Stitcher has a plethora of podcasts worth listening to. Each week, we’re giving you new episode recommendations from some of our top shows to help keep you up to speed and ease the pain of the pod discovery process.
The Sporkful — “Mission: ImPASTAble 3 | What Would Juan Guzmán Do?”
“They’ve never done a collaboration like this with a real chef, let alone a podcast host who hasn’t run a successful food business since his lemonade stand.”
This week’s episode of The Sporkful is the third installment of the show’s Mission: ImPASTAble mini-series. The goal of Mission IMpastable? For host Dan Pashman to invent a new pasta shape, get it made, and eventually sell it.
Each week the show, which aims to please the eater not the foodie, shows how it’s “obsessed about food to learn more about people.” This week Pashman channels baseball player Juan Guzmán. Pashman says when he was a kid he read a profile of Guzmán where the major leaguer said he had an intense workout regimen because he didn’t want to lose knowing he could have done more. “I need to know I’ve done everything I could do to win,” Guzmán said at the time. Pashman feels the same.
Pashman learned in the previous episode that no company will make his custom shaped pasta, dry it, box it, and ship it. The episode, and the mini-series as a whole, is a fascinating look into the arduous and expensive production of pasta from the beginning to end.
In this episode listeners will learn how changing the dye on a pasta production line is a “very big deal.” A long and costly process. Pashman eventually finds a collaborator, Sfoglini. But one of the funniest moments of the episode comes when he asks the potential collaborator why the show should use them. He responds: “I’m not a good salesman” and told the host he could look elsewhere if he wanted.
Listen to the episode to hear what shape Pashman was aiming for, the importance of “tooth sinkability,” and Pashman’s visit to the Sfoglini pasta factory.
Under Construction with Tamar Braxton — “The Push (w/ Kelly Rowland)”
On this week’s episode of Under Construction, host Tamar Braxton welcomes singer and actress Kelly Rowland.
During the show’s intro Braxton reminds listeners that “every aspect of our lives are under construction” and that we should seize every moment, especially after experiencing a full year of a pandemic
After giving her affirmation of the week that featured a quote from the Bible — “no weapon formed against me shall prosper” — Braxton brought on Rowland to speak about her new EP and her new baby.
The two talk about how nerve-racking, but amazing motherhood is and Rowland admits that at one time in her life she hoped to have five kids, but now realizes it might not be the best idea. “I remember watching The Cosby Show and I remember thinking, ‘oh my God I want five kids,’” Rowland says. But she changed her mind as she got older. “My number kept dwindling from five and I’m just grateful it didn’t go to zero.”
Braxton offers some words of wisdom on being a mother and being in relationships. “If you’re not in the place with anything to receive, you’re not going to,” she says.
Listen to the episode to hear the two discuss Rowland’s new album, the importance of taking things slow, and waiting for the other shoe to drop in a healthy relationship.
Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom — “Paul Hildwin”
“People don’t understand what we take for granted every single day of our life, closing the door by yourself, stepping on grass, smelling fresh cut grass.”
This week’s episode of Wrongful Conviction focuses on hitchhiker Paul Hildwin being charged with the murder of Vronzettie Cox in 1985. Because of an inadequate trial council, misleading testimony, and “junk science and outright lies” Hildwin was found guilty and spent over three decades in prison.
Flom brings on “legal legend” defense attorney Leanna Gowdy, who worked on Hildwin’s case, along with Hildwin himself. Hildwin details his upbringing saying he was born in Poughkeepsie, New York. His mother died when he was two years old and his father was absent throughout his childhood.
The episode also gives the full back story to the case. Cox’s live-in boyfriend was the lead suspect until the police saw the last check coming in on the victim’s bank account was cashed by Hildwin and law enforcement began focusing on Hildwin instead. Hildwin gives his side of the story saying he went to a movie a night before with friends and after driving home and running out of gas he slept in the car. The next day he woke up and walked home to get money or borrow his dad’s truck. He got a ride from Cox and her boyfriend who begin fighting while he was in the car. The victim and her boyfriend left the car, Hildwin grabbed her checkbook and walked away, eventually cashing the check and getting arrested.
Hildwin was indicted for first-degree murder. He was given an attorney who had just graduated from law school. “He had never done a murder case. He had never done even a serious robbery case,” Gowdy says. The lawyer was incompetent and conducted no investigations.
Hildwin called being in prison when “the real hell started.” He recounted becoming desensitized and disconnected from time. “My life was in that cell.”
Listen to the episode to hear how Hildwin survived decades in prison, several fights with cancer, and how he ultimately was freed from newly discovered evidence decades later.
— Ian Goldstein