It Cost $1500 to Make This Sandwich Completely from Scratch

A lot of trendy restaurants boast meals that are made "completely from scratch.” Unless they boiled down the ocean water themselves and nearly got arrested trying to take the salt through customs, they got nothing on this guy. 

As part of his “How to Make Everything” series, YouTuber Andy George set off on a quest to discover what really goes into building a sandwich made 100 percent from scratch. The sandwich and all its ingredients ended up costing $1,554 and took 6 months to make. You’d think he’d go with a simple recipe, like maybe a BLT without the B, but the final product included chicken, cheese, lettuce, onion, pickles, tomatoes, and mayonnaise, which he curdled, slaughtered, and harvested by hand. 

In addition to growing the vegetables and milking a cow, he also went out of his way to collect honey and forage for greens. Because he wasn’t using preservatives, the peak freshness of all his ingredients needed to coincide perfectly. This proved to be a challenge, with the wheat for the bread taking longer to grow than he had anticipated, throwing off the whole schedule.

He calculated the price by adding his out-of-pocket expenses, which totaled $542, with the amount he would pay himself for the 140 hours of labor he invested, $1011, based on federal minimum wage. The project makes you appreciate the amount of work a small army of people complete just to get lunch on your plate. It also shows that “made from scratch” isn’t always the gold standard for taste—after biting into his $1500 sandwich, George described it as “not bad.” 

[h/t: Mashable]

The Secret World War II History Hidden in London's Fences

In South London, the remains of the UK’s World War II history are visible in an unlikely place—one that you might pass by regularly and never take a second look at. In a significant number of housing estates, the fences around the perimeter are actually upcycled medical stretchers from the war, as the design podcast 99% Invisible reports.

During the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, the UK’s Air Raid Precautions department worked to protect civilians from the bombings. The organization built 60,000 steel stretchers to carry injured people during attacks. The metal structures were designed to be easy to disinfect in case of a gas attack, but that design ended up making them perfect for reuse after the war.

Many London housing developments at the time had to remove their fences so that the metal could be used in the war effort, and once the war was over, they were looking to replace them. The London County Council came up with a solution that would benefit everyone: They repurposed the excess stretchers that the city no longer needed into residential railings.

You can tell a stretcher railing from a regular fence because of the curves in the poles at the top and bottom of the fence. They’re hand-holds, designed to make it easier to carry it.

Unfortunately, decades of being exposed to the elements have left some of these historic artifacts in poor shape, and some housing estates have removed them due to high levels of degradation. The Stretcher Railing Society is currently working to preserve these heritage pieces of London infrastructure.

As of right now, though, there are plenty of stretchers you can still find on the streets. If you're in the London area, this handy Google map shows where you can find the historic fencing.

[h/t 99% Invisible]

Custom-Design the Ugly Christmas Sweater of Your Dreams (or Nightmares)

For those of you aspiring to be the worst dressed person at your family's holiday dinner, sells—you guessed it—ugly Christmas sweaters to seasonal revelers possessing a sense of irony. But the Michigan-based online retailer has elevated kitsch to new heights by offering a create-your-own-sweater tool on its website.

Simply visit the site's homepage, and click on the Sweater Customizer link. There, you'll be provided with a basic sweater template, which you can decorate with festive snowflakes, reindeer, and other designs in five different colors. If you're feeling really creative, you can even upload photos, logos, hand-drawn pictures, and/or text. After you approve and purchase a mock-up of the final design, you can purchase the final result (prices start at under $70). But you'd better act quickly: due to high demand, orders will take about two weeks plus shipping time to arrive.


More from mental floss studios