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Family Storytelling: Defrost the Chicken

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Family Storytelling DFCFamily Storytelling is part of the fabric of nearly every family. We all have stories that we tell over and over. These stories may come from our family history, from books or movies or television, or even from the time in our lives before we were a family.

We drive into Chicago to visit my husband’s family a few times a year, and every time, as we drive up Lakeshore Boulevard, he tells the same stories of family happenings or things that impressed him as a kid/young adult.”I’ll stop telling the stories once you can tell them to me first,” he says.

So last year, they did.

“That’s where Bubbe had her prom,” says Sky. “That’s the building where they filmed While You Were Sleeping,” says Scarlet.

It’s fabulous. Little pieces of who we are, and who we were, are part of the fabric of our children’s lives – though I suppose what they’ll remember most is that they learned the stories so Dad would stop telling them!

Here is a story that is a part of our family culture now. It doesn’t have the same weight or history as the stories Alan tells as we drive through Chicago, but it’s meaningful to our family. I have absolutely no idea where I found it, and it’s not true according to snopes.com, but it’s still a great analogy. When someone in our house isn’t thinking through a problem, one of us always says this tagline. I’m paraphrasing here.

When NASA was tasked with developing new technology for high-speed trains in the U.S., one of the issues they had to address was the fact that birds kept hitting and cracking the windshields. They tried everything and finally came up with a material that they were sure would work. The problem was that they had no good way to test it. They contacted Eurail, who had been running high-speed trains for decades. Eurail sent them the following instructions:

Take an averaged-sized chicken carcass and fire it out of this cannon (design enclosed). It will approximate the speed at which a bird hits the windshield.

So NASA built a chicken-sized cannon and proceeded to test their windshields. Epic fail – the windshield shattered. They built another prototype. Again, it shattered. After a third fail, the engineers contacted Eurail, explained what they were doing, and asked for their input. They received the following reply:

Defrost the chicken.

I know, it’s a groaner. Thanks for staying with me. Here are some delicious-looking recipes from Pinterest to make up for your pain. I’d give you some of my own chicken recipes, but I’m probably the most boring cook on the planet.

Crockpot Chicken Corn Chowder from A Kitchen Addiction. This looks sooo good.

One Pot Paprika Chicken Thighs from Reluctant Entertainer. One pot – need I say more?

Quick and Easy Chicken Gyros from Brunch Time Baker. I’d have to quadruple the recipe…


Does your family have any shorthand sayings like defrost the chicken? We have several – I’ll torture you with them share them with you soon.

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