We're a geek culture podcast and blog covering video games, music, food and more. We are the kinds of people who evangelize whatever we are into - it could be anything - but it's usually pretty geeky. We're casual, conversational, NSFW and hopefully interesting. We hope you enjoy it.
At what point does a game stop being fun and start being work? This week, Ross Rosenberg, Jinny, Ryan G Biv and I focus on the theme of satisfaction. What makes us continue playing a game even if it kicks our ass all over the room? Why do we persevere in the face of ridiculous difficulty and unfair game mechanics? We also touch on game and movie news, from the new Heavy Metal movie, to a Facebook movie, Miyazaki's new movie, a rumored PS3 operating system refresh, Nintendo's new auto-play help system, Michael Jackson's death (and how it affected the internets), along with some great iPhone games to download. And then we answer some questions from the mailbag.
Bringing you the week in geekery, it's Jinny, me and the super famous Ross Rosenberg. We talk about the new Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland remake, Fallout 3's new Point Lookout DLC, the iPhone 3GS and Ngmoco's new Plus+ network, a life-sized Gundam statue finally finished in Japan (and set to become our new overlord), Lord of the Rings coming to Blu-Ray, 1vs100 and how dirty Bob Saget is as a stand-up comedian, Pixar granting a dying girl's last wish... look, if I tell you that this podcast is epic you have to believe it. It. Is. Epic. How can you possibly distill all this information on your own? I say, you cannot! That is why we are here, to bring you all of these good things in the span of an hour and ten minutes or so.
If you were on a deserted island and the only game you can bring with you is either Prototype or InFAMOUS, which would you bring? Why not let The Weekly Geek help you decide? In this week's podcast, we talk about the two very similar sandbox games and the pros and cons of each. We talk a bit about the Ghostbusters game coming out this week, more Metroid Other M details (or lack of details), Scribblenauts and its crazy database of functional imaginary objects, the devs of Darwinia+ opening all their documents and bug reports to the public, EverQuest's legacy, and how to properly season meat. We also touch on the current craziness in Iran, and how Twitter is helping get the word out. All the weird stuff that is currently impacting our world. Just a normal Monday.
It's a new month, which means a brand-new batch of crazy search terms people actually used to get to this site! Raise your hand if one of these is yours. Don't be shy, own up to your freakishness. Freaks. Truth be told, I'm probably messing with some pretty dark forces by posting these search terms. I may be creating an infinite search loop within the space-time continuum. Given our generation's love for all things post-apocalyptic, this shouldn't be too much of a burden for you.
how did orville redenbacher invented popcorn
geeks by the pool
question mark suit free stuff
how do you pronounce lior
gay and geeky retarded cartoon characters
video clips funny video hidden camera positions and very embarrassing for adults only
fiction stories about mutant chocolate bar causes controversy in local grocery store
It's been a looooong week full of news in the geeky realm, mostly coming out of the gaping maw of hell that is Los Angeles and E3. In this week's podcast we attempt to wrangle the rest of the E3 news we care about, most likely missing a massive amount of information in the meantime. There's just too much to fit into one podcast! Nintendo and Sony's press conferences are the focus, but we also talk about the glut of sequels (and why that may actually be a good thing), the WWDC Apple keynote and the new iPhone 3g S, what we've been playing this week and we dip into a heaping helping of mailbag. A meaty helping, sure to nourish and enrich for hours after ingestion.
It's like geek Christmas. E3 is where all the good little gamer girls and boys get to learn about the games they're going to be dropping their hard earned cash on when the real Christmas comes along. Today marks the beginning of the biggest video game convention of the year, with the Microsoft press conference. They set the bar pretty high, and this week's podcast is devoted to all the crazy-ass stuff Microsoft showed off. We talk about Left 4 Dead 2, Crackdown 2, Metal Gear, the new motion controller thing and the creepy little kid simulator thing. We also discuss why we want the ability to have two Netflix accounts on one box, the death of curiosity and new Monkey Island games. Deep, deep issues for sure.
