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Jacob Matthews
879 followers -
Programmer, cooking enthusiast
Programmer, cooking enthusiast

879 followers
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Over the weekend I finally made time to experiment with a fun culinary technique called spherification. The general idea is that if you make a liquid that contains sodium alginate, and another liquid that contains calcium, a thin, edible membrane will form instantaneously where they touch.

I used this technique to make "artificial cherries": I took some cherry juice and dissolved a small amount of calcium lactate into it, then poured it into a silicone mold. For fun, I also put cherry stems into some of molds. Then I froze the whole tray.

After the juice had frozen, I took out a bowl and made a solution of water and sodium alginate. I carefully dropped each cherry-ice ball into the solution and let it sit for about 3 minutes. This was plenty of time for the ice to thaw out, but the thawed liquid had nowhere to go because a membrane had already formed around it. Thus, nice cherry-sized stable balls of cherry juice. After 3 minutes, I just had to give the spheres a quick rinse and they were ready to be dropped into Manhattans.

I thought the cherries turned out great: They were visually arresting and they exploded in your mouth just like they were supposed to. I have to say that if you just want a tasty drink, you're probably better off using a real cherry instead, but these fake cherries were definitely a fun project.
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2/16/16
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whatever your political affiliation, this is worth a read.  Not interested in moderating a debate over it, just putting out there for people to read. 

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Happy New Year's Eve!

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This is $2 at the moment. TWO BUCKS. If anyone in earshot doesn't yet have this book, science the shit out of it right now. 

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I was on PBS NewsHour today! They did a segment about http://www.tocktix.com, the startup where I work -- they'd heard about our plan to change the pricing model for restaurant reservations and decided to do a segment on us. By complete chance they happened to come out and film our launch day.

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Here's the blog post about Tock. Probably what I should have linked to the first time :)

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Tock is live! We're booking for Next: Tapas through July 12, using the system I've been working on for the last month. Check it out, buy a ticket!

Well into my third week at Tock before writing my first 8-line Java generics comment. To be fair, I'm mostly programming JavaScript.

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R.E.M.'s first album, Murmur, came out 33 years ago today. It's kind of amazing how good it is, how good the band continued to be for many many more albums (remember that "What's the Frequency Kenneth?" was from Monster, their ninth studio album) and how much their sound evolved.
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