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0737 Kitchen Appliances

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 737: Kitchen Appliances.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 737. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Our website is eslpod.com. Go there – you know why!

The episode today is about kitchen appliances. “Appliances” are the machines that you may have in your house that do certain things, and we’ll find out what those things are in this episode. The dialogue is between Victoria and Justin, although those aren’t their real names. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Victoria: As you can see, this executive apartment is fully equipped. When you called and asked for the best available apartment, I thought of this one immediately. Just look at this kitchen! All of the appliances are top of the line.

Justin: Do you mind if I take a closer look? I like to cook.

Victoria: No problem. The refrigerator has a high capacity, with the freezer on the bottom.

Justin: But there’s no ice maker.

Victoria: No, that’s one of the few things it doesn’t have.

Justin: Hmm…Is this range gas or electric?

Victoria: It’s gas, and it has a broiler on the bottom, see?

Justin: Is the stove self-cleaning?

Victoria: I’m afraid not, but it’s stainless steel, as you can see.

Justin: That’s too bad. Is the dishwasher new?

Victoria: It’s not brand new, but it’s in very good condition. The microwave, toaster, and coffee maker also come with the apartment. What do you think? Do you think it’ll suit your needs?

Justin: When I asked for your best, I expected the Cadillac of apartments. You’ve shown me a Pinto!

[end of dialogue]

Victoria begins by saying, “As you can see, this executive apartment is fully equipped.” When we say something is “an executive apartment,” we’re referring to an apartment for someone important, someone who would be a leader or a manager in a company – that’s what an “executive” is – usually a large company or organization. Victoria seems to be showing Justin this apartment. Maybe she’s the owner; maybe she’s just a “real estate agent,” someone who shows you different properties you may want to rent or buy. Victoria says that this executive apartment is fully equipped. “To be equipped” (equipped) means to have certain equipment or certain features. “To be fully equipped” means to be completely equipped; it has all the equipment that you would want. She says, “When you called and asked for the best available apartment, I thought of this one immediately. Just look at the kitchen!” The use of the word “just” here is just for emphasis. “Look at the kitchen.” “Just look at the kitchen!” They mean the same, but “just” adds a little bit more emphasis to the statement, a little bit more power. She says, “All of the appliances are top of the line.” An “appliance” is a piece of equipment that you use in your home, especially in the kitchen. Victoria says these are top of the line. The expression “top of the line” means to be the best type of something, the highest quality, and sometimes – often – the most expensive.

Justin says, “Do you mind (is it okay) if I take a closer look?” “To take a closer look” means to inspect or examine or look at something very carefully. You want to make sure it is what they say it is. Justin says, “I like to cook.” Victoria says, “No problem. The refrigerator has a high capacity.” A “refrigerator,” sometimes called simply the “fridge,” when I was growing up it was called in my house the “icebox.” An “icebox” is an old style of refrigerator before there was electricity. Now, we had electricity in Minnesota in the 1960s. However, that’s what my parents called it, perhaps from their own childhood, and so that’s what we called it. The refrigerator was called the “icebox.” Ice, of course, was put in to keep things cold when you didn’t have a motor inside to make the air cold.

Well, Victoria says that the refrigerator in this apartment is high capacity. “Capacity” is the amount of something that you can put in a certain place, the amount of space. “High capacity” would mean I think the same as “large capacity,” meaning it’s a big refrigerator. “With a freezer on the bottom,” she adds. A “freezer” (freezer) is a large appliance that keeps food frozen. In a refrigerator, the temperature is probably going to be around 40 degrees – 38 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit. In a freezer it’s going to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit so things freeze; they become solid. Water becomes solid below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Well, that’s what a “freezer” is; it freezes things. Most people have a combination refrigerator-freezer, with the freezer on the top or the bottom and refrigerator on – well, where the freezer is not. In my house growing up we had a separate freezer and a separate refrigerator because, well, we needed a lot of food to feed all of the people in my family.

Justin says, “But there’s no ice maker.” An “ice maker” is a part of the freezer that some freezers have – not all of them do – that makes ice cubes for you. So, you don’t have to put water into a little what we would call an “ice cube tray” in order to have ice cubes, it will make them for you automatically. I always thought that ice makers were for people who were kind of lazy. I mean, how difficult is it to put the water into a little container? The problem is people forget, of course. I have a new freezer that has an ice maker and I love it, so I understand now why people like ice makers. I keep talking about myself. Do you notice that? I don’t know why that is. Let’s get back to our dialogue.

Justin says, “there’s no ice maker.” Victoria responds, “No, that’s one of the few things it doesn’t have (it does not have).” Justin says, “Hmm…Is this range gas or electric?” A “range” (range) in this dialogue means a large surface in a kitchen that has several places to cook things. It has several burners that have fire or flame or heat that you can cook food with. You put a “pan,” a large metal object that’s flat or rounded – slightly rounded; you can cook things like eggs or hamburgers on a range. It’s usually on the top of what’s called a “stove” (stove), which is a combination of a range and an oven. An “oven” is a box that you heat basically, and it cooks food, things like cakes. Or, if you were going to prepare and cook a turkey, you would put it in an oven. It’s a big box that gets very hot, and you close the door, and it cooks the food. That’s an “oven.” A range is on the top, where you cook food in pans. The combination is called a “stove,” where you have a range and an oven.