I've been getting requests for this for some time, and they're finally here! We've got a whole batch of Weekly Geek stickers fresh from the printers, ready for your waiting hands. Stick 'em on your computer, on your car, your cat, whatever! Put them all over the place, but be sure to take a photo of where you stuck your sticker and submit said photo to the flickr pool.
How do you get one of these awesome, hand-cut stickers? Just make a donation via Paypal for at least a dollar (to cover postage) and I'll ship a couple out to you. An easy and fun way to support the show, for sure.
Beating the heat this week, Ryan, Jinny and Ross join me to talk about this week's news in the geek world. The Metroid Prime series gets ported to the Wii, Monkey Island is getting ported to the Xbox 360, V is getting remade for ABC and we rant a bit about the need to remake and repackage all of this media, just to sell it back to us in the end. There's a bit of food talk, a bit of movie talk and a lot of video game talk. You know. It's an episode of The Weekly Geek. Enjoy.
What makes a geek truly a geek? Does the distinction between true and supposedly false geeks even matter? On this week's podcast we focus on geek culture and geek pride - delving into topics such as Star Trek canon (and if canon is even as important as geeks make it out to be), internet celebrities who call themselves geeks but probably aren't, and a small smattering of game news. Then it's on to what we're playing and mailbag as always, but this podcast has a lot of discussion about what makes us geeks at the very core. I think it's a pretty interesting topic, I hope you do too. Here it is. A podcast. For you. Enjoy.
There will be no spoilers in this article. It's the very core of geekery. It's the glue that holds our universe together. It's canon, and it is quite an important part of the myriad mythos we love and cherish. The way a mythos' timeline fits together, the relationships between characters, the locations they are able to explore, everything that makes a world feel fleshed-out and real lies in canon. It's also one of the things that drives us geeks mad, especially when an "official" source seems to get it wrong. But should canon really even matter to you?
For writers on a series or a movie based on a beloved franchise like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings or Star Trek, the franchise bible is quite important. It facilitates the writing process, helping you remain in the world you set out to tell a story in. For the end-user (reader, viewer, listener, whatever) it is what makes the world feel real. While all fiction requires you suspend disbelief to some extent, canon is the thing we can always go back to and point a finger to when something doesn't seem to make sense. If a story breaks its own rules, it feels disingenuine - like the author maybe isn't taking it as seriously as you want them to.
But then... what about Star Trek canon? The new movie is a reboot of the franchise. All new actors playing old characters meant to refresh the canon. Yet, it's also the first time in Star Trek history where I haven't heard much discussion about where this new bit fits into the canon. Perhaps that's not all bad. This weekend I was checking out the wiki page dealing with Star Trek canon and found this little nugget:
See, people can easily catch us, and say "well, wait a minute, in 'Balance of Terror', they knew that the Romulans had a cloaking device, and then in 'The Enterprise Incident', they don't know anything about cloaking devices, but they're gonna steal this one because it's obviously just been developed, so how the hell do you explain that?" We can't. There are some things we just can't explain, especially when it comes from the third season. So, yes, third season is canon up to the point of contradiction, or where it's just so bad... you know, we kind of cringe when people ask us, "well, what happened in 'Plato's Stepchildren', and 'And the Children Shall Lead', and 'Spock's Brain', and so on -- it's like, please, he wasn't even producing it at that point. But, generally, [canon is] the original series, not really the animated, the first movie to a certain extent, the rest of the films in certain aspects but not in all... I know that it's very difficult to understand. It literally is point by point. I sometimes do not know how he's going to answer a question when I go into his office, I really do not always know, and -- and I know it better probably than anybody, what it is that Gene likes and doesn't like.-- Richard Arnold, 1991
Another thing that makes canon a little confusing. Gene R. himself had a habit of decanonizing things. He didn't like the way the animated series turned out, so he proclaimed that it was not canon. He also didn't like a lot of the movies. So he didn't much consider them canon either. And - okay, I'm really going to scare you with this one - after he got TNG going, he... well... he sort of decided that some of The Original Series wasn't canon either. I had a discussion with him once, where I cited a couple things that were very clearly canon in The Original Series, and he told me he didn't think that way anymore, and that he now thought of TNG as canon wherever there was conflict between the two. He admitted it was revisionist thinking, but so be it.-- Paula Block, 2005
Star Trek's revisionist history dates back to the creator himself, who repeatedly threw things out, brought new things back in, and denounced his own creations as "non-canon". So what's the big deal? Are you annoyed when a series breaks its own canon? Or do you just suspend your disbelief a little while longer?
