Rainy Day Gems

Hello to all my Grinnellites!

I hope you have all been having a wonderful couple of days since I last posted!

It’s summer, after all, so you should be out and about, enjoying the sunshine, perhaps frolicking through a field of blooming flowers.  (See pollen.com for details.)

Strawberry Fields Forever

But I was just kidding about all of that, because it’s been super grey and rainy for the past few days.  I don’t actually mind the rain, in fact I think rainy weather is pretty fabulous.  It puts a (literal) damper on the Iowa heat, makes the sunlight a little less squint-worthy, and brings more customers in to eat at Chuong Garden, where I work as a waitress and which has received, via the esteemed forum that is Google Reviews, such praise as:

“Lovely service, not to mention the best Chinese food I have had in iowa.”

“Great tea and amazing crab Rangoons.”

“This is now my favorite chinese restaurant!”

But back to the rain, which is the important part of this discussion.

It has been wonderfully rainy for the past few days, and the skylight in my apartment patters like a tin roof echoing with the sound of rain.  Last night a friend and I sat together and did paintings and collages to the flickering song of thunder and lightning (also to a melancholy playlist and the light of a fluorescent bulb).

*Sigh* let’s all take a moment to wax nostalgic for yesterday.

Rain: A Haiku

I have no rainboots,

but I don’t go anywhere.

So I love the rain.

(If you have taken up residence in some tragically sunny place, fear not!  Youtube has your back.)

Of course, it’s not completely true that I don’t go anywhere, and on my walk to the Bear this morning I noticed that the town of Grinnell has become home to a growing contingent of mushrooms.  While I doubt that they are edible, they are quite beautiful.  The largest cluster that I’ve found of the fascinating fungi is on the south side of Broad st. between 5th and 6th ave.  Check it out if you happen to be walking by!

Fun Facts About Fungi:

(Actually just about mushrooms, because though all mushrooms are fungi, not all fungi are mushrooms!) <- Fungi Fact 0.5

FungiMushrooms

A helpful Venn diagram brought to you by yours truly. 

What’s really interesting about mushrooms is that they are basically the flower or fruit of the fungus.  I feel like mushrooms are to flowers what moths are to butterflies.  They’re both cool and pretty, but mushrooms are more limited in color scheme.

We hear about poisonous mushrooms all the time, but it turns out that, while there are several kinds of mushrooms that are deadly if eaten, Amanita phalloides for example, all knowm species of mushrooms can be safely handled.

Amanita Phalloides

Amanita phalloides, more commonly known as the Death Cap, is a poisonous species of fungus found often in Europe near deciduous and coniferous trees.  The mushrooms actually resemble several edible forms of mushroom, an approximation which heightens the risk of accidental poisoning.  It is thought that the Death Cap was responsible for the deaths of the Roman Emperor Claudius (predecessor to the infamous Nero) and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI.  It is difficult, for obvious reasons, to verify this.

On another note, the regular consumption of oyster mushrooms has been shown to reduce cholesterol.

(That fact-chunk was provided by Alam N, Yoon KN, Lee JS, Lee MW, Lee TS. (2011) Pleurotus nebrodensis ameliorates atherogenic lipid and histological function in hypercholesterolemic rats. International Journal of Pharmacology 7(4): 455-462.)

Not the random-interesting-facts-about-mushrooms type?

Fact1

Really?  You don’t find this stuff interesting?  

Never fear!  We’ve got other stuff to discuss.

This, for example:

Fact2

Just kidding.  We can move on from the plants thing.  (But click here to learn about how Aloe Vera can be used as a laxative!)

5_random_facts_about_aloe_vera

                          (This shit is my jam) –>

But for realsies now, I’m so over plants.

Just kidding!

My roommate and I just had a conversation about plants, bell peppers specifically.

Did you know that green bell peppers are just underdeveloped?  If a green pepper were left to mature, it would eventually turn yellow, then orange, then red!

According to the world’s healthiest foods, an online organization devoted to your gastronomical well-being,

They have a slightly bitter flavor and will never have the sweet taste of their red, yellow and orange counterparts.

Bell Pepper Chart

Using that information, we came up with an idea for a postmodern meal:

Ingredients: 1 slice of pepper from green, orange, yellow, and red pepper

Instructions: Arrange slices in reverse rainbow order.  Serve.  You are now eating time.

And on that note…

Have a great weekend!

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