Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fun With Dry Ice

We received a welcome shipment of Lou Malnati's pizza today (sausage and pepperoni). We are planning to cook them on Christmas Eve. If you have not experienced the tasty glory of Lou, then you are A.) not from Chicago (that would be my husband), B.) have never been to Chicago (that would be me), and C.) need to go to their website right away and order some (that would be you). Seriously. No--don't look at the price--just do it. Unless of course you have food allergies that would prevent you. Then, and only then do you get a pass! ;o)

As if having Lou Malnati's isn't wonderful enough, the pizzas come packed in dry ice to keep them frozen during shipping. For the last 20 minutes, Brendan and the kids have been playing with the chunks of dry ice. I've been observing the observations.

First, they talked about safety measures--dry ice is so cold it can burn you! How is that possible--Cold? Burn? An interesting discussion about what happens to skin when it's exposed to extreme temperatures ensued. So we all decided that dry ice is Not For Touching. Also, don't stick your hands in the bowl.

Once everyone agreed to abide by the rules, Brendan helped Ryan add a chunk of dry ice to a clear glass mixing bowl that was about 1/3 filled with tap water. Amazing! The bubbles were instantaneous and large and delightfully loud and the smoke was super fun. We talked about Scooby Doo (several mysteries involved the use of much dry ice) and now plan to have dry ice smoke at our next annual Halloween bash.

We answered the following scientific questions:

  • Is the smoke hot or cold? Cold
  • Is the bowl of water hot or cold? Cold
  • Is the smoke wet or dry? Dry
  • What happens when you scootch (that's a technical term, you know) a piece of dry ice across the countertop? It floats, land-speeder-like, on a cushion of smoke.
  • What does the smoke do if you blow on it? Floats all over the place.
  • What happens if you blow quickly? The smoke almost disappears.
  • What happens if you blow slowly? More smoke!
  • What happens when a friend drops by and you leave two small children alone with a bowl of water (the dry ice being used up at this point)? Things get wet. Very, very wet.
We didn't get too technical, as they are 5.5 and 2.5 and couldn't tell a molecule from a megahertz if, you know, it was important that they do so. We simply had an interesting discussion that resulted from the happy circumstance of us having a little dry ice around the house. Talk about an engaging bit of family fun. Find some dry ice to play with today! (And try some Lou Malnati's!)


COD said...

You should have ordered Gino's ;)

Rational Jenn said...

Mmmm....Gino's East, right? I will check with Brendan, but I *think* Gino's and Lou's merged or morphed or are somehow related to each other. Maybe one left the other with a recipe and the other stayed in business with a new version of the recipe?

Does Gino's do the big slab o'sausage thing? Because according to my husband, that's the reason to get Lou. He only eats the sausage kind--the only kind worth eating! I bet if Gino's doesn't do the big slab o'sausage, then that's why we never go there when we go back up to Chicago.

I honestly don't think I've tried Gino's. Next time we're up there, we should. What say you, Brendan?

Anonymous said...

If you really want to blow the kids' minds (maybe not) you might consider trying dry ice explosions. Yes. explosions.