Another Chance To Win A T-Shirt: Help Us Name The Ten _flossiest Places To Live

Unless you're a lifeguard or summer school teacher, work often slows down in July and August. Employees are on vacation. Clients and customers are on vacation. And it's too nice to be inside.

Because of our school calendar, perhaps we're conditioned to mentally check out at high temperatures. Or maybe I'm just trying to rationalize laziness. Either way, navigating your way through an August workday can be as challenging as the job itself.

To pass the time, I've come up with a handful of questions for your consideration. I'll post one each day this week. We'll start with a contest. Here goes.

I recently read a Fast Company article on The 30 'Fastest' Cities for 2007 "“ places that "best embody economic innovation and opportunity." They named all the usual suspects: San Francisco, Dubai, London, Shanghai, New York. Plus a few I didn't expect: Des Moines, Havana, New Orleans, Bozeman (Montana).

Let's borrow Fast Company's (Number) + (Adjective Variation on Our Name) + (Noun or Phrase) + (Year) formula to see if we can discover The 10 _flossiest Places to Live for 2007. I will broadly define "_flossiest" as "full of entertainingly intelligent people." Don't use SAT scores to back up your claim, or advanced degrees or per capita income. Flossiest can't be measured in statistics. It's a gut feel from your time living there.

Make your case by leaving a comment, backed up with anecdotal evidence. If you want to supplement your argument with a photo, email that to me separately here.

After conferring with my fellow mental_floss bloggers, we'll announce The 10 _flossiest Places to Live for 2007 next week. If your nomination is selected as #1*, you win the mental_floss t-shirt of your choice. Numbers 2 through 10 earn you the thanks of a grateful local real estate industry.

*If more than one person nominates the same place, we'll pick the most compelling nomination. Unless we're feeling extra generous.

The Simple Way to Reheat Your French Fries and Not Have Them Turn Into a Soggy Mess

Some restaurant dishes are made to be doggy-bagged and reheated in the microwave the next day. Not French fries: The more crispy and delectable they are when they first arrive on your table, the more of a soggy disappointment they’ll be when you try to revive them at home. But as The Kitchn recently shared, there’s a secret to making leftover fries you’ll actually enjoy eating.

The key is to avoid the microwave altogether. Much of the appeal of fries comes from their crunchy, golden-brown exterior and their creamy potato center. This texture contrast is achieved by deep-frying, and all it takes is a few rotations around a microwave to melt it away. As the fries heat up, they create moisture, transforming all those lovely crispy parts into a flabby mess.

If you want your fries to maintain their crunch, you need to recreate the conditions they were cooked in initially. Set a large pan filled with about 2 tablespoons of oil for every 1 cup of fries you want to cook over medium-high heat. When you see the oil start to shimmer, add the fries in a single layer. After about a minute, flip them over and allow them to cook for half a minute to a minute longer.

By heating up fries with oil in a skillet, you produce something called the Maillard Reaction: This happens when high heat transforms proteins and sugars in food, creating the browning effect that gives fried foods their sought-after color, texture, and taste.

After your fries are nice and crisp, pull them out of the pan with tongs or a spatula, set them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil, and sprinkle them with salt. Now all you need is a perfect burger to feel like you’re eating a restaurant-quality meal at home.

[h/t The Kitchn]

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