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0033 Eating Breakfast

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 33: Eating Breakfast

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 33. I'm your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development, in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

In this episode, we're going to see Lucy make and eat her breakfast. Let's get started.

[Start of story]

In the kitchen, the first thing I do is pour myself a cup of coffee and I add a little skim milk and sugar. My roommate usually makes a pot when she wakes up for both of us since she gets up first.

I go the fridge to take out the eggs. When I have time, I like to cook a hot breakfast, so I take out the frying pan, pour a little oil in it, and turn on the front burner on the stovetop. While the eggs are cooking, I put two pieces of bread into the toaster. When the eggs are nice and brown on the edges, I use a spatula to put them on a plate. Some mornings, I have to settle for some cold cereal or just toast with jam, but it’s nice to start the day with a sit-down meal when I get the chance.

When I’m done, I take my plate and my silverware to the sink, where my roommate has left her breakfast dishes. Since she makes the coffee in the morning, I wash the dishes. It’s a pretty good arrangement. I put a little dishwashing detergent on the sponge, scrub the dishes, and leave them in the drying rack to dry.

[End of story]

In this episode, Lucy eats breakfast. She begins her story by saying that "In the kitchen, the first thing" she does is to pour herself "a cup of coffee." The first thing she does is pour herself a cup of coffee. To pour, "pour," means to take liquid from one container, such as a bottle or a coffee pot, and put it into another container, such as a cup.

So, she pours herself "a cup of coffee" and adds "a little skim milk and sugar." Coffee, "coffee," is a dark brown drink that you can use to wake up in the morning. Most coffee, or regular coffee, has a certain drug called caffeine, "caffeine," and the caffeine helps people wake up. If you don't want the caffeine, you can decaf coffee, "decaf." Decaf is short for decaffeinated, meaning it doesn't have caffeine.

But, Lucy needs to wake up so she has a cup of regular coffee, and she puts in her coffee "a little skim milk and sugar." Skim, "skim," milk is milk that doesn't have any fat in it. You can have regular milk, two percent milk with two percent fat, one percent milk, and skim milk with no fat. She also puts in sugar, "sugar." Sugar is normally white; it has a sweet taste that it adds to food.

Lucy's "roommate usually makes a pot when she wakes up," meaning she makes a pot of coffee. A pot, "pot," is what the coffee is put in. It's like a jug or a bottle; it's like a container for the coffee. The reason the roommate makes the pot of coffee is because "she gets up first."

Lucy goes to "the fridge" and takes "out the eggs." The fridge, "fridge," is short for refrigerator. A refrigerator is where you put your food so it stays cold. To keep it cold, you put it in a refrigerator. If you want it to be frozen, like ice, then you put your food in a freezer, "freezer."

Lucy takes out some eggs from the refrigerator. Eggs, "eggs," are, in this case, things that come from a chicken. Before the chicken develops it begins as an egg, and this is, of course, a popular dish - a popular food for an American breakfast.

Lucy says that when she has time, she likes "to cook a hot breakfast," so she takes out, or gets, a "frying pan," pours "a little oil in it," and turns "on the front burner on the stovetop." A frying pan, "frying pan," (two words) is a pan where you cook food. Usually it's foods such as an egg or meat or vegetables, and it goes on top of heat, and the heat comes from the burner.

A burner, "burner," is where the fire or the heat comes on a stove. The stove, or stovetop, is the part of the machine in your kitchen where you can cook food. In our house, for example, you can turn on the burner and fire - flames we would say - start to come out. And then, you put the pan on top of the fire - on top of the flames, and you put the meat and the oil and the vegetables, or whatever you are cooking, in the frying pan. To fry, "fry," is a way to cook food by putting it over heat in a pan.

In addition to putting the frying pan on the burner, which is part of the stovetop, Lucy pours "a little oil in" the pan. Oil, "oil," is a liquid fat that you put in a pan to help the food cook better. Lucy says that when "the eggs are cooking," she puts "two pieces of bread into the toaster." Two pieces of bread could also be two slices of bread. A slice, "slice," is a piece of bread, in this case.

The toaster, "toaster," is a place where you put bread and you heat it up so that the bread becomes brown. We would say, "you toast the bread," using "toast" as a verb. So, you toast toast in a toaster. There you see the verb, the noun, and the noun, which is the machine where you make the toast.

