Phase 1: Posing Real Questions
Throughout Phase 0, I worked through the process of choosing my inquiry project topic, Local Food Products/Cuisine, discovering the character traits needed to complete the project well, and sharing my hopes and ideas. The main purpose of Phase 1 is to receive some knowledge on my topic and come up with 10 major questions that I have about the Xizhou Local and Food Products/Cuisine.
Due to the fact that I have grown up with cooking and baking in my life, I know a few tips that could help me while I am on Microcampus. Based on my knowledge of cooking, I know that being in the kitchen involves a lot of patience and trial and error. I have had many times where I fail, but that is normal. I also know that a clean workspace is very helpful while in the kitchen. Sometimes cooking can get very messy and it is very beneficial to have an idea of where everything is and have a clean counter. Another tip is to always check if there is the right amount of ingredients available at that time. There have been multiple times where I have begun cooking and midway through, not had enough ingredients due to the fact that I did not check before starting to cook. Making sure you keep track of time is deeply important as well. If you do not check the time often, you could easily burn and ruin your food. I hope that while I am on Microcampus, I keep in mind these tips so I can do the best I can.
There have been a great many people throughout my life that taught me the tips on cooking that I shared above. My Aunt Fran was one person that taught me many ways to be efficient and patient while cooking. Every time I visited Singapore, I acted as my Aunt Fran's personal assistant so that I could study the way she cooked at her club restaurant. Aunt Nanny, Mr. Paul, and Ms. Megan were all excellent teachers as well. Each one taught me something that I hope to use on the Microcampus 2018 trip.
I definitely would like to and hope to discover and learn a lot during the Microcampus trip. For instance, I really would like to discover new techniques in preparing and creating dishes. I want to learn the ways that the members of the Xizhou community put together their meals and what foods they use in the meals. However, I also want to know the reason behind the way the Xizhou community prepare the dishes and why they use those certain foods. I feel that no matter who you ask, the ways that different people cook and the reason behind those specific techniques are always going to be different.
To help me understand my topic well enough to develop my Big Questions, I did some background research. This will be very beneficial in this stage. These questions will be the energy source for the beginning of my project when we reach Xizhou. Some of the questions may be changed as I do further research on my topic. I have written these questions in an order that keeps the questions revolving around a certain topic near each other and the outliers at the bottom. The questions are in categories that you can see from the headings. The parts in italics are possible answers for my questions.
Opening a Restaurant or Stall in Xizhou:
1. What is the process behind opening up a restaurant or a stall in Xizhou?
The people of Xizhou might need to get government permission to open a restaurant or stall in Xizhou. However, that might not be the case in Xizhou. There is a possibility that anyone can open a restaurant or stall depending on if they pay for all the requirements of that place they are opening.
2. Do the people wanting to open a restaurant or stall need any permission from the government?
In Xizhou, there might be a need to get permission from the government or leadership in Xizhou, but there is a chance that permission is not required, meaning that anyone can open a place of their own.
Obstacles in Xizhou:
3. What are the most common obstacles that stand in the way of cooking healthy meals in Xizhou?
Some common obstacles that stand in the way of cooking healthy meals in Xizhou might be the cost of certain foods. For instance, certain healthy foods might be too expensive, meaning people of the community buy less healthy food choices instead. There is also a chance that a heat source is not available at times, resulting in premade/ready-made foods being the source of meals.
4. How do the people of the Xizhou community overcome these obstacles?
Xizhou community members might overcome the obstacle of having expensive healthy foods by buying a cheaper less healthy meal. They also might grow their foods in a garden. To overcome the obstacle of having an unavailable food source, the people of Xizhou might eat their foods cold or buy ready-made foods.
Xizhou's Processed Foods:
5. Do Xizhou people use processed foods in any of their meals and what are they?
Xizhuo community members may possibly use processed foods such as palm oil or artificial sugars.
6. How often do they order and receive these processed foods?
Xizhou members may order these processed foods once a month and receive these foods not often due to the fact that Xizhou is very remote and far from the large cities of China.
7. How do the Xizhou people keep their foods fresh over periods of time?
People living in Xizhou might keep their foods fresh by sprinkling the meet with salt or buying fresh foods everyday instead of large amounts that could rot over time. Some people might have refrigerators that could keep the foods fresh too.
8. What are the common ways to serve meals, such as the traditions practiced before and while eating?
Many cultures in China have traditions that people practice before and while eating. Xizhou members could possibly practice certain traditions too. For instance, people living in Xizhou might believe in praying before they eat. They might also believe in using a certain method to consume food while eating.
9. What techniques of cooking, such as steaming, roasting, boiling, etc are most beneficial for the Xizhou people?
Steaming or boiling might be the most beneficial for cooking in Xizhou due to the fact that both require water and there is a large lake near the town of Xizhou. Also, both are very healthy and provide the most nutrition out of all the techniques of cooking.
10. What locally grown foods are the most valuable to the Xizhou community, meaning that without them the people would have difficulty eating the right amount of food to be healthy?
Many vegetables and fruits are probably the most valuable to the Xizhou community because they can be grown by the people of Xizhou. Potatoes might be the most valuable because they contain a lot of nutrition and they are known to be eaten at any time. Beans could also be the most valuable because they also contain a lot of nutrition that could help the people of Xizhou have enough energy for their day.
Before I leave for Xizhou, I will need some more knowledge so that I will be fully prepared for the Microcampus trip. For instance, I think it will be very helpful to have some idea about the daily lives of the Xizhou people so I can understand if they grow their own foods, or buy premade meals. I also believe it will be beneficial for me to know about the resources available to the Xizhou community. For instance, how much electricity they have. The common amount of pay they receive, etc. Hopefully if I have this knowledge by the time the V group leaves for Xizhou, I will be fully prepared for the Xizhou part of my inquiry process.
In the next phase, Phase 2, I will work on finding helpful resources that will help me find the answers to my questions or even possible new questions. This will be very helpful to me because I will be fully prepared when I travel to Xizhou.