Most houses in cities – large cities have gas at the house, and these ranges – the ovens, the stoves – they’re all powered by gas. However, there are some places that do not have gas, newer cities. For example, when I was living in Arizona for a while they had electric appliances, so there was no gas line that went to the house.

Justin asks if this range is gas or electric. Victoria says, “It’s gas, and it has a broiler on the bottom, see?” Some stoves in addition to having an oven and a range have something underneath the oven called a “broiler.” It’s a place where the heat becomes more intense more quickly. If you are going to cook some steaks you may want to broil them, put them in this very hot oven underneath the main oven, typically. Usually the fire is closer to the food and therefore cooks it more quickly as well as gives you a certain brownness on the food, if that’s what you want. Well, Justin asks if the stove self-cleaning. Victoria says, “I’m afraid not (which is a polite way of saying no), but it’s stainless steel, as you can see.” “Stainless steel” is a silver-colored metal that doesn’t rust, and it’s very popular in modern kitchens.

The stove is stainless steel, but it’s not self-cleaning. Justin says, “That’s too bad. Is the dishwasher new?” A “dishwasher” (one word) is a large machine that washes dishes. That seems pretty obvious! A dishwasher could be a human being if you don’t have a machine; I am the dishwasher in my household. Victoria says, “It’s not brand new (meaning the dishwasher isn’t new out of the store), but it’s in very good condition. The microwave, toaster, and coffee maker also come with the apartment (are included in the rent of the apartment).” A “microwave” is a special kind of oven that uses electric waves to cook or heat food quickly. A “toaster” (toaster) makes “toast,” which is bread that is browned when it is cooked. There are some other meanings of “toast” and “toaster,” as well as the word “range” that we used earlier. Those can be found in the Learning Guide for this episode.

The apartment also comes with a “coffee maker.” Again, obviously, something that makes coffee, a small machine – a small kitchen appliance. Victoria asks Justin, “What do you think? Do you think it’ll suit your needs?” and Justin says, “When I asked for your best (your best apartment), I expected the Cadillac of apartments.” The expression “the Cadillac of” means the very best of something. In the United States, a Cadillac at least used to be considered one of the best cars; only very rich people drove Cadillacs. That’s not true anymore; it’s not one of the best cars in most places, but we still have that expression: “the Cadillac of podcasters,” “the Cadillac of laptops,” “the Cadillac of coffee cups,” whatever. Well, Justin wanted the best, “the Cadillac of apartments.” Instead, he says, Victoria has shown him a Pinto. A “Pinto” is another kind of car, but the opposite of a Cadillac. It was a very poorly made car; I believe it was made by Ford Motor Company back in the 70s. They don’t make Pintos anymore, but because it had the reputation for being such a bad car people may still use it as an example of something of very poor quality.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialogue]

Victoria: As you can see, this executive apartment is fully equipped. When you called and asked for the best available apartment, I thought of this one immediately. Just look at this kitchen! All of the appliances are top of the line.

Justin: Do you mind if I take a closer look? I like to cook.

Victoria: No problem. The refrigerator has a high capacity, with the freezer on the bottom.

Justin: But there’s no ice maker.

Victoria: No, that’s one of the few things it doesn’t have.

Justin: Hmm…Is this range gas or electric?

Victoria: It’s gas, and it has a broiler on the bottom, see?

Justin: Is the stove self-cleaning?

Victoria: I’m afraid not, but it’s stainless steel, as you can see.

Justin: That’s too bad. Is the dishwasher new?

Victoria: It’s not brand new, but it’s in very good condition. The microwave, toaster, and coffee maker also come with the apartment. What do you think? Do you think it’ll suit your needs?

Justin: When I asked for your best, I expected the Cadillac of apartments. You’ve shown me a Pinto!

[end of dialogue]

All of our scripts are top of the line, that’s because they’re written by the wonderful Dr. Lucy Tse.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again here at the Cadillac of podcasts, ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan, copyright 2011 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
executive – a manager or leader in a company; someone who is powerful and makes important decisions in an organization

* Most of us eat lunch in the cafeteria, but the executives have a special dining room on the 17th floor.

fully equipped – with all the necessary equipment or features; having everything one could want or need

* The factory is fully equipped to increase production as demand increases.

appliance – a piece of equipment used in a home, especially in a kitchen

* This store sells many kinds of appliances, including dishwashers, washing machines, stoves, and blenders.

top of the line – the best type of something; the highest-quality and often most expensive

* Why did Meghan buy a top-of-the-line camera? She isn’t a professional photographer, is she?

to take a closer look – to inspect or examine something in great detail

* Let’s take a closer look at these applications before we make a hiring decision.