"When the eggs are nice and brown," meaning when the eggs are very brown, "on the edges," Lucy uses "a spatula to put them on a plate." The edge, "edge," of something is the very end of something - the very outer part, the part that is at the very end of the object. So, when you take an egg and you crack it, "crack," meaning you open the egg, you crack the egg and you put the egg into the frying pan, the egg will form something like a circle, and at the - around the egg are the edges. Also, I should mention that the white part of the egg - the outside of the egg is called the eggshell, "shell," the eggshell, but you don't eat the eggshells normally.

Well, Lucy uses a spatula to put the eggs onto a plate - to take them out of the pan and onto a plate. A spatula, "spatula," is a utensil; it's something you use in the kitchen. It is flat, usually square, that has a handle on it and you can use it to go underneath the food in a frying pan to lift the food out of the pan.

"Some mornings," Lucy says, she has "to settle for some cold cereal or just toast with jam." The expression to settle for, "settle," for something means that you don't necessarily want that thing - it's not the best thing, the thing you want the most, but it's okay - it's acceptable. When someone said, "I - I'm settled for something," they mean they weren't completely happy but it was okay - it was good enough for them. This is what my wife tells me; she says, "Jeff, I settled for you."

Toast with jam is one of the things that Lucy settles for for breakfast when she doesn't have time to make a hot breakfast. Toast, we already know, is bread that is cooked - that is brown. Jam, "jam," is a liquid made from fruit, such as strawberries or cherries. Cereal, "cereal," is a dry food that you usually eat with milk. I have cereal almost every day for breakfast because I am not a good cook like Lucy, so if I did not eat cereal, I would not eat anything.

Lucy says "it’s nice to start the day with a sit-down meal when I get the chance." A sit-down, "sit-down," meal is a meal where you take your time, you relax, you sit down and you have something like a formal meal. It's a - it's a more relaxed way of eating.

Lucy says that when she's done with her food - when she has finished eating - she takes her plate and her silverware to the sink. Silverware, "silverware," are the utensils that you eat with. They're the knife, the spoon, and the fork. So, she takes her dirty dishes to the sink where her "roommate has left her breakfast dishes." So, the roommate, who gets up earlier than Lucy, she has already put her dishes in the sink.

Lucy says that "Since she makes the coffee" - her roommate makes the coffee - "in the morning," Lucy washes "the dishes. It’s a pretty good arrangement," she says. An arrangement, "arrangement," is, in this case, like an agreement. It's something that to people say yes to, and they agree to do something. In this case, her roommate makes the coffee; Lucy washes the dishes. In my house, my wife makes the dinner; I wash the dishes. If I don't wash the dishes, I don't get to eat.

Lucy says that she "put a little dishwashing detergent on" a "sponge" to clean the dishes. Detergent, "detergent," is another word for soap, a special kind of soap. In this case, it's soap for washing dishes, so it's dishwashing detergent - dishwashing soap - it's the same. You can also have detergent to wash your clothes, so the special soap you use to wash your clothes in a machine would be called detergent.

Lucy puts the dishwashing detergent on a sponge. A sponge, "sponge," is a small piece of material that has holes in it and it's used for washing dishes. The water goes into the sponge, and because of these holes, the water is absorbed by the sponge, that is it stays in the sponge so it is good for cleaning.

Lucy scrubs her dishes, and then leaves "them in the dying rack to dry." To scrub, "scrub," as a verb means to clean, usually by moving your hand back and forth over what you are trying to clean. It means to clean with using some muscle, we would say - using some energy - using some force to clean it. There's also a noun, scrubs, with an "s" at the end, "scrubs," that means the clothing - the special clothing that doctors wear, especially doctors that are during surgery. They wear scrubs, that's what we call those pieces of special clothing. Often, it's blue or white clothing.

Lucy puts the dishes on the drying rack. The drying, "drying," rack, "rack," is a place where you can put the dishes so that they dry, and a drying rack is usually made of plastic or metal, and it has places where you can put individual plates and usually a separate place for silverware, and you use it to dry the plates and the silverware.

Now let's listen to the story, this time at a normal speed.

[Start of story]

In the kitchen, the first thing I do is pour myself a cup of coffee and I add a little skim milk and sugar. My roommate usually makes a pot when she wakes up for both of us since she gets up first.

I go the fridge to take out the eggs. When I have time, I like to cook a hot breakfast, so I take out the frying pan, pour a little oil in it, and turn on the front burner on the stovetop. While the eggs are cooking, I put two pieces of bread into the toaster. When the eggs are nice and brown on the edges, I use a spatula to put them on a plate. Some mornings, I have to settle for some cold cereal or just toast with jam, but it’s nice to start the day with a sit-down meal when I get the chance.

