“The Best Hamburgers on Mars”
The morning today started off slow for all of the crew members. Maybe it had to do with the fact that some of us stayed up late talking about random life topics and watching Star Wars. Breakfast prepared by our commander Yael, was oatmeal with various dehydrated fruits. A nice, yummy, and quick meal to get our morning started. Breakfast began with only 2 early birds initially and then 2 more joined in while the 5th was dead asleep recovering from the previous night. It was during this time that the crew went into a discussion regarding when we would take our very deserved shower. Originally we had agreed on taking a shower mid-mission but we had a change of heart and will now be taking our shower at the end of the mission. We realized that we would rather experience the longest time going without a shower in order to be more conservative with water. That’s not to say we haven’t been conservative already. On the contrary…
Next up in the agenda for today was lunch and greenhab operations. Lunch preparation began at 8am in the morning with the baking of bread. The day prior, the crew had already agreed on making hamburgers for lunch. This was a task for the boys, Felipe, Carlos, and Cristian while María Paula headed to the greenhab. A challenge lay ahead with creating burger paddies. That’s where we thought we would have the most difficulty. The first step was to hydrate the ground beef. After that, we added a little bit of flour and egg water mix to act as a binder for the meat so that we could give it the shape of a paddie without it falling apart. Next we added different seasoning to it such as bell peppers, black pepper, salt, and onion. We definitely had trouble getting the meat to stick to each other which in turn required more egg/water mix. We eventually got the texture of the meat to be sufficient to not break apart easily. The next step was to give the meat their paddie forms. We were able to yield 7 paddies from the amount we had in the bowl. These were then wrapped in plastic and left in the fridge to harden. The paddies was our Crew Engineer Carlos doing. In parallel, our Crew Scientist worked on making 2 important ingredients that burgers should not go without. These were cheese (cheddar) and mayonnaise. Our crew HSO, Cristian helped with making Ketchup by mixing tomato powder with a little bit of salt and sugar. Unfortunately the only ingredient mixing from this ketchup recipe was apple cider vinegar and this meant we wouldn’t have the right taste exactly. But, that was just an afterthought. Shortly after having most of the pieces of the pie complete, the bread got done baking and we cut it into 10 pieces for 5 paddies. We then prepared our pan to start grilling the paddies. It was during this time that Maria Paula came back from the greenhab with the lettuce and cherry tomatoes. These were the last pieces of the puzzle and with that our burgers were complete. The end result, was better than expected and we absolutely loved it. Aside from being tasty they were so fulfilling.
Later in the day several of us decided on taking a nap (probably due to having food coma) and did not wake up until late in the afternoon. Shortly after that, the crew reconvened at the dinner table and decided that it was time that we play some games. The first choice was Jenga but that only lasted 2 rounds as we became interested in another game. Chess. Chess was the next game we played and it was so much fun that another one joined in on the fun to relieve one of the players to go work on their report. The culmination of another day.
Cristian Acosta, HSO