0 0 votes
Rate this topic

Adventures in cooking

Episode description

In this week’s update episode, Andrew shares a story about the highs and lows of learning how to cook Korean food. Plus, in the vocabulary lesson, he teaches you a useful expression: there’s never a dull moment.

Visit Culips.com to get the 100% free transcript for this episode.

Note: The transcript has been edited for clarity.

Andrew:  Hello, everyone, it is Andrew here. How’s it going? You’re listening to the Culips English Podcast. And I want to say thank you for clicking play on this episode, and making the decision to study English with me today. I think you made a good call. I think you made a good call. To make a good call means to make a good decision. Can you guess what to make a bad call means? You probably can guess, right? It means to make a bad decision. So for example, let’s say that you buy some clothes online without reading the sizing information carefully. I’ve done this before. Maybe many of you listening out there have done this before too. And then when the clothes arrive, and you try them on, nothing fits, maybe everything is just way too big. Well, in that situation, you could say that buying the clothes online was a bad call. It means that you made a bad and regrettable decision. But anyways, I hope that you agree with me that joining me here today was a good call. Not a bad call. And of course, I’m happy that you’re here.

If this is your first time listening to Culips, welcome. Our mission here at Culips is to help English learners build strong English skills so that they can achieve their goals, whether that be communicating confidently for work, or travel, or friendship, or maybe just to enjoy some of the great books or TV shows, or media that is produced in English. And with that goal in mind, we create free audio lessons that teach English conversation and listening. Plus vocabulary like idioms, and practical expressions, and phrasal verbs.

Speaking of free, the transcript for this episode is again, available for free for everyone. 100% free, so you just need to click on the link in the description, or visit our website to get it. And you can download it as a PDF, which is great if you want to print it off. But if you would rather just view it on your phone or your computer or tablet or whatever. There is a digital version that looks great on computer screens and phone screens as well.

So guys, it’s the start of a new week, another new week. How did your week last week go? I personally had a pretty good week. And to be honest with you so many things happened. It seemed like a whole month passed in just the span of one week. There’s never a dull moment in my life, it seems. So I thought I’d tell you about a funny story that happened to me last week. I don’t know if it’s really funny, but it’s memorable, at least. A memorable story. Recently, I was watching one of my favorite YouTubers, and he was vlogging about cooking for his wife. Now, this is a Korean YouTuber and I use his videos to help me study Korean and learn the Korean language. As you guys probably know, I think studying this way with YouTube videos and podcasts is a great way to learn. So I was watching his vlog and in the vlog he cooked for his wife and he made a kind of Korean food that’s called dalk bokkum tang. And it’s kind of a spicy braised-chicken dish, which features chicken and potatoes and carrots. And they’re all boiled together in a spicy sauce that’s made from red-pepper powder and soy sauce. So this is a really delicious dish and my wife loves it and I love it. So I got inspired from this YouTube video and I decided to try and cook it for myself. In the vlog it actually looked pretty simple. So I thought I can make this. I can cook the easiest, most basic Korean dishes easily enough because they’re easy.

But dalk bokkum tang is like one more step up the ladder. It’s like a difficulty Level two out of five. So it was a challenge for me, but I was ready to accept the challenge. And we had some rainy weather early last week, Monday or Tuesday. And so I told my wife that it was the perfect opportunity for me to try making this dish. There’s nothing like a nice bowl of hot food on a cool, rainy day, right? So, she agreed and we went to the market and bought the ingredients and then I cooked the meal. I followed a recipe that I found online by one of, if not, Korea’s most famous chefs. Probably the Korean listeners out there can guess exactly who I’m talking about, a very famous Korean chef who’s on TV all the time.

