Learn English – Southern cooking

I read a description in last Sunday’s newspaper about typical, inexpensive restaurants here in Alabama.  When you look at the menu, you choose ‘a meat and 3 sides’.  In this video, I describe what that means and what you can expect.  Sure to make you hungry!

Hey there. Where I live here in the South, Southern cooking is very loved. Today we’re talking about a menu called ‘a meat and three sides’. If you order that, what can you expect?

(Intro: English without Fear where you can learn to speak English naturally, through listening to stories.)

If you grew up here in the South, in states like Georgia, Alabama, where I live, Mississippi, Tennessee, the Carolinas North and South, Virginia, and maybe even Kentucky, you know what comfort food is.  Comfort food is basic, basic cooking like Mom cooked when you were growing up, nothing fancy, just lots of food that made you feel loved. We call that comfort food.

And lots of places in the south, simple restaurants, not fancy, offer Southern comfort food. When you go to one of these places and you’re handed a menu, you get to pick ‘a meat and three sides’. That means you select, you choose, what kind of meat you want. And then you pick out from their choices what kind of side dishes you want that will go with the meat. 

So, what kind of meats are there? There could be fried chicken, fried fish, something called ‘chicken fried steak’, which is a piece of steak cooked like fried chicken with the coating, with the breading, and then fried –  ‘chicken fried steak’.

Besides all the fried foods, fried chicken, fried fish, chicken fried steak, there probably will be meatloaf, meat mixed with things shaped in a loaf. They’ll probably be pot roast, which is chunks of beef cooked slowly with different vegetables added in. So, those are the meat possibilities. There might be others.

Now what about the sides? On the menu will be a list of side dishes that you can choose. What comes to mind? What I, I’m thinking about?….. is corn bread, this thick kind of ‘cake-bread’ made from corn flour, cornmeal……French fries, French-fried sweet potatoes, or just mashed sweet potatoes or mashed white potatoes. A corn casserole could be a possibility.

And then vegetables like collard greens, very Southern. Collard greens are like cooked spinach. Collard greens, green beans….. something called fried green tomatoes. Yes, green tomatoes that they slice, that they cover with a batter and fry them. Lots of things in the South are fried. There probably are others, but those are some of the main ones. Oh, macaroni and cheese, that’s really popular. Macaroni is like a pasta mixed with a cheese sauce. 

When you go to one of these restaurants, they’re not fancy. You sit down and you say, ‘I’d like this meat and these sides.’ Is that just in the South? No, no, we have the same thing up north. They just don’t call it ‘a meat and three sides’. What they call it is a ‘Blue Plate Special’. I don’t know why they call it that, but it’s the same thing. You choose your meat and the meats might vary and you choose your sides.

Some of the sides will be the same as here in the South. And some will be different, depending on the region up north. But again, nothing fancy. You can count on plenty of food and the food will be served hot and with a smile. And it’s meant to remind you of home cooking. 

There are fancy restaurants today here in the South that are offering the same kinds of foods cooked with a little bit more care and very expensive. But Southern cuisine is becoming more and more popular all over America. 

What about you? What for you is comfort food? What kind of food reminds you of growing up and makes you feel loved, and makes you think of your mom cooking or your grandmother cooking? Tell me about it, leave me a comment below this video. And remember if you would like the transcript, the written words to today’s episode. Just go to my website, www.englishwithoutfear.com. This is Maria, talk to you next time.

 

(Outro: Thanks for watching. For questions or comments, here’s my email.)

 

Hey there. Where I live here in the South, Southern cooking is very loved. Today we’re talking about a menu called ‘a meat and three sides’. If you order that, what can you expect?

 

(Intro: English without Fear where you can learn to speak English naturally, through listening to stories.)

If you grew up here in the South, in states like Georgia, Alabama, where I live, Mississippi, Tennessee, the Carolinas North and South, Virginia, and maybe even Kentucky,

you know what comfort food is.  Comfort food is basic, basic cooking like Mom cooked when you were growing up, nothing fancy, just lots of food that made you feel loved. We call that comfort food.

 

And lots of places in the south, simple restaurants, not fancy, offer Southern comfort food. When you go to one of these places and you’re handed a menu, you get to pick ‘a meat and three sides’. That means you select, you choose, what kind of meat you want. And then you pick out from their choices what kind of side dishes you want that will go with the meat. 

 

So what kind of meats are there? There could be fried chicken, fried fish, something called ‘chicken fried steak’, which is a piece of steak cooked like fried chicken with the coating, with the breading, and then fried –  ‘chicken fried steak’.

 

Besides all the fried foods, fried chicken, fried fish, chicken fried steak, there probably will be meatloaf, meat mixed with things shaped in a loaf. They’ll probably be pot roast, which is chunks of beef cooked slowly with different vegetables added in. So, those are the meat possibilities. There might be others.

 

Now what about the sides? On the menu will be a list of side dishes that you can choose. What comes to mind? What I, I’m thinking about?….. is corn bread, this thick kind of ‘cake-bread’ made from corn flour, cornmeal……French fries, French-fried sweet potatoes, or just mashed sweet potatoes or mashed white potatoes. A corn casserole could be a possibility.

 

And then vegetables like collard greens, very Southern. Collard greens are like cooked spinach. Collard greens, green beans….. something called fried green tomatoes. Yes, green tomatoes that they slice, that they cover with a batter and fry them. Lots of things in the South are fried. There probably are others, but those are some of the main ones. Oh, macaroni and cheese, that’s really popular. Macaroni is like a pasta mixed with a cheese sauce. 

 

When you go to one of these restaurants, they’re not fancy. You sit down and you say, ‘I’d like this meat and these sides.’ Is that just in the South? No, no, we have the same thing up north. They just don’t call it ‘a meat and three sides’. What they call it is a ‘Blue Plate Special’. I don’t know why they call it that, but it’s the same thing. You choose your meat and the meats might vary and you choose your sides.

 

Some of the sides will be the same as here in the South. And some will be different, depending on the region up north. But again, nothing fancy. You can count on plenty of food and the food will be served hot and with a smile. And it’s meant to remind you of home cooking. 

 

There are fancy restaurants today here in the South that are offering the same kinds of foods cooked with a little bit more care and very expensive. But Southern cuisine is becoming more and more popular all over America. 

 

What about you? What for you is comfort food? What kind of food reminds you of growing up and makes you feel loved, and makes you think of your mom cooking or your grandmother cooking? Tell me about it, leave me a comment below this video. And remember if you would like the transcript, the written words to today’s episode. Just go to my website, www.englishwithoutfear.com. This is Maria,

talk to you next time.

 

(Outro: Thanks for watching. For questions or comments, here’s my email.)

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