Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chicken feet

(Gross, but interesting. You have been warned.)

So I was in the grocery store yesterday buying a tray of chicken feet. (Which is now on my list of Things I Never Thought I Would Ever Do, But I Did.) I don't know which was more disturbing -- the fact that I was buying chicken feet, or the fact that nobody seemed to think it was the slightest bit unusual. The guy in front of me in the checkout line saw them, I know, but didn't stare in horror or even raise an eyebrow. The cashier rang them up as if they were a can of green beans or something. I, on the other hand, could barely stand to look at them.

I needed chicken feet for biology class. We talked about bones and muscles and tendons today, and I had read in a book that -- really, I mean it, if you don't want to read something gross, stop now! -- if you use a pair of pliers to pull the individual tendons that stick out of the chicken foot, individual toes will move. Since the class is heavy on boys and most of those boys are between 10 and 12 years old, you will see how I just couldn't pass up this experiment.

It went even better than I'd expected. If I'd only had a video camera, I could have captured the endearing scenes of the grossed-out-but-fascinated kids experimenting with different tendons, finding the one that makes all the toes move and making the feet wave at each other, and, of course, having the chicken feet fight each other.

This will be a hard activity to top.

After we cleaned up (and washed our hands and the pliers thoroughly) and class was over, I realized I still had 12 chicken feet left over. Stew? Practical jokes? Does "waste not, want not" apply in this situation? I think not. They all went in the trash. I'm sure Mike will be happy to come home and not have that package in the back of the fridge.

5 comments:

Reg said...

THAT IS HILARIOUS! I would have never thought of my Sister Reynolds in Granite City, Illinois would ever do this! What an awesome teacher you are. Now that I have two boys the home schooling sounds even better!

Lisa said...

Tamary, this is your awesomest entry ever. If you'd wanted to make some good use of the feet, I'd recommend a nice Dominican sancocho (stew). You pull off the "socks" (thick yellow skin) of the feet -- probably using those pliers -- and just pop the whole foot in the pot. It's especially appetizing to give the stew a stir from time to time and see a clawed foot lazily floating by. Dominican kids fight over the feet. Apparently, they're the tasiest part. I watched one of my companions sit there nibbling on toes, biting and carefully spitting out each little metatarsal, and I asked what was so good about the feet. "Los nervios," she said. Tasty, tasty nerves.

Harmony said...

Ugh. And double ugh to Lisa!

Holly said...

We Laughed and laughed at this story. Not only are you a great teacher, but you are an incredible story teller. Thanks for sharing. And please, do NOT send any chicken feet my way. . .

Cori said...

Ewwww! Strangely fascinating, but ewww! Maybe you can make something with chicken feet for the next Thanksgiving dinner...