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  • Journalist Report Day 07 TasMars2013
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A culinary guide to Mars part three

A couple of days ago, we were looking at geological formations and came across a flattish area covered with evenly sized pebbles. There was a beautiful array of colours, and we began admiring them and picking them up. I commented that it was like a geologist’s candy store. The rest of the crew pointed out that I can get a food reference out of anything. Clearly, I’ve gained a reputation for being obsessed with food. 

Chocolate chip sandstone

So it will come as no surprise that I’m submitting my third report about food.

In my previous food report, I mentioned tackling some of the three giant containers of spinach. So yesterday, with a little help from Google, I decided to make “Saag aloo”, a potato curry in spinach puree.

Preparation started in the morning, when I decided to make my first attempt at yoghurt on Mars. I make yoghurt all the time at home – I use a New Zealand product which is a packet of dried milk with dried yoghurt culture. All you need to do is mix the packet with water and keep it warm for 8-12 hours. It’s pretty much foolproof in my experience. My only challenge was to keep it warm, since at home I have a special insulated container that I fill with boiling water. In the end I filled a pot up with boiling water and used that. I added more boiling water later, and after about 8 hours, I had yoghurt!

Having the fresh live yoghurt was a great help with the curry, since yoghurt is one of the main traditional curry bases. The other bonus was some fresh spicy sprouts from the green hab, which topped the curry. While the dehydrated vegetables are pretty good, it was lovely to have something fresh.

Chilli con carne for space and yoghurt!!

Today I did some baking. I decided that I felt like spicy fruit buns and attempted to make them while doing several other things at once. I’m not always the best multi-tasker, but I got them made. However my tendency to be wildly imprecise with ingredients, and then correct by feel later, meant that I made giant spicy fruit buns. However the crew nobly managed to eat one whole bun each.

I have also been wondering how blueberry muffins would go with freeze-dried blueberries, as we have a lovely full jar as part of our crew allocation. I was wondering whether to rehydrate them or use them dry, but opted for rehydration. I noticed that some of the blueberry colour leaked into the water around the berries – I could have discarded this but decided not to waste the goodness that is in the juices.

Good for nutritional value, not so good for the appearance.

My blueberries turn out – as I suspected they would – a rather disturbing shade of grey-green.

I managed to make greyberry muffins! However crew 123 is nothing if not adventurous, and despite their colour, happily demolished the muffins. They tasted pretty good, and the blueberries were lovely and juicy.


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