In this English language lesson we pick some difficult to pronounce English words and practice listening to them and saying them in a lesson about making scones. Sometimes the best way to practice difficult English vocabulary is to mix them into an interesting context which we all know and understand, in this case cooking.
It’s another one of those, let's help you navigate the parts of spoken English you won’t learn in a book. So definitely worth a listen, and if your home and have the ingredients,
you might even end up with a classic British scone to eat with your next cup of tea.
As you may have noticed we’ve been quiet recently. The few of us not stuck in lock down or who can work from home have been busy putting the new Adept English website live. The new website is up and running and supporting the podcasts feeds and providing free downloads for our lesson audio and transcript files.
Although the website is working fine we have noticed several minor problems, with some test data still showing up and we have some broken web links. We are working on both problems as best we can and hope to have things all fixed by next Monday’s podcast. It’s been difficult because people who usually do things are just missing in action and rather than delay the launch of the website for months we decided that going with 95% of the website working and fixing 5% was better than no launch. I hope you agree.
If you spot something is wrong and you need help, then
please just email us and we will get right on it :)
Hi there and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English.
Well earlier in the week, I did a podcast on Cream Teas and a bit about the south west of England – dreaming of those times when we can all travel again! It feels quite a long way off at the moment, but we can dream!
So how about today, we do a recipe for scones – so that you can make your own cream tea at home perhaps? That word ‘recipe’ – is difficult to pronounce, because it doesn’t follow the usual ‘magic E’ rule. It’s spelt R-E-C-I-P-E, so you’d expect ‘recipe’ perhaps as the pronunciation – but no, it’s ‘recipe’. And it means a set of instructions, a number of steps to guide you through cooking something. So here, scones. Why not create a little bit of Devon in your own kitchen? Scones are quite tricky mind – it’s strange, even though the ingredients are all fairly simple, they take a bit of perfecting. But they’re really nice when they’re freshly made – best eaten slightly warm from the oven.
I think also when we do things in our podcasts like recipes there is something about learning a language in a domestic environment, that is very natural, that is related to things that we all know and understand and which is helpful to language learning.
By the way, before I launch into this recipe – if you like our podcasts and you find that they help with your English language learning, did you know that you can download our podcasts in bundles of fifty for a small fee? We are just on the point of adding another fifty podcasts to our total available podcasts which you can buy online right now. Each bundle of fifty podcasts contains a huge amount of English listening material, just like this podcast – so that you can practice and improve your English. I keep on producing podcasts, so we’ve just added that next bundle of 50 – so it means that there are now five bundles of 50 podcasts, all on different topics. And you can buy the whole 250 podcasts as a bundle for a reduced price. What could be better than that for your English language learning?
Anyway, back to the scones! Or scones if you want to sound as though you come from the south of the UK. I’m sticking with scones.
So the ingredients are:-
- 225g self raising flour – that’s the kind of flour, F-L-O-U-R with a raising agent – so like what you would use for cakes.
- 40g caster sugar – so ‘caster’ C-A-S-T-E-R means it’s sugar in slightly smaller granules than you’d say put in your tea or coffee.
- 75g butter
- 50g dried fruit – that means currants or raisins – raisins are dried grapes.
- Around 3-4 tablespoons of milk. A tablespoon is a large spoon – 15 ml – so I guess that is 45-60ml milk.
- Sift your flour. That verb ‘to sift’, S-I-F-T means put it through a sieve. And a ‘sieve’, S-I-E-V-E is what you use in cooking to get the lumps out! So sift your flour and add in the sugar.
- A pinch of salt is always a good idea too. A ‘pinch’, P-I-N-C-H just means the amount of salt that you can hold between your thumb and forefinger.
- Cut your butter up into small pieces – and rub it in to the flour.
- The verb ‘to rub in’ (phrasal verb) in this context means you keep working with your hands, to combine the flour and the butter together – like you would when you are making pastry. It should look like crumbs. And a crumb - that’s spelt C-R-U-M-B.
- Now add the dried fruit to your mixture then mix in the egg and gradually the milk – until the mixture becomes a ball. Not too sticky – it needs to be a ball, but you also need to be able to roll it, roll it out.
- Then put some flour on your work surface and roll the mixture out so that it’s about 3” thick – that’s 7.6cm if you’re metric.
- Then take a circular cutter – so that’s for cutting circles in pastry – and you’ll need a cutter with a diameter of 5cm.
- Cut out as many as you can, and then gather the remaining scone mixture and press into the cutter so that you use it all up.
Then bake your scones on a metal tray, which has a little bit of melted butter over it, so that the scones don’t stick. They’ll need a hot oven, so 220C or 200C if it’s a fan oven. And give your scones about 12-15 minutes, til they’re golden brown. Cool and eat – final instructions!
A photograph of girl chefs rolling pastry dough. Used to help with pronunciation of the English word scone and recipe.
The main thing that goes wrong when people make scones is that they roll the dough – that’s D-O-U-G-H – that’s the scone mixture, they roll the dough too thin. It’s got to be 3” or the very precise conversion I gave you 7.6cm – and no less!
Then halve the scones and butter them, and get your raspberry or strawberry jam. And if you’re really ‘pushing the boat out’ – there’s an idiom for you - then whip up some double cream. If you whip the cream more than usual, you’ll end up with something thicker and more sticky – and that’ll be a bit like Devon clotted cream. Mmmm, lovely.
Anyway, if you make scones or scones, let us know how they turn out.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.