183 Cooking

Jessica talks about how she likes to make spaghetti.


Jessica: Hi! This is Jessica and today I'm going to talk about spaghetti. Now a lot of people think that is might just be really easy to make, but let me tell you, mine is the top of the top. It's, I can make a mean spaghetti. So first, I take and I cut up garlic. Garlic is essential. As much garlic as you can possibly stand to cut, and then I cut some onion and put that all together, and fry it with olive oil. Then basically after that point, it kind of varies. It just depends on whatever vegetables I have around. Usually I put in like green peppers, definitely mushrooms. Mushrooms are a must. Um, let's see, and then basically it depends on the time of the year, so if it's summer I'll just put in like squash and, so I saute all the vegetables up, and get them to the point where they are just right and then I put oregano in hopefully, hopefully, the best is if it's fresh but, you know, you can't have it all so, you put in oregano, and then from there, I put in, and I hope my dad's not listening because he'll never eat it after this point, but I put in tofu ground beef, so you can't really taste it, um, I mean you can taste it. It tastes like beef, but nobody knows that it's tofu, just because I don't particularly like raw meat, so Tofu I think is the way to go, so then, um, so I put that in there, and you don't really have to cook it, you just warm it up, so I just cook it all together, warm it all together. And then I put in some fresh tomatoes, and then I usually use like a half a can of whatever tomato sauce is on sale, whatever pasta sauce, and then again a little more oregano, and just let it simmer to absorb all the flavor. That's it.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

top of the top

My spaghetti is the top of the top.

The 'top of the top' is like saying 'the best of the best' or just 'the best.'  Notice the following:

  1. My grandmother's pies are the top of the top.
  2. This wine is really the top of the top.

mean spaghetti

I can make a mean spaghetti.

We can use the word 'mean' before a food or drink to say that it is good.  We can also use "mean" to talk about excellent abilities.  Notice the following:

  1. I didn't know you had such a mean singing voice.
  2. He does a mean Elvis impression.

as much as you can stand

As much garlic as you can stand to cut.

'As much as you can stand' is like 'as much as you can handle' or until your personal limit.  Notice the following:

  1. I have had as much football as I can stand today.
  2. Do as many push-ups as you can stand.

the way to go

Tofu, I think, is the way to go.

'The way to go' is the method, or in this case the ingredient, that you should use.  Notice the following:

  1. She says that walking wherever she can is the way to go.
  2. Online classes are definitely the way to go for me.


Let it simmer to absorb all the flavor.

To 'simmer' something is to cook it at a low heat, usually for a long period of time.  Usually when something is simmering there are little bubbles, but not as big as if it were boiling.  Notice the following:

  1. The soup has been simmering for the last few hours.
  2. After it boils, then you reduce the heat and let the rice simmer.


Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
top of the • mean • can stand
way to go • simmer
  1. I think that traveling by bus is the .
  2. They make a margarita here.
  3. The longer you let the sauce the more flavor it will have.
  4. This hotel is the top in this town.
  5. I have had as much driving as I for one day.