But anyways, I watched a video by this chef preparing the dish on YouTube, and then followed the recipe step-by-step. Now when I mean step-by-step, I mean, I followed it exactly. I followed it to a tee. I followed it to a tee, have you heard that expression before? To follow something to a tee means to do it exactly in the correct way. So I was very precise, I followed this recipe to a tee. And I did everything exactly as instructed. I cut and measured the ingredients precisely. I cooked everything for the perfect amount of time. And I really did try to do my best to do a good job. Usually when I cook, I just improvise. Maybe you guys are like that, too. You know, I just eyeball the amount of ingredients that I should include, and I go by feeling. To eyeball something. I eyeball the ingredients. Can you guess what that means? Well, it is about guessing, actually, to eyeball something means to guess or estimate just by using our eyes and not by actually doing any measuring.

So usually when I cook, I just eyeball it and improvise. But not this time. No, no, no. This time I followed the recipe to a tee. And you’re probably wondering about the end result, right? Well, let’s get to it. I thought that the end result was actually pretty darn good. I’ve had this dish many times in restaurants. So I knew what a delicious version of it tasted like. And while mine wasn’t exactly restaurant quality, I think I did do a pretty great job for my first try, my first attempt. So, it was time to serve it up. So, I set the table, I plated the food to make it look as good as possible, I’m not really good at doing that but I tried my best,  and then I called my wife to the dinner table to eat. This was the big test, right? My wife, who is Korean, eating a version of my Korean food. If anyone would be able to tell that my dalk bokkum tang was legit or not, it would be her.

So what was her reaction? Well, she also agreed it was pretty good. Not a failure by any means. Not a failure in that moment, at least, because shortly after disaster struck. After about 10 minutes, as we were enjoying the meal, suddenly my wife started to say that her stomach hurt. And then after another five minutes, she excused herself from the table and said that she thought she was going to be sick and then ran off to the bathroom. So I was stressed out, I started to panic. I thought, oh my god, I think I’m killing my wife here with my food. I did something horribly wrong. And I must have given my wife food poisoning with my cooking.

On the other hand, I felt totally fine. I had no problems at all. I was just enjoying the meal. But she wasn’t doing so good. She went to the bedroom to lie down and she still said that she felt really sick. So I made her some tea. And when the tea was ready, I brought it to her. But she had passed out and she was totally sound asleep. And like I said the weird thing was I was totally fine. And when she woke up a little bit later, she still said that she had a stomach ache and kind of half jokingly said that it was all my fault, that I did this to her, that it was my bad cooking that caused the problem. But I was still confused because like I said, I was totally fine. And if it was my cooking that caused the problem, like if I did something wrong or if one of the ingredients was rotten or something, then surely I would have been sick too, right?

So anyway, we went to bed, and we both woke up the next day, feeling fine, thankfully. And dinner time rolled around the next day and I suggested that we eat the leftovers for dinner. There were many, many leftovers and I didn’t want to throw them away. I convinced my wife that it wasn’t my cooking that made her sick and that it must have been something else that she ate that day because I was fine, so it couldn’t have been the food. She begrudgingly agreed to try it one more time. Begrudgingly agreed. Oh, what a nice phrase begrudgingly agreed. Begrudgingly agreed. Begrudgingly agree to do something means that you agree to do something, even though you don’t really want to. You’re like, OK, fine. I’ll do it. I don’t want to do it, but I’ll do it. This is to be grudgingly agree to do something.

So my wife begrudgingly agreed to try my dalk bokkum tang one more time. And this time, I’m happy to report she was totally fine. So I was relieved, she was relieved. All was well, in the world again. I was happy that most importantly, she was fine, she was healthy again. But I was also happy that my Korean food cooking experiment wasn’t a total failure. And as a bonus, the dish tasted even better the next day. So that was my cooking adventure from last week, everyone. And even though I didn’t have the best experience, I’m not going to give up. I’m going to try and make another kind of Korean food again, sometime in the near future.