It's been a few weeks, but I'm back with a brand new slew of completely ridiculous actual search terms people have used to get to our website. It's a constant exercise in "you're doing it wrong" and it's just too good not to share with you fine, fine people. I like to imagine the desperation it takes for someone to enter these words into a search engine, hoping beyond hope that what they're looking for will come up in the results.
i've known a couple of jerks from the local anime club who tried to keep getting a convention off the ground and kept trying to find ways to squeeze extra cash out of people let's just say that convention still hasn't happened
graffiti art of spongebob smoking crack
a game that has you be hot nude females
what can you use to hold corndogs
a fantasy tater tot
picture of a fruit
fiction stories about mutant chocolate bar causes controversy in local grocery store
This week sees the end of Jinny and Ryan's race to 9000 gamerpoints, and they are both exhausted. We talk about how E3 is fast approaching and what games we're looking forward to seeing more about, the new Star Trek reboot and how the movie is awesome, Fallout 3's Broken Steel DLC, a new Weekly Geek editor is introduced, and Jinny and I talk about our recent trip to Disneyland and California Adventure, and the craziness of the new Toy Story ride. Oh yeah, Ross is here too. Fully enjoyable, robust and deep in flavor, this is a podcast you will enjoy.
I just started an official Weekly Geek Twitter account, which you can follow to keep up to date with the podcast and the blog - as well as read tweets from the entire Weekly Geek crew. We'll update multiple times a day with interesting links and commentary about what we're playing/cooking/reading in REAL TIME. Crazy!
In addition, everyone in the WG crew has their own personal Twitter account (listed on the sidebar) in case you want to follow someone (or everyone!) individually.
Can you feel that tingle in the air? The excitement turns palpable as Jinny and Ryan's race to 9000 comes to a head - they're both at 8000+ and one of them is going to hit 9000 soon, but who? The super-famous Ross Rosenberg also joins us to talk about some video game news, Myst and Peggle on the iphone, PixelJunk Monsters on the PSP and a super nerdy (and possibly awesome) Lord of the Rings fan movie that definitely bears mentioning. Also this week we have a super special bonus, Mint.com CEO Aaron Patzer joins us for the last bits of the podcast to discuss Mint's new Financial Fitness feature - turning personal finance into a race for arbitrary points, just like achievements! FINALLY, A REASON TO SAVE MONEY.
I made another custom Mini Munny this week, this time around it's Shy Guy from Super Mario Brothers. His mask isn't formed to fit his head like most depictions, I wanted to make him look a bit more like the slimmer, more agile Shy Guys from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Click the pictures to zoom (goes to my flickr).
What makes a hardcore gamer hardcore? Why does the hardcore gamer have a beef with the casual? Join me, Jinny and Ross this week as we tackle this debate of hardcore vs. casual, and the elitists therein. We also discuss how Peggle inside World of Warcraft is potentially a society-crashing invention, how LEGO Rock Band isn't solely a cash-in game, and much much more.
