6.28.2010

mummifying chickens


Melissa pointed me in the direction of Susan Wise Bauer (author, The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home) awhile ago, and I've been meaning to post about her History of the World book and accompanying activity book. I'm not a home-schooler myself, but find these books to have been well-worth the purchase. My kids and I (and usually a neighbor or two) periodically enjoy sitting on the couch and reading together a couple of chapters here and there (because of course I am not nearly as consistent with it as I set out to be). But - what we REALLY love - are the super-fun activities in the activity book that go along with the history... the best so far being the instructions for MUMMIFYING A CHICKEN. So gross, and so awesome (but word to the wise: you should really use a little cornish game hen. Much more manageable than a big roasting chicken. And also, you should defrost it first. Why that didn't occur to me, I'm still wondering).


We made some canopic jars from clay to hold the organs (which we ended up not using for that purpose because our jars were pretty small when we finished. And, it would have probably been exceedingly smelly. I'm not that committed to re-enacting history.)


Here's the chicken, packed in salt. What I'm not showing you is the disgustingness that was the chicken four days later (after it had defrosted within the salt, and been sitting on our porch for a few days). We're trying again with a game hen. I'll let you know how that works out. Apparently it takes six weeks of salt drying before you wrap it up...

(If you too are interested in doing this, here's a pretty good guide to mummifying your own chicken. Also spotted when googling this: mummifying hot dogs, with a note telling children not to eat it.)

8 comments:

melissa said...

Oh my goodness Lynne, you kill me! That is so hilarious! I can't stop laughing! I'm curious to see if the game hen works. Hopefully the smell is not attracting rodents...

Amy said...

We use these books for our homeschooling. However, I did skip the mummy chicken. You are brave!

Jess said...

Those books sound really interesting, thanks for the tip!
My kids are a little small for any mummification in the house, but I will keep it in mind!

An Art Nest said...

I love 'A Well Trained Mind', I simply cannot say enough good things about it. Even if you don't home school it's worth a read. I'm planning on taking over after 5th grade with my children, ya know, just when they reach the age of puberty and intense influence from peers...Hopefully I won't ruin them in the process...LOL!

Beth's Blue Blog said...

What if your mummy chicken came back to life?! Aah! Or, (this one is my husband's and we know you don't eat it), but you could open a restaurant called Egyptian Dried Chicken. The EDC. And the first thing on the menu: chicken wraps!

Cate said...

this is so intriguing... please let us know what happens with the cornish hen. since we live in a nyc apartment, i think i am going to leave this experiment to you and others with outside space. definitely going to check out the book(s), though.

Jen said...

We are so lucky to be the recipient of your great ideas!!!! My kids think you are the coolest!
Jen

barefootquilter said...

Wow! You're ambitious. When we did that activity, we mummified one of the kids. And our jars were not nearly that cute. We just did toppers on glass jars. I LOVE yours.