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December 2012 Archives

Poutines Rapees

The results of our Poutines Rapees experiment! Starting from the bottom left, going clockwise: plain; ketchup; Tang & Tabasco; and Magic Shell with Nutella & sprinkles! Mmm.

When we made a half-joking request for poutine in one of our newsletters, we did not expect any response, much less a package delivery. We were a little apprehensive at the small box that arrived from Mimi G. of the Great White North. Instead of french fries, gravy, and cheese curds, Mimi had sent us the Acadian version, Poutines Rapees, which is essentially potato balls made with raw grated potato and filled with salt pork. They are a special occasion dish in New Brunswick since they take hours to make (as Mimi said, "mostly boiling the hell out of potato balls"). According to Mimi, they are generally topped with white or brown sugar, molasses, or ketchup.

The canned version made by Claude's in New Brunswick is extremely rare... since the company went out of business a few years ago. This particular can? From the early '90s.

Challenge accepted! We decided to make them.

We were nervous about opening it, but it mostly smelled like any canned item. Following the instructions, we put the contents (two potato balls and brine) into the only pan we could find, covered them with water (mostly), and popped the pan onto a hot plate to come to a rolling boil.

Boiling Poutines Rapees

The color improved over heating time. Smell? Mostly boiled potato.

We ended up boiling the Poutines Rapees for about forty minutes to be on the safe side. In an attempt to add some texture, we returned them to an empty pan to crisp up, which failed miserably.

We cut each potato ball in half and added various toppings. We present Poutines Rapees four ways: plain, ketchup, Tang and Tabasco (fan choice, because the Internet is mean), and Dessert Style (Magic Shell, Nutella, and sprinkles).

Our findings:

  1. We do not recommend these plain. The consistency was very tough to overcome (it was almost glue-like).
  2. Adding ketchup faired a little better and at least added some flavor.
  3. Tang and Tabasco... well, look at Erin's face. The flavor was described as "peanut butter."
  4. Dessert Style looked the prettiest. Taste... you'll have to watch the video of Zack.

Erin and Poutines

Good news! As of this post, no one suffered from food poisoning or botulism. If you're interested on making this Acadian delicacy on your own (for your next party!), here's a recipe below.

Thanks again to Mimi for providing us with a taste of Canada!

Poutines Rapees

Total time: 4 hours

1 lb salt pork
10 uncooked potatoes
4 mashed/cooked potatoes seasoned with salt & pepper

  1. Soak the salt pork in cold water overnight to remove the excess salt
  2. Cut salt pork into cubes.
  3. Grate the uncooked potatoes and squeeze out excess water with a cloth
  4. Mix the grated potatoes with the mashed/cooked potatoes and season with salt & pepper
  5. Roll into balls
  6. Make a hole in the center of the potato ball with your thumb and add a tablespoon of salt pork
  7. Reform into a ball and roll the poutine in white flour.
  8. Cook in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 2-3 hours.

Makes 6 balls.

BONUS! Here's Zack, our video monkey, trying the dessert style Poutines Rapees:

Gingerbread Serenity

So... do we fly this or eat it?

These links were tough to lasso in, but we got the best for y'all this week. You best click 'em before they escape!

Our favorite links from the Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Pinterest 'verse:

The Geek Gift Hint List: Send this to all of your family and relatives. (Pure Geek)

The Green Dragon is real?! We totally understand if this is the only reason why you visit New Zealand. (Design Taxi)

Handblown Glass Solar System Ornaments

PC TARDIS case. Insert "bigger on the inside" comment. (The Register)

Official trailer for Man of Steel is out! What do you think? (YouTube)

Decorate your tree with SPACE! Check out these gorgeous Solar System ornaments. (Glass Sculpture)

It all makes sense now! Mary Poppins is a Time Lord. (Tumblr)

We geeks take our ice sculptures very seriously - these are no joke. (Smosh)

It's dangerous to go alone; here, take these! (Zsolt Szekely)

She's candied up plenty, but she'll fly true. Gingerbread Serenity build photos by Supersopp. (Imgur)

Hobbit Dwarves Cheat Sheet: Please review this before the exam. (LOTR Project)

Angry Cat & Grumpy Cat join the Dark Side. (Tumblr)

Triforce Wedding Bands

Would you like to live in infamy on our packing lists? Submit your comments here! (ThinkGeek)

How to spruce up a cable caddy, Bob Marley style. (Weekly Creations)

Official teaser released for Star Trek Into Darkness. (YouTube)

The Hobbit cast meets their LEGO counterparts. (Kotaku)

Think twice before inviting a Narwhal to your Holiday party. (Tumblr)

Our walls are empty and sad :( Send us postcards for our Wall of Awesome Happiness! (ThinkGeek)

Epic glowing lightsaber Yoda tattoo. (Obvious Winner)

Darfield hates Mondays. (Tone Cartoons)

We want YOU to submit a comment!

Oh noes, our comment tank is running low! We need your help in refueling!

If you haven't read our "Notes" section on the packing list of your packages before, you should; they're filled with comments from your fellow geeks! (Example: "Thank you for your sudden but inevitable purchase." by Lindsay A.) You might wonder, "How did they get this amazing opportunity!?" Well, they were submitted to us long ago, in a distant past. Fret not, though, the time has come where we must refuel our comment tank with your geeky contributions. Make our packing lists even more awesome and become packing list famous!

There's no limit to the number of comments we will choose - we just want the best of the best. Bonus: We will randomly pick three of the selected comments to win a $50 gift certificate!

