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VOA慢速英语2010年-Americans Develop a Taste for Cooking,

时间:2011-01-03 06:45来源:互联网 提供网友:hp2786   字体: [ ]

FAITH LAPIDUS: Welcome to THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English. I'm Faith Lapidus.

STEVE EMBER: And I'm Steve Ember. This week on our program: Americans sink their teeth into cooking.


JUDY HARRIS: "The secret here is actually to cut them on the thin side. Some people say you have to be able to read a newspaper through it."

FAITH LAPIDUS: Judy Harris is cutting a cucumber. She was a restaurant chef. Now she teaches cooking classes at her home in Alexandria, Virginia. Tonight her students are learning to cook Thai food.

JUDY HARRIS: "Which is the hottest part of the chili1?"

STUDENTS: "Seeds."

JUDY HARRIS: "You got it."

STEVE EMBER: Judy Harris keeps her classes small. That way she can provide more personal attention. She charges seventy-five dollars for one night to learn how to prepare a full meal.

Judy Harris teaches cooking classes in her home in Alexandria, Virginia

On this night the class is making a cucumber salad, chicken satay with spicy2 peanut sauce and stir-fried beef with graprao basil. Also on the menu: Thai shrimp3 curry4 with pineapple over jasmine rice. And, for dessert, the students are making ginger5 ice cream.

After the cooking is done, they sit down to enjoy their creation.

Among the six people in the class are Jeff Van Meter and his friend Danny Becker. Jeff and Danny are both twenty-two and students at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

They both love Thai food in restaurants. Jeff's mother was the one who suggested he take the class.

JEFF VAN METER: "She's like, 'Why don't you learn a skill?'"

STEVE EMBER: As they prepare the shrimp, Jeff talks about what he usually cooks when he cooks for himself. Often it means heating up frozen pizzas. Same with Danny.

Judy Harris helps Danny Becker, left, and Jeff Van Meter make a Thai shrimp curry

DANNY BECKER: "It's interesting to actually work with something different than just hamburgers, hot dogs …"

FAITH LAPIDUS: Cooking classes like this one are just part of America's growing interest in all things related to food.

KATHLEEN COLLINS : "It is sort of a cultural pastime that goes beyond mere6 homemaking instruction."

FAITH LAPIDUS: Kathleen Collins wrote "Watching What We Eat." Her book explores the history of cooking programs on television. She says cooking shows have fed much of today's interest in cooking.


STEVE EMBER: The Food Network is a cable channel that began in nineteen ninety-three. In just the past two years the Food Network has added more than twenty new programs.

And earlier this year the same company that owns the Food Network launched the Cooking Channel. The Cooking Channel describes itself as "an entertainment brand dedicated7 to today's passionate8 food lover."

Stir-fried beef and Thai shrimp curry with pineapple, prepared by Judy Harris' students

FAITH LAPIDUS: Cooking programs began on radio. They moved to TV in the nineteen forties. Those early shows were targeted at housewives -- women whose job was to stay home and take care of the family.

Yet, interestingly, Kathleen Collins says those programs were mainly seen by men. This was before most American homes had their own television. Men saw the cooking shows on TV sets at their neighborhood bar.

Then, in the nineteen sixties and seventies, Americans became more interested in gourmet9 cooking. Television chefs like Julia Child helped teach people the fine art of French cooking. That was very popular at the time.


STEVE EMBER: Today, Americans watch a new generation of TV food personalities10 along with kitchen competition shows. Cooking shows now aim for a much wider part of the population.

And Kathleen Collins points to another difference. These days, she says, people watch cooking shows largely for entertainment instead of education. Cooking shows offer an ingredient missing from other programs.

Julia Child wrote cookbooks and hosted television's "The French Chef." She died in 2004.

KATHLEEN COLLINS : "People also get a connection to food, which is something that's very comforting or pleasurable to them, and that's something that I don't think will ever go away."

FAITH LAPIDUS: Anna Carpenter is thirty-three years old and busy with work, a husband and soon a child. Anna cooks only a few times a week. She cooks out of necessity, she says, but also to have fun and to be creative.

She enjoys cooking shows hosted by Bobby Flay11, Rachel Ray and Ina Garten, better known as the Barefoot Contessa. In fact, those are among Anna's favorite programs on TV.

ANNA CARPENTER: "I feel like it's not just turning my mind off for some effortless entertainment. I'm actually learning something from it. That's what I tell myself, anyway."

FAITH LAPIDUS: Kathleen Collins, author of "Watching What We Eat," says watching cooking shows might make people feel less guilty about spending time in front of the TV. Even so, she says all those food shows must be having some effect.

