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MEALS

Тексты и диалоги на английском языке подготовлены В.Ф.Косинским
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MEALS

Vocabulary Словарь
well-to-do - богатый, зажиточный, обеспеченный, состоятельный человек
cucumber – огурец
tomatoes - помидоры
carrots - морковь
beetroot – свекла
lettuce {'letis} – салат-латук
Sideboard - буфет; сервант
mustard – горчица
vinegar - уксус
sociable - общительный, компанейский, дружелюбный человек
substantial - крепкий, прочный, солидный, питательный (о пище)
shallow – неглубокий; плоский, мелкий, мелководный
mutton – баранина
pork – свинина
pork chops — свиная отбивная
Help oneself (take what food one wants)
honour - слава, почет, честь

It might be useful to you to know what sort of meals English people have and how they behave at table; for the people of one country behave rather differently from those of another. An old proverb says, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do," and this is good advice. What are good manners in one country may be bad manners in another.

In many English homes four meals are served: they are breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner. These are the meals that are served in the homes of people who are well-to-do.

Breakfast may be served any time from seven to nine. It consists of porridge (made of oats or barley, milk, sugar or salt), bacon and eggs (boiled, or fried), buttered toast or bread-and-butter with marmalade. Instead of bacon and eggs, fish may be served, for millions of pounds worth of fish is caught every year round the coasts of Britain. Either tea or coffee is drunk at breakfast.

Lunch comes at about one o'clock. It generally consists of cold meat (left over from yesterday's dinner), potatoes, and salad made of lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, beetroot, etc. Sometimes these dishes are placed on the sideboard; each person takes his plate, helps himself and comes back to his place. On the table are pepper, salt, mustard and sometimes vinegar. After that there is bread or biscuits and cheese. Most people drink water at lunch time; some drink beer or wine. It is not the custom to drink spirits like whisky or brandy even in wealthy homes in the middle of the day.

Afternoon tea, taken between four and five, is the most informal meal of the day. If you are a friend of the family you may drop in for tea without an invitation or telling them that you are coming. Very often it is not served at a table; the members of the family and visitors take tea in the sitting-room. Each person has a cup and saucer, a spoon and a small plate for bread-and-butter and cake. By the way, do not help yourself to cake first; bread-and-butter first, then cake if there is any. Another piece of advice: do not put more than one piece of bread or cake on your plate at the same time.

Dinner is the most substantial meal of the day and is a very formal meal. Many people even wear special clothes for dinner, so if you are asked out to dinner you must find out whether you are expected to wear a dinner suit; for you would feel very embarrassed if, when you got there, you were the only person in ordinary clothes. Dinner is generally served about half-past seven. All the members of the family sit down together and are on their best behaviour. The head of the family sits at one end of the table, his wife sits at the other. If there is a guest, he generally sits in the place of honour, which is at the right of the lady of the house. If there are several guests the most important is asked to sit there. During the meal conversation is carried on. You should try to get into conversation with the person on your right or left, but you should not try to talk to someone who is a long way from you.

The first course is soup, served on shallow plates and eaten quietly with a fairly large spoon. Then comes fish; there is often a knife and fork of special shape by each person for this course. If you are in unfamiliar surroundings, keep an eye open for what the others are doing. Remember the proverb about the Romans.

The next course is the most important; it generally consists of a joint of meat (beef or lamb) or else a leg of lamb or pork, or it may be chicken or duck. With it are served various vegetables, peas, beans, cabbage or cauliflower. The maid may come round to each guest on his left when she offers the dishes; when she comes to take away his plate she approaches on the left also. Some sort of pudding is generally the fourth course. To show that he has finished with a course, a person lays his knife and fork on his plate with the handles towards him. After the pudding (of sweets), the table is cleared and the dessert is brought on. This is fruit of various kinds, apples, pears, oranges, bananas, figs, etc., and nuts. Port (red wine from Portugal) is passed round. When the bottle gets to you, you pour some into a little glass on your right and pass the Bottle to you neighbour. At this stage the ladies may get up and retire to the drawing-room, leaving the menfolk a little longer over their wine, smoking and talking. When the ladies rise, the men get up too, out of respect, and resume their seats when they have left the room. Soon the men rejoin the ladies.

It must not be imagined that all English people eat like this. Not 10 per cent of them do so. As in all countries, the great majority of people are working-class people who can afford neither the time nor the money to live like this. More than 90 per cent of English people have their dinner in the middle of the day, and it is cooked not by a servant but by the mother of the family, as are all the meals. In most houses the meals are breakfast, dinner, tea and supper, which is a cold meal for which nothing is cooked. All these meals are much simpler than those served in the homes of the rich. But all children, rich and poor, are expected to be on their best behaviour at meal times.

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