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1130 Eating Breakfast Foods

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Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 1,130 – Eating Breakfast Foods.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 1,130. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Visit our website at ESLPod.com. Become a member of ESL Podcast and download the Learning Guide for this episode. You can also take a look at our ESL Podcast Blog, as well as our ESL Podcast Store.

This episode is a dialogue between Emil and Tammy about things you might eat for breakfast. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Emil: Look at this breakfast buffet. Wow, I’ve died and gone to heaven!

Tammy: I think I’ll just grab some cereal, fruit, and a bagel.

Emil: What?! How can you pass up this amazing buffet? I’m starting with some bacon, scrambled eggs, and hash browns.

Tammy: I don’t normally eat a big breakfast. If I’m still hungry after this, I’ll have some pancakes.

Emil: Pancakes! I’m going to have some pancakes when I’m done with this first round, plus some waffles and French toast.

Tammy: Well, more power to you. I can’t imagine anyone eating more than what’s already on your plate.

Emil: I’ve only just begun. After the pancakes, waffles, and French toast, I think I’ll have an omelet and some biscuits and gravy. I might even have room for one or two of those doughnuts.

Tammy: You’re not serious.

Emil: I’m dead serious.

Tammy: You sound like you’re planning on staying here all morning.

Emil: That’s right. Do you want to meet me back here for the lunch buffet?

[end of dialogue]

Emil says to Tammy at the beginning of our dialogue, “Look at this breakfast buffet.” “Breakfast,” you probably know, is a meal that you eat in the morning. It’s the first meal of the day. If you look up the word, you can see why we use it. The word “fast” (fast) means quick, but it can also mean not to eat food. So “break/fast” would be to break – or end – your fast. And of course, when you’re sleeping, you’re not eating, so when you wake up, you have in a sense been fasting.

A “buffet” (buffet) is a meal in a restaurant where you can take as much food as you want. Usually the restaurant will have a number of different dishes, a number of different kinds of food, and you can take your plate and put as much food as you want onto your plate to eat. These sometimes are called “all-you-can-eat” buffets, because typically you can eat as much as you want.

Emil is telling Tammy to look at the breakfast buffet where they are. He says, “Wow, I’ve died and gone to heaven!” That expression, “I’ve died (died) and gone to heaven,” means that you are very happy, as if you were to die and then go up to heaven and be happy forever and ever. So, when someone says, “I’ve died and gone to heaven,” he means “I’m extremely happy. This is the best possible situation.” Usually we say this when we are given or have the opportunity to do something – or in this case, eat something that you really love.

Tammy says, “I think I’ll just grab some cereal, fruit, and a bagel.” “Cereal” (cereal) is very popular as an American breakfast. There are lots of different varieties of cereal. Usually cereal comes in small little pieces that you put into a bowl and put milk into, and then you eat the cereal with a spoon. It’s a very common breakfast because it’s easy to make. You don’t have to cook anything.

Tammy says she’s going to “grab,” or take, “some cereal, fruit, and a bagel.” A “bagel” (bagel) is a round piece of chewy bread. It sort of looks like a doughnut because there’s a hole in the middle. However, it is hard – that is, it’s not soft like a doughnut. It’s what we would call “chewy” (chewy) bread because you have to move your mouth up and down several times in order to chew it. Bagels are usually served with something on top of them. You put on something like cream cheese.

Emil says, “What? How can you pass up this amazing buffet?” Emil is surprised that Tammy just wants to have a little bit of food, because of course when you have a buffet, you can eat as much as you want. So, Emil doesn’t understand why Tammy would just want cereal, fruit, and a bagel. He says, “How can you pass up this amazing buffet?” The phrasal verb “to pass up” means to decide not to do something, not to have something.

Emil says, “I’m starting with some bacon, scrambled eggs, and hash browns.” “Bacon” is meat from a pig, that is very fatty. It has a lot of fat in it. It’s cut into very thin strips, or slices, that usually you cook in a pan. It’s really good. I love bacon myself. “Scrambled eggs” is a way of preparing eggs. You take two eggs that are raw, that are not cooked, and you blend them together. You could also take three eggs or however many eggs you want. You blend the eggs together, and then you put them in a frying pan to cook them. That’s called “scrambled (scrambled) eggs.”

“Hash (hash) browns” are basically potatoes that you chop up and cook in a frying pan. Hash browns are usually served at breakfast along with eggs and bacon. It’s basically a potato dish that you eat for breakfast. Tammy says, “I don’t normally eat a big breakfast. If I’m still hungry after this,” meaning after she eats her cereal, fruit, and bagel, “I’ll have some pancakes.” “Pancakes” (pancakes) are flat cakes made of flour that are cooked in a hot frying pan.

Emil says, “Pancakes! I’m going to have some pancakes when I’m done with this first round, plus some waffles and French toast.” The word “round” (round) here refers to one of many different events, or different parts of an event. In the sport of boxing, where two people get up and basically hit each other, we have “rounds” – those are parts of the competition. Usually there are a number of different rounds, each of which are a couple of minutes long.

