The custom of snapping these bones in two after dinner came to us from the English, who got it from the Romans, who got it from the Etruscans, an ancient Italian civilization.
As far as historians and archaeologists can tell, the Etruscans were really into their chickens, and believed that the birds were oracles and could predict the future. They exploited the chickens' supposed gifts by turning them into walking ouija boards with a bizarre ritual known as alectryomancy or “rooster divination.” When a chicken was killed, the furcula (ie. wishbone) was laid out in the sun to dry so people would still have access to the oracle's power even after eating it. People would pick up the bone and make wishes on it, hence its modern name. Read the full text from Metal Floss here.
Supply and demand is always an issue on Thanksgiving. Unless you are making turkeys to feed an army, you usually only get one at of the whole ordeal. So, we are offering a way to give everyone at dinner a chance to make a wish.
These are easy to make and require minimal supplies.
The first step is to download our wishbone template which is available here. Next take a piece of the air dry clay that is roughly half the size of a pink eraser. You will start modeling this between your fingers until you get a shape that resembles the shape on the template. It can help to lay the clay on a piece of wax paper and roll the clay out like a snake piece in order to make the large u-shape of the top piece and then the bottom piece. You can then flatten the U shape onto your bottom piece to create the wishbone shape. We prefer to keep the clay all one piece and make the bottom piece first then take your wooden modeling tool and split the top part in half to make the U shape. Then use your fingers to model the clay to create your shape. It's really a personal preference how you prefer to work with the clay.
If the clay becomes difficult to mold, dip your fingers in some water and apply it to the clay. When the clay is wet it becomes easier to manipulate. Take your wooden clay modeling tool and use that to help you get the desired shape. When finished, lay the wishbones on a piece of wax paper. Take a pen and lay the bottom of your wishbones on the pen to create a curve in the wishbone. Let your wishbones sit out overnight. They will dry and harden. These can take 1-3 days to dry depending on the size of your creations.
Once dry, you can paint or glitter your wishbones to add some festive color to them. Put one on each place setting with a place card. Guests will have fun breaking your wishbones during dinner! You can also make an extra large wishbone for an extra special wish.