The Long Overdue Winners of Our Lost States Contest

The electorate needed a little email prodding, but all the ballots have finally been cast in our Lost States giveaway. Let's start with a couple runners-up, who've each won a back issue of mental_floss magazine...

From Maddie:

State Name: Plasma
Governor: David Bohm, plasma theoretician
State slogan: We're not stable, but at least we're sparky!
License plate: Hotter than you since 1879

From Josiah:

State Name: Everything in the middle area of North Carolina (between Ashville and Elizabeth City) would become Centralina. (Seriously, we have Duke, UNC, NC State, Wake Forest, NC A&T, Elon (one of the best business schools in the country now) and many others all within a 100 mile radius. This is the place to be for good schooling.)
Governor: Andy Griffith. He was a great sheriff, why not a governor?
State slogan: Lower elevation, higher education.

And now, the winners of Mike Trinklein's fantastic book...

From Wally:

State Name: Mind (uh, er, State of Mind)
Governor: Sigmund Freud III
State slogan: How do you feel about slogans?
License plate: Slipped Into Statehood

From Mark:

State Name: Geeksylvania (Capitol, Geekopolis)
Governor: Carl, the guy who runs the comic book store in the mall and runs a D&D game in the back room every Thursday night.
State slogan: All your base are belong to us!
License plate: Klaatu Barada Nikto

We'll be in touch about your prizes! And thanks to everyone for playing. As with most of these contests, there could have been a dozen winners.

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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