refrigerator – a large machine that keeps food cold, but not frozen

* Those apples will stay fresh longer if you keep them in the refrigerator instead of on the kitchen counter.

high capacity – large and able to hold a lot of something; with a large volume

* This is a high-capacity washing machine, so you can wash a comforter in here.

freezer – a large machine that keeps food frozen

* We picked a lot of blueberries and stored them in the freezer so we can eat them all year long.

ice maker – the part of a freezer that makes ice cubes automatically, usually with a button on the front of the door that allows people to put ice into a cup without opening the freezer door

* When I was a kid, we had to make ice in small plastic trays, but now we have an automatic ice maker.

range – the top of a stove; a large surface in a kitchen that has several burners that produce flame or electric heat to cook food

* Wait for the range to cool down before you clean it, or else you might burn your hand.

broiler – the part of an oven that produces intense heat to cook something very quickly, usually making the top part of something turn brown

* Shalya washed the fish, poured some olive oil and lemon juice over it, and then put it under the broiler for a few minutes.

stove – a large kitchen appliance that has a range on top and an oven underneath, used to cook food

* Adam has never used his stove, because he doesn’t know how to cook and he usually goes to restaurants to eat.

stainless steel – a silver-colored metal that does not rust (turn orange when wet) and is very popular in modern kitchens and jewelry

* Dynee is saving her money to buy a matching stainless steel refrigerator, dishwasher, and sink.

dishwasher – a large machine that washes dishes and items used in cooking automatically

* Could you please empty the dishwasher before you go to work?

microwave – a kitchen appliance that uses electric waves to cook or heat food quickly

* It’s faster to cook potatoes in a microwave than in an oven.

toaster – a small kitchen appliance used to heat up bread and make it crunchy and a darker brown color

* Derek put two slices of bread in the toaster and then began to cut slices of cheese and tomato for his sandwich.

coffee maker – a small kitchen appliance that makes coffee by slowly passing hot water through ground coffee beans

* How much coffee should I put in the coffee maker?

the Cadillac of – the best of a particular type of product

* This baby stroller is the Cadillac of strollers, but it is very expensive.

Comprehension Questions
1. Which of these things is not part of a stove?
a) A range.
b) A broiler.
c) A toaster.

2. What does Victoria mean when she says, “The refrigerator has a high capacity”?
a) The refrigerator can hold a lot of food.
b) The refrigerator uses a lot of electricity.
c) The refrigerator is very cold.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
range

The word “range,” in this podcast, means the top of a stove, or the large surface in a kitchen that has several burners that produce flame or electric heat to cook food: “Yolanda doesn’t like cooking on the range in the summertime, because it makes the house too hot.” A “range” can also be an area of land covered with grass, usually used for raising cows: “Lyle spent two summers herding cattle on the range.” When talking about music, “range” is the distance between the lowest and highest notes a voice or instrument can produce: “Rebecca has a beautiful voice, but her range is limited.” Finally, the phrase “within range of (something)” refers to being close enough to hear, see, or touch something: “Are you within range to see the mountains?”

toaster

In this podcast, the word “toaster” means a small kitchen appliance used to heat up bread and make it crunchy and a darker brown color: “If the bread gets stuck in the toaster, make sure you unplug the toaster before trying to pull the pieces out.” The word “toast” refers to bread that is warm, brown, and crunchy: “Do you want your ham and cheese on bread or toast?” A “toast” is also the act of drinking alcohol while saying something nice about a person or event: “The bride’s father made a toast to the newly married couple.” Finally, the phrase “to be toast” means to be in trouble: “If the client doesn’t like our proposal and sign the contract, we’re toast.”

Culture Note
Minor Kitchen Appliances

Most kitchens in the United States have “major appliances” (large appliances) like a refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, and microwave. But they can also have many “minor appliances” (smaller, less important appliances) in addition to the toaster and coffee maker mentioned in today’s episode.

One common appliance is a “blender,” which has a motor that turns sharp “blades” (knife-like pieces of metal) very quickly inside a large glass container. Blenders can be used to make “smoothies” (mixtures of fresh or frozen fruit and juice, milk, or ice cream), sauces, or creamy soups. A “food processor” is another appliance with sharp blades that are used to cut food into smaller pieces.

“Rice makers” or “rice cookers” are another common appliance. Cooks put uncooked rice or vegetables in a plastic or metal container with a small amount of water. The rice cooker heats the water to “steam” (surround with water vapor that is absorbed to make something softer) the food.

A “slow cooker” or a “crock pot” is a large pot that is heated with electricity to cook foods slowly for a long period of time. People who work “outside the home” (not at home, usually in an office) can put “raw” (uncooked) meat, vegetables, and “broth” (the liquid remaining after cooking meat or vegetables in water) in the slow cooker and when they come home eight hours later, their dinner is ready.

Some less common appliances include “juicers” (machines that separate juice from the other parts of a fruit or vegetable), “bread machines” (machines that cook a loaf of bread), and “food dehydrators” (machines that remove the liquid from fruits or vegetables, usually to make snack foods).

Comprehension Answers
1 - c

2 - a