We've set up a Weekly Geek community Flickr pool and we need you lovely community members to fill it up with your photos. Did you try making home made corn dogs? Add a photo to the pool! Did you make your own Settlers of Catan board out of cupcakes? Add a photo to the pool! Add any photos you find especially geeky to our new Flickr pool and have your photo featured here every week. I'll pick one exceptionally geeky (or otherwise awesome) photo a week and send the lucky winner a prize. We've got a ton of stuff to liquidate here, including some Halo shirts, posters, Nintendo Power pins, mini prints, and even some Weekly Geek pinback buttons. All you gotta do is submit photos to the pool, which is not only super easy to do, it's free!
posted by Chris on April 27, 2009 10:14 AM in Games
With all of the incredible shit that you can download directly to your consoles these days, there's almost no reason anymore to get off your ass and head to the store. Unfortunately there's a bunch of stuff out there in the cloud, and not a lot of games rise to the surface to separate the great from the crap - just look at all of the horribleness that's on the XNA community games list. The WiiWare lineup is just the same, it's mostly cash-in half-assed crap that's not even worth your time. Heck, I hadn't even turned my Wii on in months were it not for this game. This amazing, beautiful game. This wonderful, glorious, deliciously difficult game. This game is bit.trip beat.
Disclaimer: bit.trip beat is the kind of game that feels catered just for me. I only want to play bit.trip beat for the rest of my life ever. The upshot is that it's PongRez. Or RezPong. RezPongGuitarHeroRockBand. In space. With Atari graphics. From the future.
Basically bit.trip beat is one of those games that seems like some form of therapy made specifically for autistic children. It requires so much concentration as it progresses, my brain started to hurt in ways it hasn't hurt since Braid. Much like Flower, bit.trip beat is smattered with those moments that make you grin a cheshire cat smile. A sort of "I see what you did there" respect for the developer. The best example of this is the death mechanic. As you miss (and you'll miss a lot in the beginning) your life meter goes down until finally you enter the "nether".
When you enter the Nether, the graphics become pure black and white. The music and beats become monotone - and they play only out of the Wii remote speaker. The small, tinny beats are so effective in motivating you to win back your life, it makes me wonder why more games haven't included something like this. It's perfect.
Even the motion controls don't bother me. Normally I'd scoff when a game tells me to control something using only the tilting back and forth mechanism of the Wii remote, but the controls don't feel tacked on like in other games. The controls feel perfectly suited to the gameplay, and vice versa. I can't imagine playing the game any other way.
bit.trip beat is only 500 Wii moon moneys, which translates into about five of your American dollars. It is worth twice that. It has replay value up the wazoo and rewards multiple play-throughs. You'll love whipping it out at parties to show everyone the incredibleness.
Did I mention it also has 4 player local co-op? If you don't have any friends, now's the time to kidnap some.
Did you know we have official Weekly Geek t-shirts? It's true! Not only can you support your favorite podcast (subscribe!) but you can show your love for the best exclamation ever uttered by mankind. These Huzzah! shirts are super high quality from the lovely gents at SplitReason, printed on American Apparel tees and shipped straight to your door. How kind.
posted by Chris on April 24, 2009 9:31 AM in Music
I went through a New Wave phase in High School, after listening to nothing but Portishead for about a year I needed a major pick-me-up. One of my friends introduced me to Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys, and it was all over. I went through each of their respective back catalogs and didn't listen to anything but New Wave until rainbows shot out of my eye sockets. The Pet Shop Boys, like any band who was once popular and then faded into obscurity, continue to release albums that frankly just aren't very good. Enter the recently released Yes, a fresh take on the Pet Shop Boys sound. Here's the first track (and first single) off of the album. It's bright and catchy and displays all the attributes that make the Pet Shop Boys great.
The rest of the album feels like returning home. It's the same PSB sound, but renewed. It's familiar yet unfamiliar and interesting at the same time. Even more incentive to check out this new wave of New Wave? Owen Pallett does the orchestral arrangements. Aww yeah.
Check Yes out on Amazon. It's worth your attention.
