Geeking Science: Do You Want Fries in Space

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

Food is essential. No only for survival but also for socialization. If you have hung out on my website for any amount of time, you know that meals are a mainstay in my flashes and that I will Geek the Science out of food – everything from the science of Fried Chicken to how Nori develops in nature.

Time to talk about food in space. Last month I touched on soda being a non-starter in an environment where you can’t burp with any grace. Next question on the table, is space exploration going to be sans fries too? I mean, the movie The Martin, Matt Damon raised potatoes – are we going to have potatoes and no fries?!?

It was a worry for a bit – again the action of microgravity and gas which takes out beer and Coke – might mean the bubbling cauldron of oil won’t work but fries do look like they can stay on the menu after some tests run in parabolic flights. (Lea) Hamburgers – with yeasty bread and greasy meat and cheese, all of which are high gas items – may not make it, but at least we get to keep our fries.

Seems strange to test out cooking techniques for space-worthiness, but food is a necessity on earth and food will be a necessity in space. In addition, like the invention of Tang (Cordell), all knowledge adds to Earth’s present benefit as well as our decedents braving the Black.


Cordell, Lyndsay. “Tang: The Orange Drink That Got Its Start From NASA.” Wide Open Country. 18 February 2021. ( – last viewed 11/14/2023)

Lea, Robert. “Space food: Why Mars astronauts won’t have to hole the fries.” 12 June 2023. ( – last viewed 11/14/2023)

Geeking Science: String Cheese

Acquired from Wikipedia Article

Bobbing along editing and an author refers to string cheese, in a fantasy with all the normal medieval and renaissance mish-mash. Wait … is string cheese medieval?

Off to do research, and the answer is “no”. In 1976, Wisconsin cheese-maker Frank Baker decide to see if he could make the normal stretchy-stringy mozzarella properties even more-so to create a light snack people can take with them for lunch. Through a heating and manipulation process to align the proteins, strings of cheese resulted.

The small individually packed cheese product caught on in the 80’s as a child novelty lunch-snack. In the 90’s the Adkin and similar low-carb diets kicked it higher. Now, for the Baker family, string cheese is their only product.

Channel 3000 (youtube channel) “What Makes String Cheese Stringy?” 2009 November 10. – last viewed 5/1/2022.

Dairy foods (youtube channel). “What makes Baker Cheese’s string cheese production unique.” 2020 March 19. – last viewed 5/1/2022.

Higgins, Daniel. “Baker Cheese masters art of string cheese”. Green Bay Press Gazette / USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin. 2017 June 6. – last viewed 5/1/2022.

Wikipedia. “String cheese.” – last viewed 5/1/2022.

Art: Bread in Medieval England

Photo by Wesual Click on Unsplash

The Early English Bread Project – “It’s Bread, Jim, But Not As We Know It.” (published October 11, 2016).

It’s fascinating how simple day-to-day items, like bread, are extremely different from what you might have run into historically. Our modern bread beats out anything that graced the table of kings. Yeast-risen white bread screamed wealth – (1) England’s climate isn’t a wheat-growing climate, so raising wheat instead of, say, rye, indicated you had the luxury of failure and the time for extra work. (2) Baking instead of griddle-cake type-breads indicated a population large enough to maintain and use an oven. (3) The air-holes giving it a light, fluffy easy-to-eat result, is the biggest brag. “I don’t need bread to fill me up.” (See Fluffiness in the above article.)

The way the grain was ground and immediately used produced different flavors than we experience with our modern months-old flour. The yeast  most often wasn’t purpose-driven bread yeast, but stolen leftovers from brewing. And the grains and pulses used, so different from the monoculture of wheat, likely didn’t have the gluten-reactions we experience today (in case you were wondering how so much gluten reaction survived in humanities genome).

