Page Turn Episode 017

Hello and welcome to Episode Seventeen of Page Turn: the Largo Public Library Podcast. I’m your host, Hannah!

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The Spanish Language Book Review begins at 8:52 and ends at 11:41
The English Language Transcript can be found below

But as always we start with Reader’s Advisory!

The Reader’s Advisory for Episode Seventeen is How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness by Michel Pollan. If you like How to Change Your Mind you should also check out: Blue Dreams by Lauren Slater, The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda, and Island by Aldous Huxley.

My personal favorite Goodreads list How to Change Your Mind is on is About the Most Complicated Thing in the Universe.

Today’s Library Tidbit is a cheese tidbit!
You may have attended one of Hilary’s Cheese and Butter programs in the ideaLAB. If you haven’t managed to snatch a spot in the program I can personally attest that the ricotta recipe we’ll go over today makes for delicious cheese. While we’re going to focus more on ricotta today and different recipes you can make with fresh ricotta, you will find recipes to other fresh, no aging, cheeses in the show notes. All these cheese vary only in the amount of milk fat, the amount of acid or starter added, and how they are drained of excess whey. The science of cheese is fascinating.

The basic idea of cheese making is the removal of water from milk. There are several different ways to do this depending on the cheese desired. As we are focusing on unripened cheeses, cheeses that are not aged, I’ll just briefly mention that some cheeses are ripened with bacteria and some are ripened by mold. The two different types of bacteria used are mesophilic bacteria which lives at room temperature but dies at higher temperatures, this results in a smoother more mellow cheese, and thermophilic bacteria which lives at higher temperatures and makes sharper, harder cheeses. Cheeses ripened with mold are soft, runny or even blue.

Unripened cheeses and ripened cheeses are all started the same way. Milk is curdled and the curds are separated from the whey. However, there are different techniques to get to this phase. There are four different categories of unripened cheeses: cheeses created with acid only, cheeses created with acid and heat, cheeses created with acid and rennet, and cheeses created with rennet only. The most common acid used in home cheese making recipes is lemon juice, however some cheeses are also created with a starter or with buttermilk. Rennet is an enzyme that curdles milk.

The cheese we’re talking most about today, ricotta, is created using heat and acid. Traditionally ricotta is made from reheating the whey left behind in other cheese making endeavors, however, most people will never have enough left over whey to make it in this way. So you can also make ricotta with milk. It is recommended to use milk with high milk fat contents. You cannot make cheese from less than 2% and will have problems at 2%. Also do not use Ultra-high-temperature (or UHT) processed milk. You can try to use it to make cheese, however, the curds won’t cling together properly and you will have less cheese at the end.

To make fresh ricotta at home heat 1 quart milk and 1 cup heavy cream in a 2 quart saucepan. Once it reaches a boil remove it from the heat. Add the juice of one lemon and a dash of salt. Stir this mixture well and then allow it to stand for 20 minutes. Line a colander with cheesecloth and place it in your sink, pour the mixture into the lined colander and drain the whey. Leave it to stand in the colander slowly draining at room temperature for 2 hours then press it lightly. Although the length of time draining is up to your personal preference. If you like a wetter ricotta drain out less whey. If you like a drier ricotta place a small weight on the draining mass or drain it for longer. You should have fresh ricotta. It’s best eaten that day and will only last refrigerated for a few days.

So what can you make with this ricotta. Really what can’t you make with fresh ricotta. Ok that’s slightly facetious, but you can make a large feast and use ricotta in every course. Add it to crustini with tomato and basil for an appetizer. Sprinkle it over a salad. Use it to stuff lasagna or tortellini. And at the very end bake a ricotta cake. Ricotta is a highly versatile cheese and it’s pretty easy to make, making it a great beginners cheese.

Additional fresh cheeses to try:
To make quark at home heat 1 gallon milk (whole or low-fat) and 1/4 teaspoon direct-set buttermilk culture OR 2 tablespoons buttermilk. Heat the milk to 88 degrees Fahrenheit and add the culture or starter, according to package directions. Cover the milk and let ripen at room temperature for 24 hours, or until set to firm yogurt levels. After the mixture has set pour into a cheese cloth-lined colander, tie it into a ball, and let it hang from a wooden spoon over a basin. Let the cheese drain in your refrigerator overnight. Once drained removed from cheese cloth and store in air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.