Every week when I compile this list of actual search terms people have used to get to this site a little bit of blood starts dripping out of my ears. It's not much, but cumulatively I think I have probably lost about 3 liters of blood from my brain in the time since I started this feature. It's a real problem. This week I'm focusing on some of the... more strange terms. Because of the... strangeness, I'm skipping the requisite Google Image Search link.
tasty earwax confections
precious moments clip art
real turds in a toilet
please rub my man parts ryan g biv
how moms can fix ps2
why won't chris furniss return my phone calls?
can i get an std from a potato?
self actualization through coffee enemas
alton brown gets a brazilian
No Billy, I don't think you can get an STD from a potato. But be sure to wear a condom just to be safe. Join us next week when I *collapses into a massive seizure*
This week's podcast is full of tangents with me, Ross, Ryan and Qais talking about the new Fallout game (and subsequent TV show/movie?), zombie board games and Bioshock 2. Jinny then joins us to talk about Fat Princess, Starcraft II and Drop7. We then give you an update on the race to NINE THOUSAND and crack open the mailbag to continue the fight for the right to be called The Weekly Geek's #1 fan.
Have you ever had the feeling someone's watching you? Hm... this week's podcast takes an interesting turn as the fight for the Weekly Geek's #1 fan comes to a head. LIOR LAYS THE SMACK DOWN. I'm telling you, it's epic. Join me, Jinny and Ryan this week as we discuss Will Wright leaving EA, Shadow of The Colossus being turned into a Major Motion Picture&trade, Bioshock 2's first footage, ecstasy pills found in a used copy of GTAIV, and the NEOGAF thread with the Criterion covers of video games. We also eat our words regarding Resident Evil 5 and read some absolutely amazingly epic mailbag letters.
posted by Chris on April 10, 2009 10:01 AM in Rant
A brand-new month means a brand-new set of crazy things people have typed into search engines to get to this site. Yes, they are real. Yes, they are insane. Be sure to click through to the Google Image Search results! Here we gooooooooo
Jinny is known for her random outbursts. Every once in a while, she'll just be sitting there on the couch and say something like: "I want waffles!" or "TEATIME!" And I feel obliged to sate her snack-lust. It's like a challenge for me. The weirder her request, the more excited and inspired I get. A few days ago, while gorging herself on Sour Punch Straws and playing Civilization Revolution on the 360 in a sugar-induced daze she exclaimed "I WANT CORN DOGS!"
Well we didn't have any corn dogs. But how hard is a corn dog to make, really? Turns out it's not hard at all. In fact, I'd say making your own corn dogs at home is one of the most fulfilling things you can do in your life. Screw publishing a great novel or seeing your kids go off to college, corn dog alchemy is the bestest. So, how is it done?
Take a thicker version of a basic corn bread recipe and dip skewered hot dogs into it and deep fry. Make a huge batch and freeze to microwave later.
A Deep Fryer (or a deep pan, oil, and a frying thermometer)
Wooden sticks for stickin' (thin bamboo skewers work great)
A baking sheet with a wire cooling rack for drainage (paper towels also work fine)
A tall drinking glass
A mixing bowl
A spoon for mixin'
The best, tastiest hot dogs you can find. I prefer either Hebrew National 100% beef, or Kirkland Signature Costco dogs (cut in half).
1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar (or honey)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk (or regular milk)
Heat your frying oil to 350-375
Mix your corn bread batter in your bowl and adjust for thickness by adding more flour if it's too thin, more milk if it's too thick. You want something as thick as pancake batter.
Pour your batter into a tall drinking glass. Don't drink it! It is not delicious yet!
Stick your sticks through your hot dogs until about half way up the dog, so you have a little handle on one end.
Dip the dog into the batter, swirling it around in the glass to coat. Gently pull it out and let the batter drip off a bit. You want a nice even coat all around the dog.
If your oil is at temp, quickly dip your battered dog into the oil. As it cooks, shake the basket or rotate it with some tongs so it cooks consistently all around. Depending on the size of your fryer, you can probably fit 2 or 3 corn dogs in one batch.