To submit, all you need to do is fill out the form below. Also, please follow these few simple guidelines:

  • Your comment must be 180 characters or less, including spaces. (Use this to calculate!)
  • Please keep this PG-13; no profanity, lewd, rude, or mean remarks. Don't write anything you wouldn't want your mother to see!
  • You have until next week, Wednesday, December 19 at 5pm ET to submit.
  • Be funny, witty, and awesome!

P.S. If you're looking for another opportunity to contribute to ThinkGeek and win a $50 gift certificate, send a postcard to our Wall of Awesome Happiness!

When we launched Mega Stomp Panic, our audio costume that senses your steps and inserts sound effects, we thought we'd try something new and make a commercial for it--the kind that might be seen on your tee-vee. (Have you seen it yet? Let us know in the comments!)

This was a first for us; we even rented a space for the shoot and painted, floored, and dressed the set. ThinkGeek photographer Michael had the presence of mind to set up a timelapse camera to show the progress as we got things in shape and filmed the commercial.

Here, watch the hard part first:

And then, voila, a commercial was born! If you see this on your old-fashioned entertainment delivery device, aka television, let us know:

Some more pics from the shoot:

An end of an era: Nintendo Power's last issue side by side with its first

The very last issue of Nintendo Power for December 2012 next to the very first issue, July/August 1988. Excuse us, we've got some dust in our eye...

Get 'em while they're hot! We've cooked up a large and tasty batch this week.

Our favorite links from the Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Pinterest 'verse:

Dalek Tree

Genius LEGO key holder. (Felix Grauer)

Pay the fare and this DeLorean Taxi will take you back to the future. (Michael J Lubrano)

DIY Weeping Angel Christmas tree topper. (Blogspot)

Geeky heroines: Nouveau style by kishokahime (Deviant Art)

The Brownie Coats are coming! Adorable Firefly fanart. (Blogspot)

Step up your snowflake game in the office with these DIY Star Wars snowflakes! (Anthony Herrera Designs)

Bacon. Caramel. Fudge. 'Nuff said. (Jules Food)

This tree is superior and will exterminate all other trees. (Tumblr)

The tiniest, shiniest Jayne hat you've ever seen. (Flickr)

Quantum Levitation: When Science Imitates Magic (YouTube)

Lord of the Rings Box Set display: You're doing it right. (Tumblr)

How to make your very own exterminating Dalek chocolate cake. (Chocablog)

LOTR Box Set Display

What are you wearing to the Hobbit premiere? Maybe this LOTR-inspired Wraith Cloak? Or this Map of Middle Earth dress! (Obvious Winner & Flickr)

Best birthday ever. Patrick Stewart's son Daniel had a birthday party: Michael Dorn cooked while Brent Spiner and Scott Bakula cleaned up. (Twitter)

Catbus cosplay. We can only hope that a tiny Totoro is on board. (Sweet Ipomoea)

There's still time to enter & vote in our ThinkGeek & Instructables Sci-Fi Contest! (Instructables)

TARDIS llama. Say whaaat? (Twitpic)

If you're thinking about opting out of a real Christmas tree this year, mayhaps a LEGO tree might interest you. (Daily Mail)

An end of an era: Nintendo Power's last issue side by side with its first. (Ars Technica)

Giant 3.5

Na-na-na-na-na-na-na Batcat! (Uproxx)

We're not sure whether to fight or eat this dragon cake. (Flickr)

DIY Planet Pops! Mmm. (Tikkido)

Very merry geeky Christmas cards by alicia-b (Tumblr)

Tardar Sauce a.k.a. Grumpy Cat crossing the Alps. (Tumblr)

Adorable Ghostbusters reenactment. (Blame It On The Voices)

D'aww, DIY Totoro plush. (Cheek and Stitch)

Giant 3.5" Floppytable that will actually hold more than 1.44MB! (Floppytable)

Wall of Awesome Happiness

The Wall of Awesome Happiness in all its glory... kind of. We need to fill these blank walls!

This is a call to arms! Or postcards.

Relax your minds and think back... back to a time where the Wall of Awesome Happiness stood tall and strong, protecting us from the curse of the blank wall. Now, fast forward to present day where the Wall was taken down and nothing defended us against it. We were hopeless! Until now.

We've relocated and revived the Wall of Awesome Happiness, but it is incomplete; blank walls continue to surround us and we need moar! Your awesomeness is required in order to save us from our impending doom. All we ask is you send us your niftiest postcard filled with awesome and happy, so we can affix them upon these walls. In return, every week we will randomly select one postcard to receive a $50 ThinkGeek gift certificate along with our undying gratitude.

Lonely blank walls

These sad & lonely walls make us monkeys want to cry; a crying monkey is not a pretty sight! Please help us adorn them with your glorious postcards.

Now, go forth! Hurry to your nearest post office and mail a postcard to:

c/o ThinkGeek
11216 Waples Mill Rd, Suite 100
Fairfax, VA 22030

Please remember to include your email address on the postcard as well! It will allow us to contact you if you've won.

Make haste! Time is of the essence! The blanks walls close in on us as we type!

Terms, Conditions, and Legalese:

  • By submitting your postcard to ThinkGeek, you assert that the postcard is your original material. You will indemnify ThinkGeek should you submit the copyrighted material of others without permission.
  • Only those winners located inside the United States will receive a $50 ThinkGeek gift certificate via email. Winners from outside the US will win our love, but not a gift certificate. We apologize for the complicated nature of international prize laws, but there it is.
  • Your submitted postcard will become the property of ThinkGeek, Inc.
  • ThinkGeek reserves the right to change the terms of this contest at any time, and we may terminate the contest at any time, at our discretion.
  • Any postcard mailed to the ThinkGeek Wall of Awesome Happiness consititutes agreement with these terms.
  • ThinkGeek is not evil, never has been, nor will ever be. Period.