Pat Shingleton: "A Kool Down and an Explosion..."
We're into the second day of summer with 91 remaining. When we were kids, lemons were expensive, so my mom stockpiled a fruity beverage that was invented by Edwin Perkins in 1927 called Kool-Aid, and a concentrate called Reamer's Lemon Blend. After a ball-game we'd bee-line it to the frig, quaffing down these refreshing drinks. However, my mom also saved the water from boiled potatoes to better activate the yeast for her home-made bread. Next to a pitcher of Kool-Aid was a same-colored quart of potato water. Even today, potato water is refreshing. More than 323 million packets of Kool-Aid are sold each year and gallon-for-gallon, it's the number one most consumed beverage for kids. From Kool-Aid to another beverage. The sun is 868,000 miles across and is about 100 times the diameter of our planet. I realized the sun's power as a kid when we made our own root beer. We would retrieve a mixing crock from the basement and Mom would mix a root beer extract with sugar and yeast. After cleaning pop bottles, we'd funnel-in the root beer and manually cap the bottles with caps purchased from the local hardware store. A "bottle-capper" assisted in the process. This device have an adjustable height selector for either beer or soda bottles and a lever to press each bottle with a cap. The next process included placing the filled bottles in the sunlight. We would also spin them occasionally to eliminate the sediment. It took four days to get the effervescence just-right. Before the fourth day, some of the bottles would explode. The power of sunlight and the power of the yeast gave us an extra pop in our soda-pop