Emil is referring to the number of times he’s going to go up to the buffet and get more food. He calls these “rounds.” He’s going to have waffles and French toast. A “waffle” (waffle) is a square piece of basically sweet bread that usually is served with butter and a liquid kind of sugar called “syrup.” It’s also very popular for breakfast in the United States.

“French toast” is a breakfast item made by taking a piece of toast and putting the toast into a mixture of eggs, milk, cinnamon, and sometimes vanilla. You take a piece of bread and you put it into this mixture and then you heat up the bread on both sides in a hot pan. That’s called “French toast,” although I don’t know if it’s French or not. Tammy says, “Well, more power to you.” “More power to” someone is a phrase we use to express our good wishes and perhaps admiration toward another person. You’re basically saying, “Well, good for you. That’s just great.”

Tammy says, “I can’t imagine anyone eating more than what’s already on your plate.” Tammy is surprised that Emil is going to want even more food than what he already has. Emil says, however, “I’ve only just begun,” meaning I’m just getting started eating breakfast. “After the pancakes, waffles, and French toast, I think I’ll have an omelet and some biscuits and gravy. I might even have room for one or two of those doughnuts.”

An “omelet” (omelet) is a breakfast food made from eggs that are mixed usually with some other ingredient. It could be vegetables; it could be meat; it could be cheese, or some combination of those three. You mix the eggs together, usually with milk, and you put that mixture into a hot pan and the eggs begin to cook. Then you put the other ingredients, the other things you want in your omelet, on top and you fold the omelet over so it looks like a half-circle or semicircle.

“Biscuits” (biscuits) are round rolls, a kind of bread. “Gravy” (gravy) is a thick, usually meat-based sauce – a thick liquid that is made from some kind of meat. In some places, especially in the southern United States, having “biscuits and gravy” is popular for breakfast.

Finally, Emil says he may also have some doughnuts. A “doughnut” (doughnut) is a round piece of sweet bread that has a hole in the middle. But unlike a bagel, which looks like a doughnut, it is fried and covered usually in some sort of sugar coating or frosting. Doughnuts are also very popular with some people for breakfast. American cities have lots of what are called “doughnut shops” – places where you can go and buy all different kinds of doughnuts. I’m really getting hungry right now talking about all this food.

Tammy says to Emil, “You’re not serious.” She doesn’t really believe that Emil is going to eat all this food. Emil says, however, “I’m dead serious.” When someone says he is “dead (dead) serious,” he means he’s very serious. He’s not joking. Usually we use this expression when someone doesn’t believe we are being serious. If you say to your co-worker, “You’re not really going to leave the office right now and go to the beach, are you?” Your co-worker might say, “I’m dead serious,” meaning “Yes, I’m not joking. That’s really what I’m going to do.”

Tammy says, “You sound like you’re planning on staying here all morning,” meaning you’re going to stay at the restaurant all morning and eat. Emil says, “That’s right,” meaning that’s correct. “Do you want to meet me back here for the lunch buffet?” Emil suggests that Tammy come back later in the afternoon so that she can join him for another buffet, for lunch. Buffets are very popular for lunch as well as for breakfast – perhaps even more popular for lunch.

There are, here in Los Angeles, restaurants that serve Indian food. There are lots of Indian buffets. There are lots of Chinese buffets, where you can go and get all sorts of Chinese food and eat as much as you want. These are “all-you-can-eat” buffets. Maybe this is one reason why Americans, on average, are so overweight. They go to all of these all-you-can-eat buffets all the time.

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

[start of dialogue]

Emil: Look at this breakfast buffet. Wow, I’ve died and gone to heaven!

Tammy: I think I’ll just grab some cereal, fruit, and a bagel.

Emil: What?! How can you pass up this amazing buffet? I’m starting with some bacon, scrambled eggs, and hash browns.

Tammy: I don’t normally eat a big breakfast. If I’m still hungry after this, I’ll have some pancakes.

Emil: Pancakes! I’m going to have some pancakes when I’m done with this first round, plus some waffles and French toast.

Tammy: Well, more power to you. I can’t imagine anyone eating more than what’s already on your plate.

Emil: I’ve only just begun. After the pancakes, waffles, and French toast, I think I’ll have an omelet and some biscuits and gravy. I might even have room for one or two of those doughnuts.

Tammy: You’re not serious.

Emil: I’m dead serious.

Tammy: You sound like you’re planning on staying here all morning.

Emil: That’s right. Do you want to meet me back here for the lunch buffet?

