Study conversational English and the idioms (what does ‘eyeball it’ mean??) that come up while I bake a pumpkin pie!
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As it’s almost Thanksgiving, today I’m going to show you how to make one of my favorite Thanksgiving treats. And that is a pumpkin pie, which we’re going to make from scratch. Of course, we’ll also learn some about American English pronunciation
First, we pick out the pumpkin.
>>What do you think of this one?
What do you think of this one? There’s a lot of reduction and linking happening in this phrase. The T in the word ‘what’ is generally pronounced as a stop, not released. However, the next word is ‘do’, which begins with a D sound. That’s the same position as the T. So in this particular case, rather than having a stop T go into a D, it’s even more casual and the T is dropped altogether. What do you think? Wha-duh-yuh, wha-duh-yuh. This is a common way to pronounce the word ‘what’ and ‘do’. What do you think? What do you like? What do you mean? … for example. And you’ve probably noticed that in the word ‘do’, the oo vowel is reduced to the schwa. This is the same as in the word ‘you’: the vowel is reduced to the schwa. Wha-duh-yuh, wha-duh-yuh, wha-duh-yuh. So those three unaccented words are all linked together, low in pitch, very smooth. Wha-duh-yuh, wha-duh-yuh, What do you think? So the word ‘think’ is stressed, none of the sounds reduce here. But the next word, ‘of’, I pronounce this with only the schwa sound. So I reduce it so much that the vv, V sound is dropped altogether. What do you think of this one? So the word ‘of’ is simply pronounce uh ,uh, uh, uh-this one, uh-this one. What do you think of this one? Listen again.
>>What do you think of this one?
With the sugar pumpkin purchased:
>>The first step is to cut the pumpkin in half. It’s kind of hard to cut, if I remember correctly. It’s very firm.
This is my friend Laura. I spent the weekend with her in Massachusetts and we did lots of baking.
>>>Oo, beautiful. Next, pull out the pulp and the seeds.
>>Ok, you know what? I’m just going to go with the hands. Much easier.
While we were in the kitchen, we looked out the window and noticed the first snow of the season was beginning.
>>If you’ll notice, we made some apple bran muffins to tide us over while we’re baking, along with some homemade apple butter.
Did you notice? I used the idiom ‘tide us over’. This means to have a small amount of something for a short period of time until the issue can be addressed in a larger way. For example, I had a small snack to tide me over until dinner. He borrowed some money to tide him over until his next paycheck. I picked up a few things to tide us over until the weekend when we can really go shopping. Listen again.
>> We made some apple bran muffins to tide us over while we’re baking, along with some homemade apple butter. So that’s going to be delicious, and we’re going to eat that while the pumpkin roasts. So now, we’ve put our two emptied-out halves on the baking pan, and we’re going to put it in the oven at 350 [degrees Fahrenheit] for about an hour, hour and a half.
>>Let’s set the timer. Let’s dig into these.
Here I used the idiom to dig into something. This means to start eating ,especially something you’re excited about. Eating with enthusiasm. Let’s dig into these. Listen again.
>>Let’s dig into these.
>>Mark, what are you doing?
>>I am going to roast some pumpkin seeds, which you guys extracted from the whole pumpkin.
>>Which is now out of the oven and cooling.
>>Put some seasoning salt ,put a little cayenne pepper, not too much. What else? Kinda just eyeballing this here.
Kinda just eyeballing this here. Mark used the idiom to eyeball something. That means he’s not measuring. He’s just guessing the amounts of the spices as he adds them to the seeds. Kinda just eyeballing this here.
>>What else? Kinda just eyeballing this here.
So when you scoop the seeds out of the pumpkin, save them. Rinse them well and separate them from the stringy orange part of the pumpkin. Let them air dry some, and add some oil. Mark recommends using a lot of salt. He also adds paprika, chili pepper, and other spices to taste. Then put them in the oven. When they start popping ,they’re ready to be taken out.
>>Oh, I heard that.
>>I heard it too. Oh!
>>They’re popping ,indeed, so, we can take them out.
Did you notice, Mark reduced the word ‘them’ to the schwa and the M sound: uhm, uhm ,take ’em, take ’em out. This is a common way to reduce the word ‘them’ in everyday speech. Take ’em out, bring ’em here, give ’em water , for example. Also notice Mark makes a stop T on the word ‘out’. He does not release it: out. He simply brings his tongue into position for the T, out, cutting off the sound. Take ’em out. Listen again.
>>They’re popping indeed, so, we can take them out.
>>Yum, those look great. Try one. Yum.
>>Mm, mm-hmm. Really delicious. What do you think chef , are you happy?
Back to the pumpkin. Once it’s cooled, separate the skin from the rest of the pumpkin. The skin does not go into the pie. Now Laura is going to puree the pumpkin with an immersion blender.
>>Now we’re going to put in some sugar, egg, evaporated milk, some spices. For the full recipe, see the description on YouTube under the video, or, see the link on my website.
Now Laura has loaded up the food processor…
>>…with all the ingredients for our homemade pie crust.
>>And now, we roll out the crust.
>>What’s that you have under the crust? I have a little plastic wrap underneath it so that when it’s time to transfer it, you just scoop it up and turn it over and pull the plastic off.
>>I’m pretty serious about my pies, it’s true. I like a good pie. Ok, I think we’re almost ready.
And now … now normally, you can use a pie pan, we’re using a skillet, a cast-iron skillet, and I’ve found it makes a really nice — nicely done crust. It’s not at all soggy on the bottom. Fast forward, shaping the crust in the dish. And now, we pour it in.
>>How far up should I go?
>>I think put all of it in.
>>It’s gonna be too much.
It’s gonna be too much. Did you notice that Laura said ‘gonna’ instead of going to. It’s gonna be too much.
>>It’s gonna be too much. Oh my gosh, it’s gonna fit. All of it is going to fit. That’s one whole pumpkin, folks.
>>We’ve determined the pie is done. So, she comes out of the oven. Now she’s nice and puffy, but this will collapse as it cools. Let the pie cool for several hours.
>>And here is the finished product. Unfortunately I have to show it to you by candle light because, if you’ll remember , that snow that we were so excited about: we’ve gotten maybe 6 inches, maybe more, and the power’s out. It’s been out for a couple of hours. I expect it will be out for the entire night. So, in the low light, let’s go ahead and cut the pie. Oh yeah. So, mm, man , I’ve got to say, I’m pretty excited about this. I’ve gotta say. The words ‘I have got to’ can reduce to ‘I’ve gotta’ or even simply ‘I gotta’ in everyday conversation. I gotta go , I gotta say, I gotta see that … for example. Man, I’ve gotta say, I’m pretty excited about this. Mm-hmm. It’s really good.