When you think of space food, you think about dry or powdered food which is not appestising at all. But this Thanksgiving it's going to be a completely different story for the NASA astronauts in space. Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough apparently can't wait for Thanksgiving because they are going to be cooking up a feast in space!
People at home in the US will be making a large meal of roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauces, roasted veggies,cornbread, yams, casseroles and more. Well, the NASA astronauts are not going to be far behind this year. The crew will reportedly make a 'heavenly meal' consisting of turkey, cherry-blueberry cobbler, candied yams, and dehydrated corn bread dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans and mushrooms. The only catch? They all come in a pouch!
"I'm going to try to make it as much like home as we can," said Kimbrough in a NASA video on Monday. And they're going to be doing another Thanksgiving tradition too in space. Watch football!
The food for the NASA astronauts is prepared in Texas and since 2007, the Space Food Research Facility 'has produced more than 50 kinds of food items for astronauts on the International Space Station and throughout NASA's human spaceflight program'. A press relesase stated that, "Food scientists at A&M create the flavorful dishes from the highest quality ingredients, and they take care to make sure that the crew members enjoy the best quality meals possible while in space."
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp added, "Texas A&M is proud to feed our brave astronauts aboard the International Space Station. You know the food is going to be tasty and healthful if it's made at A&M with Aggie pride."
Dr. Bonnie Dunbar, a retired NASA astronaut, has tasted the food prepared by A&M and yes, he has tasted the Thankgiving meal too. He said in a video released by A&M, "The meats are really great. It's just like Thanksgiving dinner."
NASA's out-of-this-world cornbread recipe
12 cups crumbled cornbread; 3 3/4 cups chicken broth; 2 1/2 cups chopped onions; 1 1/2 cups chopped celery; 1/4 cup unsalted butter; 3/4 tsp. salt; 1 1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning; 1/2 tsp. black pepper. 2 tsp. dried parsley flakes. 1 tsp. rubbed sage
- Preheat convection oven to 325° F. Conventional oven should be heated to 350° F.
- Grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
- Peel onions and puree in food processor. Place in bowl. Set aside.
- Finely chop celery in food processor. Add to onion puree. Set aside.
- Heat sauté pan over medium heat. Melt butter and sauté onion and celery mixture until soft (about 5 minutes).
- Add to crumbled, prepared cornbread. Mix well. In a separate bowl, combine salt, poultry seasoning, black pepper, parsley, and sage.
- Add to cornbread-sautéed vegetables mixture.
- Add chicken broth. Mix well. Spoon dressing into prepared baking pan.
- Bake for approximately 35 minutes at 325° F or 350° F, depending on oven.
For spaceflight preparation:
Baked dressing is transferred to metal tray and freeze-dried accordingly. One serving of cornbread dressing shall weigh approximately 145 g prior to freeze-drying and 50 g after freeze-drying.