When I’m done, I take my plate and my silverware to the sink, where my roommate has left her breakfast dishes. Since she makes the coffee in the morning, I wash the dishes. It’s a pretty good arrangement. I put a little dishwashing detergent on the sponge, scrub the dishes, and leave them in the drying rack to dry.

[End of story]

Thanks to our fantastic scriptwriter, Dr. Lucy Tse, for her hard work. And thanks to you for listening. From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Come back and listen to us again here on ESL Podcast.

This course has been a production of the Center for Educational Development, in beautiful Los Angeles, California. Visit our website at eslpod.com.

This course was produced by Dr. Jeff McQuillan and Dr. Lucy Tse. Copyright 2006.

Glossary
coffee – a hot, bitter, brown-color drink with caffeine made from the seeds of a tropical plant

* He knows that if he drinks coffee after 8:00 p.m., he’ll have trouble sleeping that night.

skim milk – milk that has no fat

* When Delia decided to lose weight, she started drinking skim milk instead of whole milk.

sugar – sweet white or brown powder added to drinks and food

* My friend Kevin’s father is a dentist and when he was little, his father didn’t let him eat very much sugar because it’s bad for your teeth.

fridge – short for refrigerator; a kitchen machine that keeps food cold

* Their refrigerator is almost empty because they never cook at home. They always eat at restaurants.

eggs – an oval object with a thin white or brown covering that is laid by a female bird (such as a chicken), then cracked open and cooked to eat

* Do you think our guests would like their eggs boiled or fried?

frying pan – a round, shallow container with a long handle, used to cook food on a stove

* Be sure to cook the onions in frying pan before you add them to the pasta.

oil – liquid fat that comes from animals, vegetables, or nuts

* Olive oil is more expensive than vegetable oil but some say that it tastes better and is healthier.

burner – the round part of a stove that produces heat under a pot or pan

* Please don’t forget to clean around the burners after you finish washing the dishes.

stovetop – the top of a stove, where the burners are

* Daniel had been cooking all day and his stovetop was covered with pots and pans.

toaster – a kitchen machine that warms slices of bread to make them brown on both sides

* Because the bread was in the toaster for too long, it came out burnt and black.

spatula – a flat spoon with a long handle that is used to flip and move food in a frying pan

* I’m buying this metal spatula to replace my plastic one so it won’t melt when I cook with it.

cereal – a food made from grains (wheat, oats, barley, etc.) that is eaten with cold milk for breakfast

* Have you tried this new cereal? It looks really good and has three kinds of grains and dried bananas.

toast with jam – a warm piece of bread that’s brown on both sides, covered with sweet, mashed fruit

* Jamie often gives his kids a slice of toast with jam when they come home from school.

silverware – forks, knives, and spoons

* They received three sets of silverware as wedding gifts. What will they do with that many forks, knives, and spoons?

dishwashing detergent – soap used for washing dishes

* Dishwashing detergent is more effective if you use it with hot water than with cold water.

sponge – a soft piece of material that has many holes, holds water, and is used to wash other objects

* Have you see the big sponge we use to wash the car?

to scrub – to rub something hard to clean it

* After working all day on the pig farm, he took a shower and scrubbed really hard to get rid of the smell.

drying rack – a plastic or wooden tray that holds wet dishes until they become dry

* When the drying rack broke, all of the dishes that were in it fell to the floor. What a mess!

Culture Note
Civil Engineers

Civil engineers “design” (plan; create) and “supervise” (observe and direct) large “construction projects,” including roads, buildings, airports, “tunnels” (passages underground), “bridges” (structures over water), and systems for water supply and “sewage treatment” (the processing of waste from human bodies). Sometimes, they work on “complex” (complicated; with many parts) projects, so they usually “specialize in” (focus on; have special skills in) one of several areas.

Civil engineers generally work indoors in offices. However, they sometimes spend time outdoors at “construction sites” (where building is taking place) so they can watch the progress or solve problems at the site.

Civil engineers need a bachelor’s degree. A degree from an “accredited” (official, having met state or federal requirements) engineering program is generally required to obtain a license.

Early in the licensing process, a civil engineer also must take and pass the “Fundamentals of Engineering Examination.” After passing this exam and meeting a specific state’s requirements, an engineer then becomes a Civil Engineering Intern or an Engineer-in-Training. Afterward, depending on the state, civil engineers must have a minimum of experience, pass more exams, and “satisfy” (meet) other requirements to qualify as a Civil Engineer Professional.

Civil engineers must be licensed in all states. A license is required to supervise a project and to “oversee” (take responsibility for and give instructions to) other civil engineers and civil engineering “technicians” (workers with special technical skills).