KATHLEEN COLLINS : "It has to translate even a little bit to being a little more experimental in the kitchen or just trying new foods."

STEVE EMBER: And the proof is in people like Anna Carpenter. She recently completed a twenty-two-week class at a cooking school -- L'Academie de Cuisine12 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. She wanted to learn how to add some excitement to the few meals each week that she does cook.

ANNA CARPENTER: "There is a great joy that I find in putting together all sorts of ingredients and techniques to make something really delicious and more of an experience than to just eat for survival."


FAITH LAPIDUS: Preparing family meals used to be a full-time13 job in America. People had to cut firewood, shovel14 coal and pump water from the ground. Government records from a century ago show that women spent about forty-four hours a week preparing meals and cleaning up afterward15.

Today, kitchens are bigger and better-equipped than ever. There are specialty16 stores where people can buy restaurant-quality equipment. And there are more foods available from around the world than ever before.

Yet many families have less time to cook and enjoy meals together. Women are now about half the country's workforce17. Who has time to make a big meal when you can buy something ready to heat in the microwave?

For thirty years the NPD Group, a market research company, has studied the eating behaviors of Americans. In nineteen eighty, more than seventy percent of the main dishes served at the evening meal -- what Americans call dinner -- were prepared at home. Today fewer than sixty percent are homemade.

STEVE EMBER: Susan Fisher is a nutrition professor at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina. She says some people may cook a big meal just once a month or for special events.

She says much of the recent interest in cooking has more to do with the idea of a homemade meal than with the ability to do it night after night.

SUSAN FISHER : "Convenience is how people make their decisions even if they would prefer and like a home-cooked meal."

STEVE EMBER: Someone who has seen times and tastes change is Judy Harris. She has taught cooking for thirty-one years. In the past, people wanted to learn how to make dishes that took longer to prepare, like homemade pasta. Today, she says, her students are more interested in speed.

JUDY HARRIS: "We have very busy lives and so we like things that are delicious and fun to make, but quick. I don't do duck a l'orange anymore!"

FAITH LAPIDUS: And time is not the only consideration. Economic conditions have many Americans looking for ways to save money. But Professor Fisher notes that food prices are relatively18 low in the United States. That can influence people's choices about whether or not to cook something themselves.

SUSAN FISHER : "It's a neat idea to have home-cooked bread. It smells wonderful, but you can buy it for two to three dollars a loaf.

STEVE EMBER: Recent years have seen the rise of a kind of moral and political activism around food in America. People debate issues like industrial farming, the use of sweeteners and why today two out of three adults weigh too much.

Some people are big believers in the "slow food" and "farm to table" movements. The idea is to think less about fast food and care more about where food comes from and how natural and healthy it is. But some people object to others telling them what they should or should not eat.

Nutrition professor Susan Fisher says most people do not have the time or money to buy all their food from local farmers and prepare it at home. But that does not mean they lack interest in gaining valuable skills. For example, she currently has a waiting list for students wanting to take her food canning class.

FAITH LAPIDUS: Today women still do most of the cooking. But author Kathleen Collins says television food programs have helped to get more men into the kitchen.

KATHLEEN COLLINS: "You definitely hear many more men talking about it than you would [have] twenty or thirty years ago. It's no longer a women's activity."

FAITH LAPIDUS: She also points out that many people are turning to each other for cooking instruction online.

KATHLEEN COLLINS : "People put up their own videos. There's kind of a grassroots, more home-cooking oriented movement online where people share videos and put them up on their blogs."

STEVE EMBER: Still, Professor Fisher says there is a lack of education in the United States about how to put together a nutritious19 meal. Eating more meals at home could reduce the amount of salt and fat in the American diet. But she says the meals demonstrated on TV cooking programs are often unbalanced.

SUSAN FISHER: "Not much talk about fish. Not much talk about vegetables. They're just not glamorous20."

STEVE EMBER: She has hope, though, that the more people learn about nutrition and cooking, the better they will eat.

SUSAN FISHER: "Perhaps with education once you learn you can do one item, it empowers you to do the next. It's very empowering to feed your family."


FAITH LAPIDUS: Our program was written and produced by Brianna Blake. I'm Faith Lapidus.

STEVE EMBER: And I'm Steve Ember. Tell us how you learned to cook and what you like to prepare. Share your comments and read what other people are saying at voaspecialenglish.com. You can also find transcripts21 and MP3s of our programs. And we're on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. Join us again next week for THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English.