Once the corn dog looks like it's *almost* golden brown (see picture), take it out and put it on your wire rack. This should take about 4 or 5 minutes.
Repeat with the remaining hot dogs, adding more batter to the glass from the bowl as needed.
Keep in mind that with any fry job, the first couple things you fry may look a little wonky. Your fryer will also perform better if the oil has been seasoned from multiple uses. Don't worry about cleaning your fryer so much. Honestly, the oil won't go bad easily. If it smells off, throw it out. If it smells delicious then yay. Once the corn dogs have cooled (and if you haven't eaten them all by then) you can throw them into freezer bags and save them for later. Pop em in the microwave for a minute or so. They hold up surprisingly well. See how easy it is to make corn dogs at home? There is literally no reason to buy the crap they sell in the freezer section at the grocery store.
Feel free to experiment with batter additives (a dash of garlic powder, or some minced jalapenos would be nice), hot dog brands and dipping sauces. I like to dip 'em in mustard. Ketchup is for children and people with poor taste in things. Enjoy!
Jinny, Ryan and I visited the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle this weekend and walked away with some pretty amazing art from some incredible artists. This week's podcast is all about that, with Ross in tow to chat about the good, the bad, and the completely awesome. We tell you about some of the cool stuff we saw at the con, and discuss con etiquette. There's some video game talk at the end, so if that's your thing, we won't blame you. It's there. For you. Enjoy.
Before we get to a brand new set of completely insane How Did I Get Here entries for April, let's wrap up March! I scoured the whole set of March search terms and picked out the best of the rest. Let it be known that these are real search terms people used to get to this site. They are not fake. I can't make this stuff up. They are genuinely crazy. Remember to click through to the Google Image Search results for extra crazy.
Ross, Ryan, Jinny and Chris come together this week to talk about all the junk they've been geeking out about. We've got GDC news and announcements, news about new Katamari games, Fable DLC and the return of The Phantom, Modern Warfare 2's trailer's effect on the developers versus the commenters, the ridiculous bullshit of OnLive Where the Wild Things Are's stunning trailer (no matter what Ross says), how to make home made corn dogs and mailbag. Yep. That's right. Corn dogs. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes!
The usual cast gets their geek on this week, talkin' bout Battlestar Galactica (no spoilers, we swear!) and what we really expect from a series finale. It's also GDC time, so we discuss a little gaming news and declare the iPhone a viable gaming platform. Why, you ask? Well you'll just have to listen to the show! We also discuss the existential weirdness that is Instant Action, and how PC gaming may just rise from the ashes. Ross also introduces us to a very intriguing PC game called The Path, and then we all gush about a little iPhone game called Drop 7. Lots of mailbag, too. Remember to subscribe in iTunes by going to weeklygeekitunes.com!
As I scroll down the list of completely ridiculous terms people actually type into search engines in order to end up at The Weekly Geek, often times I wonder if the universe is trying to tell me something. This week I'm showcasing the month's most negative and insulting search terms. Be sure to click through to the Google Image Search result for added angst!
While this movie smacks loudly of the often over-used Wes Anderson/twee/emo/Little Miss Sunshine brand of filmmaking, I am starting to really appreciate the fact that our generation has these kinds of romantic comedies instead of the shitty You've Got Mail style of the 90's. Here's Away We Go, featuring a cast made up entirely of awesome people.
Disclaimer: I am completely gay for these kinds of movies.
