Burning Chicken is an outdoor party we have hosted since 2006. It involves building and burning a large wooden structure in the shape of an animal. Last year we were on our big trip so we didn’t do it, but this year we were back. And it was a camel! The sequence below goes from finish to start:
Another great thing we did this year was build and use a mud oven! We bought kiln bricks and made a base, then made a curved frame from willow branches. We built it up with more bricks and clayey mud, the predominant soil there, mixed with some dry grass. The first attempt collapsed because the branch frame wasn’t strong enough. The second try succeeded!
Then we used it to bake. This was pizza the first night.
The mud hadn’t dried completely and it didn’t seem to get hot enough. The second night, after the oven had dried an entire day and a fire burned inside for hours, a friend cooked a large piece of pork in the oven and it turned out very well! Here are some more oven photos:
You may have noticed our fancy canvas tent in some of the photos. Our family got even more invested in the Society for Creative Anachronism by attending another Pennsic event and buying a replica medieval tent (used, of course! We’re still on a pretty tight budget around here.). In fact, we were there at Pennsic for almost the whole two weeks this year, excluding this working mama who was only there a few days. Fiercely learned about the mud stoves there, and the kids did theater, various crafts, and became newspaper-shilling “urchins” during their time there. It really is an exceptional event with intriguing people. It is hard to describe, though I have heard it called a hybrid of a renaissance fair and Woodstock. I sometimes call it a family camp/medieval reenactment. I hope to go for longer next year.
Other highlights of August were that Mr. Fantastic and kids went to Lake George, we watched the eclipse (about 80% of the sun was covered) in Philadelphia, and I went to Ohio as I wrote on a previous entry. And the seasons turn, August becomes September, and we are on the verge of autumn as I write. What will happen next?