[end of dialogue]

Never pass up the opportunity to listen to one of the excellent dialogues by our excellent scriptwriter, Dr. Lucy Tse.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again right here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast was written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. Copyright 2015 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
breakfast – the meal eaten in the morning; the first meal of the day

* A cup of coffee isn’t a healthy breakfast. How will you have enough energy to make it through the day?

buffet – a meal at a restaurant where consumers may serve themselves from many different serving dishes, deciding what and how much of each item they want to eat

* The restaurant has a fantastic buffet with dozens of soup and pasta options.

to have died and gone to heaven – to be very happy; to be fully content and completely satisfied

* When he was admitted to his first-choice college, he felt as if he had died and gone to heaven.

cereal – a grain-based food in small pieces, typically flakes (small, flat pieces), poured into a bowl with milk and eaten with a spoon

* This cereal would taste great with some banana and strawberry slices on top.

bagel – a round piece of chewy bread with a hole in the middle, first boiled and then baked

* Do you prefer to eat your bagels with butter, cream cheese, or peanut butter?

to pass up – to decide not to choose or have something; to decline an opportunity or option

* If we hadn’t passed up that investment 10 years ago, we would be millionaires by now.

bacon – fatty, salty, thin strips or slices of meat from a pig, typically fried

* Do you want bacon or sausage with your eggs for breakfast?

scrambled eggs – eggs that are beaten together and cooked in a frying pan while stirring them constantly over a low or medium heat

* These scrambled eggs are too runny. Can you please cook them a little longer?

hash browns – a food made by frying patties of small pieces of potato, possibly mixed with eggs, flour, onion, and seasonings

* Are these hash browns fried in oil or butter?

pancake – a flat, flour-based cake that is cooked in a hot frying pan

* They make banana-walnut pancakes every Saturday morning.

round – a series of related events or efforts, especially one of many

* In the first round of fundraising, we raised $4,000, but we’re hoping to raise twice as much in the next round.

waffle – a square piece of sweet bread with many smaller square-shaped indentations, usually served with butter and syrup and eaten for breakfast

* The waffles were served with whipped cream and sliced strawberries.

French toast – a breakfast item made by frying in a pan a slice of bread in a mixture of eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla, typically served with butter or syrup

* French toast made from French bread is the best, but you can also make a healthier version from whole-wheat bread.

more power to (someone) – good for (someone); a phrase used to express good wishes and admiration toward another person

* If you can get your boss to agree to a raise, more power to you!

omelet – a food item made from eggs mixed with vegetables, meat, and cheese, where the egg is folded over the other items and then allowed to finish cooking

* This omelet has bacon, potatoes, and spinach. It’s a complete meal!

biscuits and gravy – a meal made from round rolls (bread) covered in a thick, salty, meat-based sauce

* These biscuits and gravy are very filling and will keep you satisfied until lunchtime.

doughnut – a circular piece of sweet bread with a hole in the middle that is fried and covered in a sugary coating and/or frosting, typically eaten for breakfast

* Dean began each day with a chocolate doughnut and a cup of coffee.

dead serious – extremely serious; not joking in any way

* If you do that, I’ll never speak to you again. I’m dead serious.

Comprehension Questions
1. Which of these breakfast items is not sweet?
a) French toast
b) Biscuits and gravy
c) Doughnuts

2. What does Emil mean when he says, “I’m dead serious”?
a) He isn’t joking.
b) He’s going to die from overeating.
c) He plans to speak with the buffet manager.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
round

The word “round,” in this podcast, means a series of related events or efforts, especially one of many: “In the next round of school budget cuts, class size will increase and music classes will be eliminated.” The word “rounds” refers to the visits that a person makes while performing his or her job, usually in the medical profression: “How much time do the nurses spend on their rounds in pediatrics?” A “round of applause” refers to a period of time when people in an audience are clapping (hitting their hands together noisily) to show their appreciation: “Let’s give these performers another round of applause!” Finally, when talking about music, a “round” is a song where each person sings the same song, but starts at a different time: “Let’s try to sing, ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’ as a round.”

dead

In this podcast, the phrase “dead serious” means extremely serious and not joking in any way: “The IRS is dead serious about collecting taxes.” The phrase “dead meat” means in a lot of trouble: “When his parents find out what he did, he’ll be dead meat.” A “dead end” describes a road that ends, without connecting to another road: “They want to live on a dead end so there will be less traffic and their kids can safely ride bikes in the street.” Finally, when talking about sports or a competition, a “dead heat” describes a situation in which two competitors are at the same distance or have the same number of points and are trying to beat each other: “For the last few seconds of the race, the runners were in a dead heat.”

Culture Note
Morning TV Shows

Many Americans enjoy watching morning TV shows as part of their “morning routine” (what people do every morning to get ready). They generally don’t sit in front of the TV to watch the program, but instead have them on “in the background” (happening while other things are happening, without giving something one’s full attention) while they are getting dressed, making breakfast, eating, and reading the “paper” (newspaper).

Typical morning TV shows are partially “news programs” that talk about “recent” (happening not long ago) and “current” (happening right now) events, and partially entertainment with “soft stories” (stories on topics that are cute or interesting, but not really very important). They have “charismatic” (friendly, attracting others) “hosts” (people who run a show, present information, and interview or interact with guests).

The most popular morning TV show, ABC’s Good Morning America, has been “running” (shown; broadcasted) since 1975. It “features” (shows) the news, weather “forecasts” (predictions of what the weather will be like), interviews, and more. It has been the most popular show in terms of the total number of viewers since 2012.

Previously, NBC’s The Today Show (also known simply as Today) was the most popular morning TV show. It has been “on the air” (broadcasted; shown) since 1952.

Other, less-popular morning TV shows include CBS Morning News, Fox’s America’s Newsroom, and CNN’s New Day.

Comprehension Answers
1 - b

2 - a