I love stories about delicious food, and stories about simple tricks you can try to improve your life. So when GQ posted an article titled “How To Make Toast Even Better: Fry It” — of COURSE I clicked! I love carbs, and fried things, and things that are better than they previously were! This was shaping up to be my JAM (on toast, natch). But like, I was expecting there to be some kind of secret magic imparted in the piece — some new wisdom that would elevate the “fried toast” trick from obvious to profound. Maybe fry it in duck fat, or on a high heat for exactly 9 seconds per side. Maybe only use ciabatta, or sourdough, or bread that includes whatever the hell “spelt” is. Maybe it’s a bit of clever wordplay, and the secret of perfect toast would actually prove to be that carnival staple, fried bread dough.
But: Nope! The “better” toast is literally just bread, fried on the stove in olive oil.
Here’s what happens: When you fry a thick slab of bread in olive oil, the insides get soft—for this reason it’s a great way to use up a loaf that’s almost stale—and the outsides get golden and crunchy. (My former boss, who is the person who exposed me to fried toast, likens it to a “[very large crouton].”) It is the perfect base for a cooked egg, or some vegetables, or beans, or even something like sliced fruit—anything that’s not too, too fatty. (Avocado is pushing it.)
I mean, that sounds… fine. But it’s hardly new. It’s how you make grilled cheese, ffs. Only they’ve removed the cheese. WHICH IS A TRAVESTY. Also: why would you use olive oil when butter is RIGHT THERE? And that’s without even unpacking the hypocrisy of an article that’s advocating ditching toasters for a harder-to-make toast, and then dunking on fucking avocado toast as if avocado toast-eaters aren’t precisely the demographic this piece is targeting. Fuck the fuck off.
Honestly, the whole thing was such a letdown, in a way that left me really hungry and deeply unsatisfied at the same time. So I went to make some cheesy, carb-y lunch for myself, and along the way started to think up other painfully obvious “tips” that, sure, may, in fact, be marginally “better” in some respect — but are hardly life changing.
— You know what’s really better than a toaster? No, not a frying pan. A TOASTER OVEN. It does so much!
— Brushing your teeth in the shower saves water or something! Even though, like the toaster situation, the sink is right there.
— Peeing in the shower also saves water, apparently! And lets you do Kegel exercises? I dunno. Again: toilet is conveniently located.
— Doing your makeup during your commute saves time! And if you’re on public transport, and don’t mind others staring at your face, then cool — you do you. If you’re driving and doing anything more involved then applying some lip gloss at a red light then go fuck yourself.
— Speaking of beauty routines, the Overlords already offered a shit-ton of (snail-slimy, back-shavey) tips in the past, which you can check out here!
— Fresh baked cookies are the best, so always keep cookie dough handy. No, you don’t have to make it yourself (though you can, obviously). There are some fancy cookie dough options on the market, if you aren’t in the mood for whatever that little doughboy is hawking. After that, all it takes is 10-12 minutes in the oven, and you’ll have warm cookies! And the best part is that you can exercise portion control and only make as many as you should eat (if you’re like me and tend to think a single serving is the whole container…).
— Roast veggies are the easiest/laziest way to eat veg EVER. Olive oil, salt, pepper, parchment paper and a pan. Usually bake at like 400 or so, and then just don’t burn them. Sure, you could jazz it up (red pepper flakes? lemon?), but you don’t have to. And it’s way easier than buying all the ingredients for a salad. Unless you do bagged salads, I suppose.
— My friend does something that never occurred to me, but blows my fucking mind. She hangs onto not only her bones but her veggie scraps (mushroom stems, carrot tips, etc.), freezes them all, and when she has enough she makes a broth with it. Me, I plan when I want to make broth and then buy all the ingredients (the leeks, the onions, the carrots and celery) on the spot. Don’t be like me. Be like her. Or just buy broth.
— Change your passwords often! This isn’t a hack, it’s just good advice. DO IT. DO IT NOW. (I’m saying this mostly for myself)
— You never know when you’ll need a tool, so I keep a Leatherman handy. Seriously, I fucking love those things. I have several, so I don’t have to look for one when I need it.
— Any stick can be a walking stick if a) it’s long enough, and b) you walk with it.
— Feeling anti-social? Wear headphones. You don’t even need to listen to music or anything.
— Did you know that tin foil boxes have little perforated push-in tabs on the ends, to hold the roll in place? BLEW MY DAMN MIND. So go home and push that shit, yo!
— For some reason (probably “science”) adding a bit of leftover coffee to your banana bread dough makes the flavor pop.
— Running starting to seem too easy? Try taking your shoes off!
— Want to reduce stress? Start saying “no” to people. It’s an art form AND a way of life.
— The trick to not procrastinating? Just fucking do the shit already!
— The trick to making food delicious? FRY IT. FRY IT ALL. Even works on ice cream! (though I have no idea how to make fried ice cream, and I don’t want to know — I want it to remain a perfect, delicious mystery)!
And there you have it, folks. A bunch of semi-useless life hacks that won’t actually change your lives, but are certainly options you could employ while you consider whether or not you’re going to donate your toaster to Goodwill.