Emily baked bread with a recipe used in ancient Rome. We all ate the bread. The talk centered on 3 microscopic elements that fascinate her. . . Yeast, Slime-molds and bacteria.
On an open window sill on Windsor Terrace, she allowed the wild, uncultivated yeast of the bread to rise, slowly the grains carry wild yeast that have settled on them. The yeasts are natural airborne ferments that generate in dough left exposed to a cool atmosphere under specific conditions of moisture and temperature. It is not cultivated like the modern yeasts added to bread or beer. The bread was delicious. . .
She also explained through videos the self-organizing principles of slime mold, which through a series of simple moves, form complex systems that allow their own reproduction and movement across surfaces to food sources.
We discussed the increasing medical understanding of the importance of bacteria to all aspects of our physical health and even brain chemistry. The bacteria in our bodies outnumber our own cells 10 to 1 and are estimated to weigh between 2-6 pounds.