Like I said, fascinating. If you would like to read the full original blog post by the Early English Bread Project the URL Link is

Art Project: Cooking – Rosewater

Recipe for Rosewater

(Created by Erin Penn)


Sink Stove Non-reactive pot (ceramic, glass, etc)
Pruning shears Big Bowl Stirring spoon
Funnel Strainer Container (non-reactive or plastic you don’t care will be rosy for the rest of its life)


Roses (home grown if possible) – 2 bowls worth


  1. In morning before the heat: Cut a full bowl of rose blossoms – at least five or six
  2. Clean roses gently
  3. Remove the petals and place them in a non-reactive pot
  4. Cover with water
  5. Put pot over low heat and allow cook for 20-30 minutes – do not cover, let the steam out
  6. Stir on occasion to bruise the petals so they release more oil
  7. The roses should look white and the water a little pinkish, and you should have room for more
  8. Go out and cut another bowl of roses
  9. Clean, pluck and add these petals to the pot
  10. These will go white a lot sooner – just another 15 minutes
  11. When done, pull off heat and let cool


  • Do not boil the water – if it starts to simmer, it’s okay to remove the pot from the heat
  • You are looking for drops of rose oil on the surface of the water – too much heat and the oil will evaporate
  1. Get the final container, funnel, and a strainer to fit the funnel. Pour the cooled liquid into the container, straining out the petals
  2. Squeeze the petals to get all the liquid
  3. Use as needed for rosewater.


  1. After a heavy (2-day) rain, I made rosewater in the spring from my rose bushes. All foliage on the bushes is new since spring.
  2. I chopped the used rose petals and added them to a Ramen Noodle dish – worked very well. The petals are edible and can add fiber/substance to soups.
  3. The scent levels are no where near the levels found in store-bought rose water – but the color was much better. The scent did a slow permeation with any dish it was used in. Not noticeable at first, but over time – yes.
  4. I used the rosewater for a whipped cream dish and for pancakes.


Roses grown in my yard. I’ve been working on them for two years now.

I’ve cut off two big bowl for the rosewater and still have tons left.












And the Final Product

Art Project: Cooking – Libum (an Offering)

RECIPE: LIBUM (An Offering)

Roman Recipe – Cato (180 BC), recipe 75
Libum hoc modo facito, Casei P. Il bene disterat in mortario. Ubi bene destriverit, farina siligneae liram, aut, si voles tenerius esse, semlibram semilaginis eodem indito, permiscetoque cum caseo bene. Ovum unum addito et una permisceto bene. Inde panem facito, folia laurea subdito: in foco caldo sub testu coquito leniter.

Translation – Giacosa p. 169
Make a libum thus: Thoroughly grind 2 librae of cheese in a mortor. When it is well ground, add 1 libra of fine flour or, if you want [the loaf to be] softer still, ½ libra of finest flour; mix well with the cheese. Add 1 egg and mix well. Then form a loaf, placing bay leaves beneath. Cook slowly under a testo on a hot hearth.

Cookbook Interpretation can be found on Giacosa pp. 169-170

My Interpretation: For 16 people at a Feast

Oven Mixing Bowl Mixing fork
Baking Sheet Measuring cup (dry)


2 cups of Ricotta (15 ounces, since that is an easy purchase) 2 cups of Flour 2-3 bay leaves (fresh or dry, dry worked fine for me)
1 Egg


  1. Mix together cheese and flour.
  2. Add egg and mix well.
  3. Form into one, two, four, or eight small loafs.
  4. Place bay leaves on baking sheet and loafs on top.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


  1. Next time I need to attempt without the self-rising flour. Forgot that was all I had in the house. (grumpy stomp)
  2. The flavor is light and fluffy with just the hint of bay leaves. Very nice.
  3. Broke easily into four separate small loaves. They crumble easily. Serving two of the four per table at a feast would work well.

Giacosa, Ilaria Gozzini, Translated by Anna Herklotz. A Taste of Ancient Rome. The University of Chicago Press: Chicago and London. 1992.