Sunday, September 23, 2012

Chicken Mummy: Day 1

My 100th post turned out to be the Mummy Chicken!

I have been looking forward to this project since I first read about it over a year ago. The instructions come from Story of the World Activity Book One: Ancient Time, Chapter Four: The Old Kingdom of Egypt. I had read that a lot of people bought Cornish hens instead of chickens because they are smaller, and therefore easier. Not having a lot of experience in purchasing whole (butchered and trimmed) chickens, I went to the grocery store intending to compare prices. I found a 5 lb chicken for 98 cents/lb which looked small and a good price, so I got that and didn't look any further. It looked bigger out of the bag when I was cleaning it, but it still fit in a gallon sized Ziploc freezer bag, so I'm happy with it.

I had a problem with the directions for the baking soda/baking powder/salt mixture. The instructions say "cans" and "boxes" instead of cups. We buy in bulk at Sam's Club, which means my boxes/bags are much bigger than standard. Knowing that, I went to the grocery store to see what size cans and boxes they had there. They had them measured in ounces, which was not very helpful, especially since the internet gives varied results as to how many ounces/cup those ingredients are. But that didn't matter much because I lost the list with the measurements I wrote on it. So I had to guess. I ended up using 6 cups salt/2 cups baking soda/ 1 1/2 cup baking powder.

The kids have been having fun watching the Horrible Histories Mummy Song, so Builder Boy really got the gross factor. Because of that he was hesitant to reach in and pull out the organs (they were already been cut off, but they were still inside.) He pulled out the neck (?) and I pulled out the dark things (did I mention I don't often cook whole chicken?) The book says they will still stink even if we try to mummify them, so we put them in "canopic jars" and filled them with vinegar. 

We mixed the first batch of baking powder/baking soda/salt before hand. Having Principal Daddy there with us to take pictures and hand us stuff helped a lot. I held the chicken while Builder Boy poured in the salt mixture. Then we used the rest in the bag. It was just the right amount for filling the cavity and covering it in the freezer bag.

After finishing the chicken in the bag I mixed three more batches of the salt mix and put each batch in a gallon sized Ziploc bag. We're going to probably use all of it in the changes in the next week or so. I had a 25 lb bag of salt and we used maybe 2/3 of it. The whole bag only cost about $5, so if you can buy it in bulk it is definitely worth it.

Builder Boy decided that the name of the chicken is Pharaoh Chicken King.

For the next steps on our mummy making journey, click here for 7 Tips for Easier Chicken Mummification.

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