1 chili JOlzm     
  • He helped himself to another two small spoonfuls of chili oil.他自己下手又加了两小勺辣椒油。
  • It has chocolate,chili,and other spices.有巧克力粉,辣椒,和其他的调味品。
2 spicy zhvzrC     
  • The soup tasted mildly spicy.汤尝起来略有点辣。
  • Very spicy food doesn't suit her stomach.太辣的东西她吃了胃不舒服。
3 shrimp krFyz     
  • When the shrimp farm is built it will block the stream.一旦养虾场建起来,将会截断这条河流。
  • When it comes to seafood,I like shrimp the best.说到海鲜,我最喜欢虾。
4 curry xnozh     
  • Rice makes an excellent complement to a curry dish.有咖喱的菜配米饭最棒。
  • Add a teaspoonful of curry powder.加一茶匙咖喱粉。
5 ginger bzryX     
  • There is no ginger in the young man.这个年轻人没有精神。
  • Ginger shall be hot in the mouth.生姜吃到嘴里总是辣的。
6 mere rC1xE     
  • That is a mere repetition of what you said before.那不过是重复了你以前讲的话。
  • It's a mere waste of time waiting any longer.再等下去纯粹是浪费时间。
7 dedicated duHzy2     
  • He dedicated his life to the cause of education.他献身于教育事业。
  • His whole energies are dedicated to improve the design.他的全部精力都放在改进这项设计上了。
8 passionate rLDxd     
  • He is said to be the most passionate man.据说他是最有激情的人。
  • He is very passionate about the project.他对那个项目非常热心。
9 gourmet 8eqzb     
  • What does a gourmet writer do? 美食评论家做什么?
  • A gourmet like him always eats in expensive restaurants.像他这样的美食家总是到豪华的餐馆用餐。
10 personalities ylOzsg     
n. 诽谤,(对某人容貌、性格等所进行的)人身攻击; 人身攻击;人格, 个性, 名人( personality的名词复数 )
  • There seemed to be a degree of personalities in her remarks.她话里有些人身攻击的成分。
  • Personalities are not in good taste in general conversation.在一般的谈话中诽谤他人是不高尚的。
11 flay 8ggz4     
  • You cannot flay the same ox twice.一头牛不能剥两次皮。
  • He was going to flay that stranger with every trick known to the law.他要用法律上所有的招数来痛斥那个陌生人。
12 cuisine Yn1yX     
  • This book is the definitive guide to world cuisine.这本书是世界美食的权威指南。
  • This restaurant is renowned for its cuisine.这家餐馆以其精美的饭菜而闻名。
13 full-time SsBz42     
  • A full-time job may be too much for her.全天工作她恐怕吃不消。
  • I don't know how she copes with looking after her family and doing a full-time job.既要照顾家庭又要全天工作,我不知道她是如何对付的。
14 shovel cELzg     
  • He was working with a pick and shovel.他在用镐和铲干活。
  • He seized a shovel and set to.他拿起一把铲就干上了。
15 afterward fK6y3     
  • Let's go to the theatre first and eat afterward. 让我们先去看戏,然后吃饭。
  • Afterward,the boy became a very famous artist.后来,这男孩成为一个很有名的艺术家。
16 specialty SrGy7     
  • Shell carvings are a specialty of the town.贝雕是该城的特产。
  • His specialty is English literature.他的专业是英国文学。
17 workforce workforce     
  • A large part of the workforce is employed in agriculture.劳动人口中一大部分受雇于农业。
  • A quarter of the local workforce is unemployed.本地劳动力中有四分之一失业。
18 relatively bkqzS3     
  • The rabbit is a relatively recent introduction in Australia.兔子是相对较新引入澳大利亚的物种。
  • The operation was relatively painless.手术相对来说不痛。
19 nutritious xHzxO     
  • Fresh vegetables are very nutritious.新鲜蔬菜富于营养。
  • Hummingbirds have discovered that nectar and pollen are very nutritious.蜂鸟发现花蜜和花粉是很有营养的。
20 glamorous ezZyZ     
  • The south coast is less glamorous but full of clean and attractive hotels.南海岸魅力稍逊,但却有很多干净漂亮的宾馆。
  • It is hard work and not a glamorous job as portrayed by the media.这是份苦差,并非像媒体描绘的那般令人向往。
21 transcripts 525c0b10bb61e5ddfdd47d7faa92db26     
n.抄本( transcript的名词复数 );转写本;文字本;副本
  • Like mRNA, both tRNA and rRNA are transcripts of chromosomal DNA. tRNA及rRNA同mRNA一样,都是染色体DNA的转录产物。 来自辞典例句
  • You can't take the transfer students'exam without your transcripts. 没有成绩证明书,你就不能参加转学考试。 来自辞典例句
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