Did John Smoltz Burn Himself While Ironing the Shirt He Was Wearing?

Any conversation about bizarre sports injuries eventually turns to John Smoltz, who supposedly burned himself while trying to iron the shirt he was wearing in 1990. The legend lives on in sports blogs and message boards, though Smoltz has been trying to debunk it for 15 years. Here's a 1996 quote from The Sporting News:

"That is the most false thing I've ever heard," Smoltz says. "That got created six years ago, and it never left me. Ironing my shirt while it was on—that's the most absurd thing. It was made up. But it got on Arsenio Hall, CNN, everywhere. And what do you do to stop it? I just read it again."

How'd this story get started in the first place? Go back to 1990, when reports like this one from The Times appeared in newspapers across the country:

"Smoltz received a slight burn on his right chest while trying to iron his shirt. Apparently, no one was around Sunday to suggest to Smoltz that he first take off the shirt. The result was five red, inch-long streaks below his Polo emblem."

And this quote from Smoltz himself that appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution doesn't help his case:

"I couldn't believe it. I've done it five or six times and never had that happen.”

Smoltz insists Braves beat reporter Joe Strauss had the whole thing wrong. Can we find Joe Strauss to get his side of the story?

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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