Reflection 2

Since our last reflection we have done a lot of new things, had some good experiences, and learned a lot about how people used to live.  The first week we made mozzarella cheese with some milk.  It was surprising how easy it was to turn milk into something that is so much easier to store and preserve.  Plus, making the cheese was definitely one of the tastier activities we have done so far.  After making cheese the logical thing to do was make some bread, and that’s what we did the next week.  Frying the bread on the back of the woks was not the safest thing for us to do with the stoves we had, and a couple of the stove-tops melted.  However, this activity was a ton of fun, and it was good to exercise creativity.  My group decided to try things like adding sugar and honey to our bread, and I even deep-fried some of the dough in the oil to create donut tasting bread.

To tie our food making together, the third week we did a scenario game of sorts where we were split into groups that had to gather as much raw food from some grain, pumpkins, and lamb shank as we could.  Using obsidian rock to cut the meat was really enjoyable, and enabled us to successfully get all the meat off the bones of the lamb leg.  During the scenario we were also allowed to steal from other groups, and mine was successful in defending our supply while stealing a large portion of ground grain from another group to help complete our Neolithic meal.

The most recent activity we did was the most fun for me, mostly because I enjoy playing with fire.  We used the oil lamps we had created earlier in the semester and lit them using wicks we made and olive oil.  Creating the wicks was a task that required problem solving and creativity.  I found that using cotton as a primary source in the wick worked best because the permeability of the cotton allowed the oil to more easily move up the wick, while not creating too large of a flame.  Another observation I made was that in order to have a successful flame, it works best if the oil is close to the lip of the lamp and the flame, but not so close that it catches on fire.  It is easier for the oil to travel a shorter distance.

-Matt Woo

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