To make paneer you will need 2 quarts whole milk and 3-4 tablespoons distilled with vinegar. Put the milk in a large, heavy pan and set over medium-high heat. Place a colander in the sink and line it with 3-4 layers of cheese cloth or a clean dish towel. When the milk boils, turn heat down to low. Add 3 tablespoons of vinegar quickly and stir. Curds will begin to form immediately and separate from the whey. If this doesn’t happen add an additional tablespoon of vinegar and stir. Empty the mixture in the lined colander and drain most of the whey. Once most of the whey has drained, gather up the ends of the cloth and twist to squeeze out as much water as possible. You can tie the twisted sections of cloth together or leave them tightly twisted. Lay the cloth with cheese onto a flat board placed in the sink. Flatten the bundle into a pastry shape, and put another board on top. Then place a 5-pound weight on the patty and press of 3-4 minutes. The cheese can then be unwrapped, covered with a clean, damp cloth, and kept in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Homemade Fresh Cheese
To make homemade fresh cheese you will need 1 gallon whole milk, 1 pinch of salt, and 1/4 cup white or cider vinegar. Pour the milk into a large pot and heat until the temperature reaches 195 degrees Fahrenheit or almost boiling. Stir constantly to prevent scorching. When the milk reaches the temperature, remover from the heat, and stir in the vinegar. Let stand for 10 minutes. Line a colander with cheese cloth and set over the sink. The milk should separate into curds and whey. Stir the salt into the curds and whey, then pour through the cheese cloth-lined colander. Let the whey drain for 1 hour. After the cheese has finished draining, pat into a ball, and remove from the cheese cloth. Wrap in plastic and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Fresh cheese will last about a week.

And now it’s time for Book Traveler, with Victor:
Welcome to a new edition of Book Traveler. My name is Victor and I am the Community Outreach Librarian at the Largo Public Library.

In this segment I’m going to talk about a book we have in the Spanish collection. The book is titled The Boy of the Stars by Chris Pueyo

Synopsis: Once upon a time there was a boy who had a mom but not a mom who cared for him. They never lived in the same place for more than a couple of years, so he decided to paint all his different bedrooms with stars in order to find “the second star to the right” that led the way towards a better future.

At the age of 17, and after having been bullied at high school because of his sexual orientation, he fled to London. Finally, he came back home knowing he found his inner star, the one that “shines in the night for you to tell you that the dreams you plan really can come true”.

Opinion: The Boy of the Stars is a completely different book from the ones I’ve read so far. The author narrates some significant chapters of his life and the people who have starred in them in a poetic way, creating a fiction novel with autobiographical touches.

Peter transmits a lot of feelings to us in such a way that it is impossible not to put yourself in his place and experience the emotions that he has experienced. The boy from the stars notes the important moments on the back of the bus tickets.

All the characters seem closed off: The Boy of the Stars, The Iron Lady, The Architect of Smiles, etc. They have no names, and even with the story that explains why they have these nicknames, they still feel like strangers.

The protagonist, on the other hand, shines by themself. It is the brightest star in this story. A restless being who loves to write and captivates us with all his stories, posts and even tweets. He has a creative mind and a lot of ideas.

The boy of the stars is a semi-autobiographical novel in which Chris Pueyo tells the story of the Boy of the Stars. That is, his history. Because The Star Boy is him. It is that child who dreams even if life is determined to treat him badly, who smiles while swallowing the tears.

Is all for today. Until the next edition of Book Traveler. Goodbye

Thanks everyone for listening some upcoming library events to keep track of:
September 3rd I Love a Mystery! They’re Not All Agatha Christie! At 1:00pm in the Local History Room
September 3rd FL Focus: Ready for 100 at 6:30pm in Jenkins Room B
September 4th Play and Grow Music at 10:30am in the Children’s Program Room
September 5th AI DIY: Artificial Intelligence Basics at 4:00pm in the ideaLAB
-Registration is Required
September 6th EdTalks: Developing Your Young Child’s Mental Health at 11:00am in Jenkins Room C
-Registration is Required
September 6th Get Booked! At 4:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
September 9th Stores, Snacks, and Stuffies at 1:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
September 9th Poets Live! At 6:30pm in the 1st Floor Quiet Reading Room
September 10th Online Privacy Basics at 3:00pm in Jenkins Room C
September 10th Characters and Costumes at 6:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is Required
September 12th Make an Agate Slice Necklace at 10:30am in Jenkins Room A
-Registration is Required
September 12th Code Squad at 4:00pm in the STEAM Spot
-Registration is Required
September 16th Curious Tales at 1:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
September 16th eMagazines & More Anywhere You Go: RBDigital at 6:00pm in Jenkins Room C
September 17th Quesadillas for Everyone at 6:00pm in Jenkins Room A
-Registration is Required
September 19th Ahoy Mateys! At 11:00am in the Children’s Program Room
September 19th Intermediate iPhones at 3:00pm in the Local History Room
September 20th Are You Smarter Than a Librarian? At 4:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
September 23rd Paint Like a Cubist at 6:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is Required
September 24th Escape From Within the Library at 3:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is Required
September 25th Getting Started with YouTube at 3:00pm in the Computer Lab
September 26th LED Jewelry at 4:00pm in the ideaLAB
September 30th Dead Men Do Tell Tales at 10:00am in the Local History Room
September 30th Apples Aplenty at 6:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is Required
September 30th Issues that Matter: Ask a Refugee at 6:00pm in Jenkins Room C

Have a great day everyone we hope to talk to you again soon!

For everyone interested our intro music is by Break the Bans and the outro music is by Jahzzar, both artists can be found on Free Music Archive.