February 06, 2012

#03-009: The Common Kitchen - Part I

a modern kitchen with several large appliances: stovetop with hood, oven underneath, a large refrigerator, etc.
A modern kitchen

Note: Roberto and Becky are looking at the major appliances in the kitchen area of their dormitory, and talking about their use.

Get Ready: What appliances do you have in your house for cooking? For food storage? For taking care of garbage?

Note: You can find some of this same information in an article in Lesson #01-011.


Roberto asks Becky for some help in the shared kitchen area of the Common Room of their dorm.

Roberto: Hey, Becky, do you know your way around a kitchen?

Becky: Sure, my mom taught me everything I needed to know.

Roberto: Well, I'm a little embarrassed to say it, but I grew up in a small mountain village in Mexico...

Becky: There's nothing to be embarrassed about! Lots of city slickers long for "the simple life."

Roberto: You're too kind. But the women in my family all cooked on wood stoves, and I had to chop the wood myself. I don't know what all this is for!

Becky: You know the refrigerator and freezer. And the freezer has an ice-maker inside. You can just put a glass here on the front and push to get ice, or use this thingy for cold water.

Roberto: Oh, so I don't have to open the freezer and waste electricity?

Becky: Right. Here's the stove, with six burners so a lot of us can cook at once.

Roberto: And that's the oven underneath?

Becky: Yes.

Roberto: So what's this thing on the shelf called?

Becky: Oh, that's a microwave oven. The real oven is for baking things, but the microwave is used for heating things up.

Roberto: Like those delicious "TV dinners"?

Becky: Uh.. yeah, right.

Roberto: OK, what's this stuff under the sink?

Becky: Well, here's a trash compactor. If we lock it and push this button, it smashes the trash into smaller packages.

Roberto: Got it. And this?

Becky: The dishwasher. It can clean the dishes automatically.

Roberto: Cool. At home I'm the dishwasher!

Becky: Haha! Good one! There's also a garbage disposal. We put the leftovers down the drain. Turn on the disposal, and it chops the food into small pieces.

Roberto: Yeah? At home...

Becky: Don't tell me: you're the garbage disposal!

Roberto: Exactly!

Becky: Now let me show you some of the small appliances...

Roberto and Becky will continue their conversation in Lesson #03-010.


Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cooking_appliances

Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. city slickers
  2. dishwasher
  3. freezer
  4. garbage disposal
  5. know one's way around something
  6. leftovers
  7. microwave oven
  8. oven
  9. stove
  10. the simple life
  11. thingy
  12. trash compactor
  13. TV dinners
  14. You're too kind

  1. has six burners
  2. smashes garbage
  3. a word we use when we don't know the proper name of something
  4. frozen meals sold for informal dining (like while watching TV). They are usually thought to be inferior to home-cooked ones.
  5. cleans the dishes automatically
  6. has an ice-maker inside
  7. used for quickly heating things up
  8. be familiar with something
  9. "Thank you"; one way to receive a compliment
  10. food that remains after a meal
  11. chops leftover food into small pieces so it can go down the drain
  12. under the stove
  13. makes fun of the "smoothness" of people who live in the city
  14. a fixed phrase referring to life the way it used to be

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for February 6, 2012

This lesson received 175 visits on my old site between February, 2012, and July, 2021.

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. m; 2. e; 3. f; 4. k; 5. h; 6. j; 7. g; 8. l; 9. a; 10. n; 11. c; 12. b; 13. d; 14. i