Page Turn Episode 024

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

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The Spanish Language Book Review begins at 12:36 and ends 16:14 at
The English Language Transcript can be found below

But as always we start with Reader’s Advisory!

The Reader’s Advisory for Episode Twenty Four is The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. If you like The Obstacle is the Way you should also check out: The Art of Living by Epictetus, Slow: Simple Living For a Frantic World by Brooke McAlary, and Uncertainty: Turning Fear & Doubt Into Fuel For Brilliance by Jonathan Fields.

My personal favorite Goodreads list The Obstacle is the Way is on is A List of Every Self Help Book Ever.

Today’s Library Tidbit is all about Spherification!

Spherification is a molecular gastronomy process that uses alginic acid and calcium lactate to shape liquids into squishy but solid spheres. Sort of the texture of boba pearls. Alginic acid or sodium alginate is a substance that is derived from brown seaweed. Calcium lactate is a type of salt. The reaction of these two chemicals forms a tough, but tasteless, gel membrane around a liquid.

This works because when the sodium alginate is combined with calcium lactate the calcium lactate cause the long-chain carbohydrates in sodium alginate to connect to each other. Without the calcium lactate the sodium alginate only wants to bond with a single other sodium alginate, with the calcium lactate instead of bonding end over end and creating long-chains only, the sodium alginate also sticks to each other “sideways” so to speak and forms a 3D matrix. This is a very simplified way of describing the chemical reaction that happens.

Before any reaction can happen the sodium alginate needs to be dissolved completely into liquid with zero lumps and hydrated in that liquid. This sounds simple but there are a few pick falls that can happen. If the liquid is too warm when the sodium alginate is added to it it’s natural thicken properties will be activated and it won’t disperse properly. Therefore, it is always recommended to use cold liquids when dissolving the sodium alginate. You also want to leave the solution to sit for a few minutes to allow all the molecules to become fully hydrated.

In addition to being cold, you also want to make sure the liquid you are trying to spherify is above a pH of 3.6. You can check the pH by using cheap litmus paper if you think there might be a problem. If needed to can raise the pH by adding an alkaline ingredient, just remember to pick one that doesn’t change the overall flavor of the liquid. You also want to be careful about having too much calcium in either the liquid you are spherifying or in the water bath. Too much calcium will cause the sodium alginate to gel prematurely.

However, in today’s experiment we will be creating edible water bottles so neither of these things should be a problem.

If you decide to create bubbles out of different liquid remember to store them in the liquid you filled them in. The shell is solid enough to keep the liquid from leaking out in your hand for a while, but it is permeable to liquids. So if you stored flavored spheres in plain water the water would eventually dilute the flavor of the spheres.

The recipe we are going to go over today is basic spherification. The other way to create these balls is called reverse spherification. This is used whenever you are making spheres with alcohol or milk or yogurt. With reverse spherification you place the liquid into the sodium alginate solution instead of the reverse.

To create an edible water bottle you will need 1 gram of sodium alginate, 5 grams of food-grade calcium lactate, 1 cup of drinking water, a bowl with 4 cups of water, and another bowl filled with water to rinse the water bottles in after they form. You will also need a blender, slotted spoon, and a deep spoon.

Begin by dissolving the gram of sodium alginate in the cup of water using a blender. Once it is blended set it aside and let sit to get rid of any air bubbles formed during blending.

While this is sitting mix the 5 grams of calcium lactate to the 4 cups of water with a spoon.

Using the deep spoon, scoop up some of the sodium alginate mixture and carefully place it in the calcium lactate bath. Repeat until the sodium alginate mixture is gone, being careful not to crown the bath.

Stir the sodium alginate bubbles carefully for 3 minutes. At the end of the 3 minutes remove the bubbles using a slotted spoon and transfer them to the plain water bath. This will stop the reaction. The longer the reaction goes the tougher the membrane. Once the bubbles have been rinsed, congrats you’ve created edible water bottles.

Both sodium alginate and calcium lactate are fairly easy to find online. You can also find them together in spherification kits. If you decided to make tiny caviar sized balls, you will also want to pick up a dropper or syringe.

And now it’s time for Book Traveler, with Victor:
Intro: Welcome to a new edition of Book Traveler. My name is Victor and I am the Community Outreach Librarian here at the Largo Public Library. In this segment I am going to talk about a book we have in the Spanish collection. It is a fiction book entitled The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen.

Synopsis: Vanessa, who is thirty-seven years old, has recently divorced her wealthy husband and completely dejected is not able to get out of bed in her aunt’s apartment in New York. She has no children, no money, and no true friends.

Richard, her charismatic ex-husband, was her entire life. When she finds out that he plans to marry the woman with whom he had an affair, her world is torn apart. She imagines Richard whispering the same things he used to say to her: “I’m going to make you so happy. You’re my World”. She can only think that her replacement now has the family she wants so desperately.

As her obsession grows, Vanessa begins to follow the trail of the beautiful young woman who intervened in her marriage. Stalking her. Waiting for the moment.

Opinion: As you could tell from the synopsis, our protagonist, Vanessa, is in a difficult situation, having divorced Richard, who kept her financially.

During their marriage, Vanessa did not work, and now she faces the situation of living with her aunt Charlotte, working in a clothing store and facing the ghosts of her past.

Vanessa hides secrets from when she lived in Florida, having hidden them from her husband, which caused their relationship to be at stake. But as always, nothing is what it seems, and this is coupled with certain situations that will reveal the truth about our protagonists. After learning that her ex-husband is going to marry her lover, Emma, Vanessa will become obsessed in an incessant manner, which will lead her to pursue them and interfere in their relationship.

This novel is divided into three parts, and in each of them the characteristics of the characters are broken down, making you doubt about the truth of each of them, which generates a great intrigue. The story will surprise you as you turn the pages and will mix the present with the past, to explain why everything happens. All this is linked in a spectacular way as everything starts making sense.

The story is very intriguing, but I might be biased since I love psychological thrillers, where nothing is what it seems, where everything gets tangled up and little by little, the truth reveals itself. It is a novel that I recommend reading.

Outro: That is all for today. Until the next edition of Book Traveler. Goodbye.

Thanks everyone for listening some upcoming library events to keep track of:
April 1st Gmail for Beginners at 3:00pm in the Computer Lab
April 2nd Celebrate the 20s at 4:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is Required
April 6th Get Your Groove On: Freegal Music at 6:00pm in Jenkins Room C
April 7th Census: Non-Population Schedules at 10:00am in the Local History Room
April 9th Backup & Computer Data Protection at 1:00pm in the Local History Room
April 13th Paint Like a Modernist at 6:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is Required
April 14th Android Phone for Beginners 2 at 3:00pm in Jenkins Room A
April 16th Spring Into Crafts: Make Paper Roses and Iris Frames at 10:30am in Jenkins Room A
April 18th From Slavery to DNA: Dealing with the Challenges of African American Genealogy at 11:00am in Jenkins Room C
April 20th Make Granola Bars at 6:00pm in Jenkins Room A
-Registration is Required
April 22nd Beginning Excel 2013 at 3:00pm in the Computer Lab
April 23rd Color Your Reality: Experience Augmented Reality at 4:00pm in the ideaLAB
-Registration is Required
April 27th Fused Glass Pendant Making at 6:00pm in Jenkins Room A
-Registration is Required
April 28th Managing Food Waste at 6:30pm in Jenkins Room B
April 29th Sew Your Own Baby Yoda at 6:00pm in Jenkins Room B
-Registration is Required
April 30th Sew a Phone Charging Station at 3:00pm in Jenkins Room B
-Registration is Required

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.