Impromtu jury duty

Judging from Maggie's How To Get Out of Jury Duty & David's dispatches from jury duty (maybe: "How to Get Into Jury Duty"?), we at mental_floss definitely haven't shied away from how to cope with the litigious life. I haven't actually had to/had the pleasure to serve on a Los Angeles jury yet, but I did cast the syndicated "Jury Duty" television show last year...Maybe there's some viable conflict of interest there that would get me off the hook.

But at least I haven't yet encountered "emergency jury duty"--as the people of Greeley, CO have recently:

After 161 out of 200 people failed to show up for jury duty, the Greeley courts resorted to what they refer to as "emergency jury duty subpoenas" — picking 50 random people off the street and forcing them to participate in jury duty. Citizens were approached on the sidewalk, in the supermarket and even at the local gym.

But these people didn't just happily volunteer their sweaty armpits and grocery bags full of spoiling milk to sit through a riveting trial. Instead, they were threatened with contempt of court citations if they refused to drop the day's plans for a seat in the jury.

And that's the third time in the last two months they've had to launch such surprise attacks! The best quote was from Karen McMillan:

s By early Wednesday afternoon, more than 50 people had reported to emergency jury duty, many perturbed that they had to drop everything to possibly serve on a jury.


"I have like 5 tons of stuff to do at work," McMillan said.

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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