. Which do you choose and why?
Jacquelyn: Luke Skywalker’s green lightsaber please and thank-you. I’ve always been a Luke girl. So even though the dark side has cookies, I hope I could resist, and I’m definitely not the right person to rule Mandalore.
Which Star Wars character would you want as a road trip buddy?
Jacquelyn: Lando Calrissian would absolutely be the best road trip buddy. We would have an absolute blast!
If you could align yourself with any group in the Star Wars galaxy — the Jedi, the First Order, the Mandalorian Death Watch, whatever you want — what would it be?
Jacquelyn: The Jedi Order especially during the High Republic. They seem a tad more…flexible during this time period, and I can’t wait to find out how and why this changes.
Amy Richau is a writer, lifelong Star Wars geek, and diehard Denver Broncos fan. You can find her on Twitter @amyrichau and more of her writing on FANgirl Blog.
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