I wish I could have published this post this last weekend but we have had big issues with the internet, making this task impossible. If I did not answer to your emails or if you got a “failure to deliver” email, this is why. I hope none of your messages got lost… Sandstorms on Mars really are unforgivable!
Back to Easter.
While most of you were looking for chocolate eggs in your garden in this nice and sunny spring morning, we also got a surprise for Easter. No chocolate egg, nor bell, or dead person reappearing, but even better: the localisation of a new cargo which crashed as we landed!! After receiving infos from mission support, Tiffany and I got dressed up and ready for the cargo retrieval. It did not take us long to locate it and what it contained made my crewmate super happy: all the material needed to repair our damaged spacesuits!
I also got another awesome surprise for Easter! Rosa and Emmanuelle my friends and colleagues from DLR wrote an article in their blog about this mission! You can read the article here and I highly advise you to read all their posts which are more than useful and interesting!
Since it was Sunday AND Easter, we put some effort in cooking, I still did not post any article about food so this is the occasion. All our food for four months was delivered at the beginning of the mission – almost a month ago. We keep them in the container, which is also our workshop.
We will have a resupply at the end of May, but it will only be a small part of the total food, for items which cannot be stored for four months. Yes, because all our food is freeze-dried or shelf-stable, that’s to say canned food, dry milk, cereals, dry fruits and nuts.
When we want to cook a meal, we must think ahead of time and rehydrate the food. Vegetables require approximately 15 min with cold water and 5 min with warm water. Fruits take more time: approx. 30 min with cold water and 20 min with warm water. We have a lot of variety in our choice of freeze-dried vegetables: spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers, green beans, corn, broccoli, colliflower, etc. and freeze-dried fruits: blueberries, strawberries, cherries, apricot, pineapple, raspberries. In addition, we also have dried apples, raisins, dried mango, cranberries and banana chips.
We also sprout seeds (beans, alfalfa, radish, broccoli), that we eat as a salad.
In terms of meat, we have a large freeze-dried choice: chicken, beef, sausage. But also a lot of canned meat (SPAM) and two vacuum sealed sausages per month. Without forgetting sardines, herrings, and other canned anchovies, which I am more than happy to leave to my crew mates 😉
Cheese also is freeze-dried but we can choose between mozzarella, cheddar, and Monterey Jack. Perfect for cooking, even though re-hydration can sometimes be problematic (cheese forms a sort of ball). Eggs also are in powder and we regularly make omelets and other scrambled eggs.
We have two big packs of dry milk for four months. Our management was a bit bad and so we need to wait until mid of the second month or third month in order to be able to use milk again. What is really awesome is that we have a yogurt-maker and a cheese-maker. We tested both, the yogurt was really a succes but the cheese can still be improved.
We can also make bread and this is great. We bake fresh bread almost every day. And what a bread! It is super tasty!
And for Easter we had a celebration dinner: Casey cooked a Thai-noodles dish with tofu and I did a vegan chocolate cake (since we don’t have milk anymore). It was really good!! The night before, Tiffany had treated us with excellent calzones.
Of course, this does not prevent us from dreaming to the awesome dishes we will have when we are back on Earth. This reminds me that while sorting out my photos last week I found this:
It was my dinner post Trophée de la Meije (which can be translated by Meije Trophy. I did the 23 km trail race with 960 m positive height difference) with my parents in the restaurant Les Glaciers. And I can assure you that my mouth was wet for a couple of minutes when I found this picture. Thanks Brigitte and Alain for this beautiful plate!
Dear readers, if you happen to go through La Grave in the French Alps, please make sure to stop in Les Glaciers for lunch or dinner, you won’t be disappointed, you will leave sated and with a happy palate 😉