As my poor husband can attest, I'm addicted to podcasts. At least once a week (at least) I dominate our dinner conversation by describing, in great detail, all of the things I've learned by listening to podcasts that day/week. Here are some of my recent favs & recommendations.

From the website: In 1994, acclaimed food writer and cooking teacher Lynne Rossetto Kasper was receiving accolades for her debut book, The Splendid Table, which at that time was the only book to have won both the James Beard and Julia Child Cookbook of the Year awards. Among the many people enchanted by the book was producer and foodie Sally Swift, who thought the time could be right for a radio program on food.

There's no specific Splendid Table podcast that I like more than the others. I just like this podcast in general. Lynne Rossetto has a soothing voice, very similar to Terry Gross. This is a good podcast to listen to while driving home from work. It's relaxing & will help you decompress. I also love the end of each podcast where she takes questions from callers. Very Delilah.

From the website: Last fall, several teens across the country committed suicide because they were gay or perceived to be gay. When advice columnist Dan Savage heard about the suicide crisis unfolding, he had an idea: If older gay people offered hope and encouragement to gay teens, the teens would realize that their lives were worth living. So Savage and his husband, Terry Miller, created a YouTube video about their own experiences being bullied as teens, to tell teenagers a simple message about the future: It gets better.

This is just a good podcast that will get you thinking about things that you probably don't think about on a daily basis. Also, Dan & Terry are actually pretty funny. Side note: my friend Natalie, who lives in Seattle, said she lives two houses down from Dan & Terry & sees them all the time & that they're really nice.

From the website: In 1951, an African-American woman named Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer. She was treated at Johns Hopkins University, where a doctor named George Gey snipped cells from her cervix without telling her. Gey discovered that Lacks' cells could not only be kept alive, but would also grow indefinitely. For the past 60 years Lacks' cells have been cultured and used in experiments ranging from determining the long-term effects of radiation to testing the live polio vaccine. Her cells were commercialized and have generated millions of dollars in profit for the medical researchers who patented her tissue. Lacks' family, however, didn't know the cell cultures existed until more than 20 years after her death. Medical writer Rebecca Skloot examines the legacy of Lacks' contribution to science — and effect that has had on her family — in her new book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

I've had many friends recommend this book to me, but I haven't read it yet. It's a fascinating story. There's a part of this podcast where they describe the standard of care for treating cervical cancer in 1951. Let's just say it involves sewing tubes of radium into the cervix... Yeah.

From the website: Like many couples, Robert and Dayna Baer met at work, fell in love and got married. Unlike many couples, the Baers met while they were part of a covert team of CIA operatives sent into Bosnia to protect a high-ranking CIA official, who had been targeted for assassination by Hezbollah. Now retired, the Baers have written about their relationship and their years in the CIA in The Company We Keep: A Husband-and-Wife True-Life Spy Story. It's no secret, they say, that CIA employees often date each other.

I loved this podcast. It's more about their jobs in the CIA, then about their love life. They use all this awesome, secret CIA language & honestly, seem to say more than you'd think they're allowed to. This will quench a thirst for CIA knowledge that, like me, you may not know you have.

From the website: Alinea, which opened in 2005, was named the best restaurant in America by Gourmet Magazine in 2006. The restaurant's co-founder and head chef, Grant Achatz, is one of the leading members of the molecular gastronomy movement. In 2007, Achatz lost his own ability to taste. He was diagnosed with stage 4 tongue cancer, which metastasized to both sides of his neck. His surgeons told him they were going to cut out his tongue and replace it with muscle from another part of his body. With the surgery, Achatz only had a 50 percent chance of surviving beyond two years. But, he says, he was even more afraid of losing his ability to taste and eat.

This podcast is a little bit of a slow starter, but once he starts talking about his treatment -- omg. Having a close friend who just finished chemo & is now in radiation, this really hit home & also gave me a sense of how truly horrendous this poor chef's experience was. Also, the part where he describes getting his taste buds back & what he could & couldn't taste at first is fascinating.

From the website: You know the saying: when the spouses are away, Molly and Matthew eat soufflé. Except not really. This week, we share a piping hot Stouffer's French Bread Pizza and swap notes on peanut butter, Hot Pockets, ice cream sandwiches, and other delicacies we enjoy when Brandon and Laurie aren't home. Warning: includes an explicit description of a pizza bagel.

I love this podcast & this specific episode is pretty funny. Over the years, I've had countless conversations with girl friends about what we eat when we're home alone. I've always referred to my solo dinners as 'refugee dinners', which, while not necessarily PC, is actually a quite accurate description of the ridiculous combinations of food that I convince myself is a meal. For the first few years John & I were dating, he would always ask what I ate for dinner & he would get annoyed when I'd answer vaguely, "Oh, I just threw some stuff together," or "pasta." I finally had to tell him that I don't eat proper meals when he's not here & I'm not exactly looking to brag about the fact that I ate three pierogies, a bag of popcorn & two handfuls of mini marshmallows for dinner.

For those of you with iPods & a lot of driving to do, I highly recommend trying any/all of these podcasts.

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