Learn English from the News: Thanksgiving Leftovers

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Hello students! It’s Shayna, your teacher from EspressoEnglish.net, and today is our final edition of November News, where I teach you English from real news articles.

Last week was the holiday of Thanksgiving in the United States, and now many families have leftovers – the word leftovers refers to food that was not eaten at the original meal, so we keep it for another day.

So this article is all about how to turn those leftovers into a new dish. This recipe is from a master chef named Massimo Bottura, and he believes that food should not be wasted.

But most Americans aren’t so conscientious. This word can describe someone who is guided by their ethics and principles, or it can describe someone who is very careful about the details.

The article says that the average American tosses out 2.5 pounds of perfectly edible food each week. The phrasal verb toss out in this context is a casual way to say throw out, throw away, throw in the garbage. And edible food means food that can be eaten.

The dish that Chef Bottura is going to make from Thanksgiving leftovers is pasta with broth. The word broth refers to a thin, clear soup that gets its flavor from meat, fish, or vegetables.

Learn English from the News: Thanksgiving Leftovers Espresso English


To make the broth, the chef uses the carcass of the turkey. The word carcass refers to the dead body of an animal. First he roasts it, meaning he cooks it in the oven. Roasting coaxes more flavor out of the bones. This verb coax means to gently persuade a person, but in this case it means to cause to bring out – so putting the bones in the oven causes more flavor to come out of them.

After roasting the bones, Chef Bottura puts them in water with vegetable scraps. Scraps are small pieces that weren’t used for the main thing – in this case the main meal.

Next, the chef makes breadcrumbs. Crumbs are tiny pieces that break off from bread, cakes, cookies, etc. If you eat cookies without a plate, you might get crumbs on your shirt. Making breadcrumbs is a good way to use up stale bread. If a piece of bread – or again a cake, cookie, etc. – is stale, it means it is old and no longer fresh.

Learn English from the News: Thanksgiving Leftovers Espresso English


At this point, the broth has been simmering for 40 minutes. To simmer means to cook something on very low heat. Chef Bottura mixes the breadcrumbs with eggs and cheese to make pasta, then puts it into the broth. Now it’s ready to eat, and the writer of the article savors the finished dish. To savor a food or drink means to appreciate it very much. When you savor something, you often eat or drink it slowly and you truly enjoy it.

Chef Bottura sells a cookbook, and the proceeds go to his non-profit organization. The word proceeds in this case is being used as a noun, meaning the money from the sales. The non-profit organization that will receive the money is setting up soup kitchens with surplus food. A soup kitchen is a place where meals are served to poor people for free or at very low cost. And the word surplus is another way to say extra.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of November News lessons! Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you don’t miss any videos, and you can also sign up to get a free English phrasebook at EspressoEnglish.net

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