Friday, April 1, 2005

Recipe: Saint George and the Graham Cracker Dragon

Special Consideration:   Kids
Servings:   300

Cryogenic crackers turn science fair attendees into "smoke"-breathing monsters.
Liquid Nitrogen (in a styrofoam bowl)
Graham Crackers (not iced)

Make sure you have an audience.
Break graham crackers into bite-sized pieces.
Use tongs to dip each piece into liquid nitrogen for 5 seconds
Use tongs to wave cracker piece in air for 10 seconds (cracker will appear to "smoke" or "steam")
Juggle cracker piece between hands until it is safe to touch (spots of frost on your hands mean juggle faster!)
Hand the cracker piece to someone who will eat it quickly
OR eat it yourself.

The continued gasification of the liquid nitrogen in which the cracker was dipped creates cold nitrogen. As the person eating the cracker exhales, the cold nitrogen causes the temperature of the air it mixes with to drop below the dew point, resulting in condensation of water vapor in the air, and clouds of "steam."

(Our outreach officer was quite worried when he saw me doing this, and told me to stop before our associate director noticed.  That's when I told him the associate director already ate one...)

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