In terms of what’s new at Culips here, well, we recently released a chatterbox episode about the MBTI personality test. In that episode, Anna, and I talk about personality tests, and we do a Myers Briggs, and we share our results in that episode. So if you haven’t heard it yet, definitely check it out, I think it’s a fun one. We also have another brand new episode scheduled to come out later this week featuring Anna and me. In this one, we talk about bread. Yeah, that’s right bread. Now I know it seems maybe like a pretty basic, simple topic, but actually it resulted in a great conversation. So keep your eyes and your ears open for that episode when it comes out in a few days.

It’s time for this week’s vocabulary lesson. Before we wrap up this episode, let’s learn a really practical and useful everyday English expression. It is: there’s never a dull moment. There’s never a dull moment. There’s never a dull, dull, D-U-L-L dull, moment. Did you hear when I used this expression earlier in the episode? Let’s rewind and listen to that part a couple more times. There’s never a dull moment in my life it seems. There’s never a dull moment in my life it seems. So you can probably guess what this expression means, right? If there’s never a dull moment, it means that something is always exciting or interesting, and there’s never any downtime where something is boring, or calm, or just normal. Of course, we could just use a word like fun, or exciting, or interesting instead of this phrase, right? But when we want to take our English to the next step, and be more expressive with our language, then using an expression like there’s never a dull moment is the perfect thing to do. I’ve prepared three example sentences for you with this expression. So let’s take a listen and learn with them.

Example, sentence number one.

There’s never a dull moment when Peter’s around.

So let’s break that example down. There’s never a dull moment when Peter’s around means that Peter is such a fun and exciting guy that whenever he comes to visit, it’s always exciting. It’s always fun. It’s always enjoyable, OK? It’s never boring or awkward or dull.

Example sentence number two.

There’s never a dull moment at our office, we’re busy all day long.

Let’s break down this example sentence. There’s never a dull moment at our office. So the office, then, is very busy. There’s hustle, there’s bustle, there’s coming, there’s going all day long, and it’s never quiet, or still, or not busy. It’s always very, very active.

Example sentence number three.

I love living in this city, there’s never a dull moment here. There’s always something fun or exciting to do.

So in that example, the speaker says that there’s never a dull moment here. In his city, there’s always a lot of hustle and bustle and activity, and it’s never boring or unexciting. So that’s it for this week’s update episode everyone. I hope you are able to learn something new. Have an awesome week, study English hard, and we’ll catch you in the next episode. Take care, bye!

Hosts: Andrew Bates
Music and sound effects: Pixabay.com
Thumbnail image: Unsplash.com
Episode preparation/research: Andrew Bates
Business manager: Tsuyoshi Kaneshima

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 months ago

Great podcast, I had way too much fun with your cooking story. Thanks!!

3 months ago

Hello Andrew-
Thank you for another great episode!

I have a question.
At the beginning of the episode, you mentioned “I followed a recipe that I found online by one of, if not, Korea’s most famous chefs.”
Here, how should I understand the meaning of “if not” in the middle of the sentence?
I understood it like below.

  • This chef is one of the most famous chefs in Korea; if that’s not the case, then this chef is the most famous chef (not one of) in Korea.

Do I understand correctly?
Please let me know 🙂


Last edited 3 months ago by ysmeys
Reply to  ysmeys
3 months ago

That’s a great question. “If not” can mean different things, but in this kind of sentence, it indicates that I think the chef is the most popular chef in the country. And if that’s not true, then he is at least one of the most popular chefs in the country.

I’ll give you a few more example sentences to show you how this kind of sentence pattern works.

  • “That building must have cost millions, if not tens of millions, to build.” –> The speaker thinks the building cost up to tens of millions of dollars to build.
  • “Star Wars is a great, if not the greatest, sci-fi movie of all time.” –> The speaker thinks that Star Wars is probably the greatest sci-fi movie ever.
  • “It rained most, if not all, of the time I was on vacation.” –> The speaker remembers it raining for most of the time he was on vacation, but since he doesn’t clearly remember, it may have actually rained the entire time.

Hope this helps. Thanks for listening to this episode!

Reply to  AndrewBates
3 months ago

Thank you Andrew! I get the nuance and meaning of it.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x