After listening to this week's podcast, you're going to seriously re-think the way you view the world. It is that mind-blowing. What kind of podcast deserves this much hyperbole? Why, one with me, Jinny and Ross, of course! Join us this week as we discuss the most recent Bioshock 2 rumor quashing, pointing fingers at who started it and who propagated it. After the actual details are revealed, we ponder if sequels actually tarnish their source material in any way. Professor Layton is seeing a new trilogy in Japan, but will we see it in the states? Then, I recommend a podcast for the first time ever, and we berate the SciFi channel for their ridiculous re-branding. I also talk about tater tots. Then we open the mailbag. These are exciting times, my friend. Exciting times that call for an exciting podcast. Won't you listen?
posted by Chris on March 13, 2009 11:44 AM in Rant
It's Friday! You know what that means? More batshit crazy search terms from The Weekly Geek's raw server logs. Each one of these terms are actual phrases someone typed into a search engine in order to get here. Each week is just another layer in the onion of insanity. And if you read them all together, it kind of sounds like a beat poem! Like always, click the phrase to get the Google Image Search result. Onward!
The Internet truly is a treasure trove of weirdness. Enter That's My Face, a site where you can upload a few photos of your face and blammo you get a mask, action figure, 3d crystal (!) or any number of other forms of terrifying simulacra.
The Internet never ceases to amaze/horrify me. I want a mask of my own face to wear to costume parties. Best. Costume. Evar.
posted by Chris on March 13, 2009 10:11 AM in Food
Just about every day Jinny and I excitedly plan our dinners far in advance. We both delight in the whole process. Making dinner together is our jam and pretty much every night is date night. I live a wonderful, charmed life let me tell you what. Anyway. Yesterday was burger night, one of our staple go-to meals. Usually we'll get a big pack of meat from Costco and grind our own hamburger, storing it in Foodsaver bags in the freezer. Add seasoning, shape into patty, fry. Suuuuper easy, but man cannot live on burgers alone! No, sir. We need the Robin to burgers' Batman. We need tots.
Normally I'd have a bag of Ore-Ida™ Brand Tater-Tots™ in the freezer for these occasions, but alas we were out. Not keen on leaving the house, I thought "how hard can making homemade tater tots be?" The answer? Not very hard at all. After consulting the hive mind (thanks, Papapishu!) I concocted a recipe that actually ended up kicking serious amounts of ass. See that photo up there? That's how much ass I kicked. The tots came out crispy on the outside and nice and tender in the middle, just like tots are supposed to be. Though most tots are made through an extruder, I sculpted these by hand. They came out looking like tots you might see as a canapé at a fancy restaurant. I could see serving these at a party, or even just as we did last night - alongside a really great hamburger. Here's what went in 'em!
Chris Furniss' Fancy Tots (worst band name ever?)
(measurements are approximate, adjust as you see fit. Maybe one day I'll actually measure this stuff in grams or whatever)
4 medium sized russet potatoes
1 cup Flour
1/4 cup minced Shallot (onion can be substituted, but shallots are best)
1 tablespoon Salt
1 tablespoon Pepper
Dash of Cayenne pepper
1. Grate the potatoes either with a mandoline slicer or a normal grater. Chop into smaller pieces. The point is to get nice, small slivers of potato. Work quickly so the potatoes don't oxidize. Grate onto a paper towel or put into a salad spinner to draw out moisture.
2. Add the potatoes and the rest of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands. Start to squeeze some of the mixture into your palm like you're making a snowball. If it's sticking together, good! If not, add a bit more flour.
3. Get your fryer goin'. A deep fryer works best, but if you don't have one you can always do a shallow fry in a pan with a lot of vegetable oil. Heat the oil to around 350 degrees.
4. Shape your tots. Squeeze a little bit into your palm and push it together. I tried to make them slightly cylindrical to look more like the classic tot shape, but just as long as you keep them small and uniform the shape is up to you. Place each finished tot on a baking sheet to fry in batches, or drop each finished tot directly into the oil. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown and delicious.
5. Remove from fryer onto a baking sheet with a wire cooling rack, or onto paper towels to drain. Be sure to season liberally right when they come out so they can absorb the seasoning better. A little sprinkle of kosher salt is good, or you could go all out and use some seasoned salt or even (gasp!) bacon salt. Keep in a warm oven until time to serve!
