Lessons From My Broken Toe

You guys. I think my house is totally haunted by malevolent spirits. People keep falling down the stairs. I fell down the basement stairs last spring and gave myself a concussion (I went to work anyway). My mom fell down the same stairs in May and broke her ankle in two places (she had it fixed and went to Mexico anyway). Friday night, I fell down the stairs that go from the loft to the first floor and broke my big toe (I went to a bar anyway. I did not take painkillers that night though).

While some of you non-believers might say, "Hey, idiot, stop wearing socks on your wood stairs," I prefer to think that evil beings lurk in my 1923 house and randomly push people down the stairs "“ we DO live across the street from a cemetery. My husband tested this theory by running up and down the stairs about four times in a row, but nothing pushed him. Perhaps it's an evil spirit that doesn't like women.

Here's what happened: I fell down the stairs while he was taking the dogs out. He came in and I was sitting on a chair with my foot up on the ottoman, staring at my toe sticking toward my body at a 90 degree angle. "I think I broke my toe," I said.

"Well, they don't do much for broken toes," he told me, and bent down to look at it. He touched the bottom of my foot with his finger. "Uh"¦ does that hurt?"


"I think that's your bone." So that sort of changed things. He carried me to the car and we drove to the hospital; he carried me inside and I plopped my foot down on the desk of the woman doing admissions. "I think I broke my toe," I told her.

From there on out, I was kind of the freak show of the hospital. People would do a double take when they walked by the room where I was waiting for the doctor to fix me. A cop stopped in when he saw the strange angle of my toe and he and my husband had a long discussion about dislocated digits. They compared old injuries. Meanwhile I sat there enjoying the drugs they were pumping into me.

Anyway, suffice it to say I learned some interesting things throughout this whole ordeal. Among them:

"¢ When the broken bone sticks out through the skin, it's called an open fracture. Apparently this is rare (yay me!)
"¢ Usually you only need ibuprofen for a broken toe. Me? I'm on percocet.
"¢ The medical term for the big toe is hallux.
"¢ Most people's second toe is shorter than their big toe. Mine is not. This is called "Mitten foot".
"¢ Women have about four times as many foot problems as men. This might be due to the structure of high heels. That's not going to stop me from wearing them, though "“ I love shoes.

This isn't me, but this video essentially shows what the doctor did to my toe to get it back in place. I'm not going to lie; it was kind of cool.

OK, now it's time to make me feel better about my stupidity. Tell me about your freak accidents and ridiculous injuries!

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]

Bone Collector


More from mental floss studios