May 22, 2008

#01-112: Appliances Small and Large

a number of small kitchen appliances sit on a countertop: toasters, microwave ovens, etc.
Some small appliance (not my parents')

Note: In this lesson, we'll look at the smaller appliances in my parents' kitchen outside of Los Angeles, as well as a few larger ones.

Get Ready: Skim through the lesson. Which of the appliances named seem useful? Which seem unnecessary?

Note: You can find some of this same information discussed in a dialogue in Lesson #03-010.


In Lesson #01-111, we looked at some of the larger kitchen appliances at my mother and father's house in Los Angeles. Today let's look at smaller appliances, and some large ones found outside of the kitchen.

Here's a list of small appliances found in my parents' kitchen, and in many middle-class homes:

  • Blender: for making shakes, smoothies, and iced drinks
  • Electric can opener: My mother hasn't opened a can by hand in years!
  • Coffee maker: This is the only small appliance used every day in my parents' kitchen. Ground coffee and water are put in the top, and coffee comes out ready to drink. Some coffee makers even have timers so you can set them the night before.
  • Deep fat fryer: Called a "Fry Baby," it's a small vat used for cooking French fries and other small fried items
  • Food processor: This is used for chopping up vegetables and other processes usually done with a knife
  • Juicer: This is different from a blender; it's a machine for extracting the juice from fruits and vegetables
  • Electric kettle: to heat water for tea
  • Mixer: Used for mixing dough (for cakes and cookies) and other foods
  • Pressure cooker: Some foods cook better under pressure; this is an electric cooker that seals up and creates a pressure chamber
  • Rice cooker: Automatically cooks rice without having to watch the time
  • Slow cooker: Also called a "crock pot," it's used to simmer meats, stews, etc., all day long
  • Toaster: This takes slices of bread and times the toasting of them perfectly
  • Toaster oven: You can toast bread in this, but also larger items like bagels, and even some meats

Moving out of the kitchen, the largest labor-saving device besides the fridge and stove is the washer, or clothes washing machine. This is two or three times bigger than the ones I've seen in Japan, China, and elsewhere, and you can choose temperatures (hot, warm, cold) for both wash and rinse cycles.

Most middle-class homes also have a gas-heated clothes dryer. My parents haven't hung their clothes on a clothesline to dry in over 40 years!

Also found outside of the kitchen is the air conditioner. My folks don't have central air; they have a window unit just to cool the living room area.

One very useful small item used outside of the kitchen is a vacuum cleaner to keep the carpets and wood floors clean.

Well, that's it. As my parents are quite old, they've collected quite a few appliances over the years. These devices have saved my mother hours of work.


Read more:

Practice: Which appliance would you use to do the jobs below?

  1. blender
  2. deep fat fryer
  3. electric kettle
  4. food processor
  5. juicer
  6. mixer
  7. pressure cooker
  8. rice cooker
  9. slow cooker
  10. toaster oven

  1. fry some small pieces of chicken
  2. prepare dough for making cupcakes
  3. extracting the liquid from an apple
  4. toast a bagel
  5. turn a carrot into very small pieces
  6. heat water for tea
  7. make a smoothie
  8. cook rice
  9. cook food in a sealed environment
  10. used for cooking things all day

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for May 22, 2008

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. g; 2. a; 3. f; 4. e; 5. c; 6. b; 7. i; 8. h; 9. j; 10. d