For dipping, I usually gravitate toward Ranch dressing, but I could see a nice homemade mayo or even some sriracha playing quite nicely with these gems. Just don't disgrace them with ketchup, please. I mean, seriously. If you try these, let me know what you think! I'm contemplating making a big batch and then freezing them myself. They were just too delicious to go back to Ore-Ida™.
There! The Tater Tot mystery is solved. You're welcome.
Interested in more food porn? I'm always uploading snapshots of stuff Jinny and I make for dinner, check out my Flickr stream!
posted by Chris on March 11, 2009 11:38 AM in Music
You might recognize the singer for The Handsome Furs as being one half of Wolf Parade. His expressionate and otherworldly voice provides a slightly unnerving compliment to the rough guitars and catchy melody in The Handsome Furs' latest single, I'm Confused. It's a great song, but that's not why I am posting it. See the first blond girl who gets puked on? That's my little sister. So proud. *sniff*
This week's podcast is special not only for the mind-blowing Tracy Morgan impersonation Qais has perfected, but because Ryan is actually here in Seattle with us to record the show! Join us, along with Jinny and Ross, in discussing the week in geekery. We've seen Watchmen and we tell you what we think of the ridiculous amount of blue wieners in the movie. The Beatles Rock Band gets a release date and we talk Boy and His Blob and our memories of obscure retro games and lies kids told about video games. We also discuss Shaq and how his giant game of Twitter tag proves he's some sort of alien. Or robot. Either one. And more! SO much more.
Another week, another set of completely ridiculous search terms people have used to navigate to this website. I've only been doing this for a couple weeks and I have got to say it is my new favorite feature on the website. It cracks my shit up. The Internet is like a lens for humanity's true self. It is a terrifying thing to behold. Remember, these are all actual terms people typed into Google in order to get to this website. I can't make this shit up. As usual, click through to see the requisite Google Image Search results, for kicks.
I was moved this morning by the sheer creativity of humanity. In times like this it's easy to lose sight of just how good things can be in life. When faced with seemingly unending despair it is absolutely vital that you have moments like the ones that Thru-You can provide. This project, curated and produced by a man named Kutiman, is like if Gregg Gillis from Girl Talk got his hands on a bunch of random YouTube videos and mashed them all up into one cohesive album. It is stunning.
I think perhaps the project is made stunning not just by the catchy melodies and incredibly talented instrumentation Kutiman found, but by the different elements all together. It's a symphony of sight and sound and it will charm the shit out of you. From the woman sitting in her living room singing softly to her baby, to the man freestyle rapping on the street, to the kids performing in a school quartet on stage in front of their parents, this is humanity at its best. This is life-affirming stuff here. These are ordinary people doing what they do. I get the same feeling listening to this music as I do listening to the music of The Books. The Books include samples in their music in a very similar fashion, evoking the same sense of humanity.
You can even delve deeper into Kutiman's creative process. Most of the videos have video responses and urls linking to the original videos, which is incredibly fascinating. It turned me on to a whole new world of creativity out there. People making videos of whatever talent they have. Kutiman just spliced it together, almost as if it was always meant to be that way.
I get the sense from projects like this that as a society we have no more usefulness for celebrity. Why should we? We are all talented. We are all awesome.
It's Watchmen time already! This week sees the release of a movie based on a comic book that may or may not upset aforementioned comic book's hardcore fanbase! Join me, Jinny, Ross and Ryan as we discuss Alan Moore's superhero masterpiece and how it really can't be adapted to cinema. We try to answer the question of whether or not movies based on books tarnish the memory of the book, talk about Jimmy Fallon taking over Late Night, Sam Jackson returning as Nick Fury, jabber a bit on about Flower some more, move on to the evergreen geek subject of zombies and then descend into madness discussing the utopian dreams of Utilikilt-wearing wolfshirts. It's all out of love, people. And of course, mailbag! Lots and lots of mailbag. Thanks, guys!
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