Monday 29 June 2015

Making a Space Snack with Miles Kelly

To celebrate the release of the three new Miles Kelly's 100 Fact Books, I was invited to come up with my own space themed snack inspired by the 100 Facts Space Travel book. Eating in space is of course quite different to eating on earth, not only do astronauts have to contend with eating in zero gravity, so they can't eat anything that will break up into tiny pieces, the food also has to be easy to prepare, capable of being stored for long periods, light in weight and mustn't need to be refrigerated. Most of the food is served in packets, to which water is added before eating.

To inspire us, we were sent the ingredients to make our very own Space Pudding to enjoy while looking through the books. All you need is some Angel Delight, powdered milk, water, a syringe and a re-sealable plastic sandwich bag.

Making a space snack with children

Harry very much enjoyed making the Space Pudding. First you need to add two tablespoons of Angel Delight and two tablespoons of milk powder to the bag, then add the water using a syringe. When all the water has been added, you squish the bag in your hands to mix it all together, leave it to stand for a couple of minutes, then eat by cutting a corner off the bag and squeezing it into your mouth - great fun!

Making a space snack with children

We watched a few videos to learn more about eating in space, and discovered that instead of bread for sandwiches, astronauts prefer to eat tortillas, because they don't make any crumbs which are annoying to have floating about the space station. They are also light, don't take up much space, and can be stored for a reasonable period of time.

So for our own Space Snack recipe we came up with a tortilla based snack. I had a think about what other foods we had in our cupboards that would travel well and would be sticky enough to stay where they were put in zero gravity and my thoughts turned instantly to our favourite family food - pizza!

So here is our recipe for a Tortilla Space Pizza Wrap:

Tortilla Space Pizza Wrap

One tortilla wrap
Tomato ketchup or tomato puree in a tube or sachet (about three tablespoons worth)
A bag of grated cheese with herbs already added (a large handful). In space this would have to be freeze dried grated cheese as there is no fridge!

Making a space snack with children

We put the grated cheese into a re-sealable bag and added a sprinkle of herbs and a couple of big squeezes of tomato ketchup. If we were really making this in space, we'd need to add some water too, to rehydrate the cheese. Then Harry squashed it up with his fingers to make sure that it was all mixed in. I cut a corner off the bag and Harry squeezed it onto the tortilla. I hope that the mixture would be sticky enough not to float away. Then Harry wrapped up the tortilla ready for eating, making sure that the bottom was secure enough to contain the filling.

We ate it cold, but it could easily be warmed up in the microwave. I think it tasted pretty good! I'm not a big fan of ketchup myself, but if the food was being prepared for space it could easily be made with a more tasty and healthy tomato sauce, perhaps with the herbs or other flavourings already added. I loved this challenge, and it really encouraged us to think creatively, as well as learning a great deal about everyday life in space. It would have been a great activity for our Space Day!

Making a space snack with children

Harry is very interested in space (he even has a space themed bedroom) and he couldn't wait to get his hands on these three fantastic 100 Facts Books from Miles Kelly. As you would expect, each book in the series contains 100 facts about each topic, with each double spread forming a chapter on a different theme.

100 Facts Space Travel talks about the history of space travel, what space travel is like now, and where technology could lead us in the future. Each page is a mixture of photographs and cartoon illustrations. All the facts are explained and expanded upon, and there are a few little quizzes and extra "I don't believe it!" facts added in.

100 Facts Stars and Galaxies looks at deep space, beginning with the formation of the universe, with facts all about the different types of stars, black holes and constellations, finishing by taking a look at the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe. There are little activity suggestions added in, like exploring how the universe is expanding by blowing up a balloon, and creating your own constellations by using a torch shining on holes pricked into a piece of cardboard.

Finally, 100 Facts Solar System takes a closer look at our own Solar System. It features each planet in turn, with a fact file, information about what the planet is composed of, and information about their moons.

All three books are laid out really well, with a mixture of fact boxes, diagrams and images, and different sizes and styles of text makes the information fun, and easy to dip in and out of. The books contain a huge amount of information, and I know that they are going to be both an interesting read and a useful source of reference.

We were sent these three books to review, as well as the ingredients for our Space Pudding.

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