April 24, 2013

Mountain Dew Glow Stick/ Glowing Mtn. Dew Experiment: Kool or Katastrophy?

Happy Wednesday KorKers!
     It’s been a pretty busy week for me so far due to finals coming up in a matter of less than two weeks. TWO WEEKS! AHH…the pressure will get to me sooner or later. Anyway, I wanted to do a simple experiment that was requested by my relative Amanda, in which you could make a bottle of Mtn. Dew into a source of light similar to a glow stick. I talked to some of my friends about it at lunch on Monday, and one of them who specializes with the sciences told me that he had actually attempted it himself just to see what would happen. 

     The result of his experiment: A COMPLETE AND UTTER FAIL. With that in mind, I was kind of sure that trying out this experiment would end up the same way; or if by some miracle, that it may work. So, I decided to try it out anyway, for I knew you guys would like to know how it turned out. Also, I love Mountain Dew, so it wouldn't have been a large sacrifice to give it a try! (haha)

     Honestly, the concept seems pretty simple- have ¼ of Mountain Dew left in the bottle, then add in some baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. 

However, I have to break it to ya’ll- IT WAS AN ABSOLUTE AND  TOTAL BUST.

    I had some Mtn. Dew that I was drinking purposely for this, and made sure that I left enough in the bottle. Then, I took a piece of paper and made a temporary funnel for the baking soda (it made it 10x easier) before adding in the few capfuls of hydrogen peroxide to the mix, and shaking it to combine them. 

     Even when I took the bottle into a dark room, it did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING- NADA. The mix didn’t even have any chemical reactions other than when the baking soda hit the Mtn. Dew or when the baking soda reacted with the peroxide. So, no glow.

     So, I’m sorry to break it to all of the millions of people who have seen this pic/pin on the Internet…but IT DOESN’T WORK! If you don’t believe me, just give it a try. The picture of the mix being able to glow is probably due to the photographer cracking open a glow stick and pouring it inside the bottle (that’s my opinion).

KorK Rating: Katastrophy!
Until Sunday KorKers! –Katie <3

April 21, 2013

A KorK Spring Tradition: Dry Land Fishing for Morel Mushrooms!

Happy Sunday KorKers!
     Spring is in full swing here in North Carolina after the long wait and fluctuation of weather, and everything is much prettier than before. With spring’s arrival here in the Carolinas, another great thing occurs, hunting season. However, hunting season isn’t limited to wild turkeys and other fowls, but also mushroom season. 
And if your first thought was of this from The Lord of the Rings, I’m proud. 
     Anyway, this hunting season for wild mushrooms is for a specific type of mushrooms called Morel Mushrooms, or commonly known as Dry Land Fish because of their taste.
     You can find the Morels only in the springtime when the Dogwood tree is in bloom and in somewhat shady areas near or beside creeks or rivers. On my family’s farm, we have numerous acres of land in which creeks run through or border the landline, which has been a prime location for these Morels. My family and I were introduced to these mushrooms a few years ago, and we love to take a walk through the pastures just to find these mushrooms. It’s just like having a late Easter egg hunt in the woods in which the mushrooms are the Easter eggs and treasure combined. The mushrooms blend in well with the surroundings, so it takes a keen eye to spot them, just like finding shark teeth in a massive pile of seashells. Once you find some, all you need to do is to cut them near the base of the stalk (nearest the ground or so) with a knife and place them in a basket or bucket until you collect as many as you are allowed or want.

     Fun Fact: North Carolina, like many states, has a hunting limitation on how many of the Morels that you can collect per season (when harvesting in a public location). [Make sure you check local laws before harvesting them in a public place!]

     NOTE: Morel Mushrooms are HOLLOW inside. If you find one and it is solid on the inside instead- don’t get those or consume them! They may be poisonous! (Make sure to do your research!)

     Once you’ve collected all of the mushrooms, take them into the kitchen and clean the mushrooms (rinse them and make sure they’re clean!) before cooking them in whatever manner you’d like to. For my family, after we clean the Morels, we place them in a large container with saltwater to soak in (at least) overnight.


     The next day, after the Morels have soaked, we take them and cut them in half, [ENSURING THAT THEY ARE HOLLOW ON THE INSIDE] before battering and frying them in a skillet like you would prepare other fish. Once they’re finished cooking, enjoy!

     Personally, I really enjoy these mushrooms. They are extremely delicious and to first-time consumers of the mushrooms, take it from me- they don’t really taste like a mushroom, but tastes like catfish or a light-flavored fish (hint the common nickname for them). These mushrooms look somewhat odd, but their looks are quite deceiving, which makes them even more enjoyable after hunting them and preparing them. I hope to those of you who get the opportunity to go dry land fishing that you will- it’s a fun experience with great benefits!

KorK rating: Kool
Until Wednesday KorKers! –Katie <3