Slow English

Podcasts about Australia for intermediate learners of English

Podcast 3 – A Barbeque in Melbourne – The Preparation


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Learn English While Learning About Daily Life in Australia – with Rob McCormack

 Podcast Number 3 – A Barbeque in Melbourne – The Preparation


A really common activity for families in summer in Melbourne is to have a barbeque. A barbeque is when you cook your meat outside on a griller or a hot plate. In Australia, we also call the griller or hot plate the ‘barbeque’. For a typical barbeque, you cook steak or sausages. Or maybe you might also cook lamb chops or pork chops. Whatever, it always tastes better when it has been barbequed outside. Together with your cooked meat, you also have prepared salads, like coleslaw, a garden salad, potato salad, and you usually also have bread. The bread can be either sliced or fresh bread rolls. And also, one must never forget the tomato sauce. No barbeque is complete without tomato sauce.

So, let’s describe how you prepare for a typical barbeque where a family decides to go to the local park and have a family barbeque.

First, you get the Esky out. Now the Esky is a cooler (like a refrigerator) that can keep food cold. Then you prepare the salads. I like a good coleslaw and also a potato salad. And you can’t beat a good mixed garden salad with lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, olives, tomatoes and maybe some cheese. And don’t forget the dressing. French dressing is nice. Mmm!  You need to put the salads into sealed containers so they don’t leak everywhere when inside the Esky. Now you get the drinks organised – soft drink for the kids and maybe a wine or a few beers for the adults. I like to take large bottles of soft drink for the kids because it’s a lot cheaper than cans or small bottles and also it creates less rubbish for the environment. That means you need cups or mugs for the kids also. Lastly you put your meat into the Esky along with your eating utensils – paper or plastic plates, knives and forks. You also need a pair of cooking tongs, for handling the meat while it cooks. Don’t forget your picnic rug so you have somewhere to sit and eat your food. Oh, and you must also take a football, or perhaps a cricket bat and ball, so that the family can enjoy some exercise in the open space in the park.

Okay, now you are ready to leave for the nearest park. The Esky goes in the boot of the car, then the whole family gets into the car and off you go. At the park you will find public barbeques where you can cook your food and enjoy a great family day out in the bright Melbourne sunshine.

In another podcast, I will tell you more about the parks and picnic areas around Melbourne.

If you have a question or a comment to make, please leave it by clicking the comments link at the top of this story.  Goodbye until next time.

Podcast 3 Quiz - Did you understand the podcast?

You can take the quiz as many times as you like.



activity = when you do something

boot =a space in the back of a car used to carry things

bright sunshine = when the sun is shining with no clouds

cheaper = when something doesn’t cost much

complete = when everything is all there

containers = something which holds a drink or some food, for example a box, can, bottle.

describe = when you tell someone about something

dressing = a liquid you put on a salad to make it taste better

environment = the world around us, for example the land, the air, the rivers, the seas.

exercise = to run around or play a game

fresh = when something is new, or made not long ago

handling = when you need to move something

leak = when liquid spills out

local park = a place nearby where there is grass and plants, a place to play or sit.

mixed = where there are many things put together

nearest = the closest

organised = to get everything you need

outside = in the open air

prepared = when something has been already made

public = everybody can use it

refrigerator = something used in the kitchen to keep food cold

rubbish = something that is no longer useful and is thrown away

sealed = when no air can get it

sliced = when you cut something into slices, for example bread.

summer = the hottest season of the year. The other seasons are winter, spring and autumn

tongs = a large metal utensil used to put meat on a hot plate

typical = something that is normal, that everyone knows

usually = most of the time

utensils = things you use to eat your food with


  1. Hi Rob I’m obsessed with cooking and everything relating to it. This podcast is so interesting to me. Thank you so much for creating such a good podcast. Tell us more about food culture in Australia. Thank you

    • Hi Narges. A wonderful obsession to have – for you and your loved ones. I’m not a great fan of cooking, but I do love to eat! Thanks for your comment Narges. Have a great day.

  2. Hi, I am just learning English. that was a great podcast, I could listen to it and learn many vocabularies from that.
    Thanks for this podcast
    Best wishes

    • Hi Ali,
      Many thanks for your comment. I’m glad that you liked the podcast. You are right that new vocabulary can be leant from a podcast.
      Good luck with your English.
      Beat regards,

  3. Thank you so much for sharing .
    They are very helpful for improving our second language .

    • Hi Banafsheh,

      Many thanks for your comment. I am pleased that my podcast is helpful to you.
      Have a great day.

  4. Hi Rob,
    Firstly, thanks for sharing this information. I guess it is very delicious. You will be with me while I improve my English.
    Take care.

  5. Hi Rob,
    I‘m a german children who aren‘t so Good in english.
    So I‘m very happy That you are making These potcarsts. There are very easy to Listen and they realy help me.

    • Hi Jan,
      Many thanks for your comment. I am glad that you find my podcasts useful.
      Have fun learning English.
      Have a great day.
      (P.S. Viel Spaß beim Englisch lernen. I am learning German so I know how challenging it is to learn a language. But it is also fun!)

  6. Hi Rob ,

    Podcast are very useful , thanks . I start today and I will listen you .

    From Istanbul

    • Hi Nail,
      Many thanks for your comment. I hope you enjoy my podcasts. Have fun learning English.
      Best regards,

  7. I love you, Rob. You are awsome! If I know this web ealier, I will get a lot of knowledge about Australian life. It really helps me. The audios are clear and matched with my English level. Thank you very much. All the best to you.

    • Hi Dao Trieu,
      Many thanks for your comment and your kind words about my podcast. Much appreciated!
      Have fun learning English.

  8. Hi Rob, I’m very glad to meet you.
    Tell me, please, how you prepare the tomato sauce. When I prepare a barbeque I would like to make a tomato souce according your recipe.

    • Hi Adriana,
      Thanks for your two comments. I have never made tomato sauce, although my mother used to make it when I was a child. I have always bought it at the supermarket, so I can’t really suggest a recipe. The tomato sauce which we have in Australia is also called Tomato Ketchup in America. So perhaps it is sold in your country as Tomato Ketchup. From what I remember, it used to take my mother a long time to make about a dozen bottles of tomato sauce, which she would store away for us to use in the summer when we had barbecues. You might be able to find a recipe online, but I think it requires a lot of time and many fresh tomatoes. You could try this link.
      I am glad my podcast makes you dream of spring and barbeques.
      Cheers from Melbourne.

  9. Hi rob
    you are amazing
    thanks a lot

  10. G’day, Rob!

    I just wanted to appreciate you. I really didn’t expect that I could see all the scripts for free..Cheers indeed! My plan is listening to your podcast everyday, acquiring the vocabularies you use and being accustomed to the Aussie accent (I love it!) I’m so happy to find yours! I hope your German also has improved.


    from South Korea

    • Hi Eunhye,

      Many thanks for your message and for your kind words. I hope you find my podcasts useful and interesting. Good luck with your English. My German improves, although a little slower than I would like!
      Cheers from Melbourne,

  11. Hello there sir
    How are you? I’m Magdalena from Peru, I’m so glad, gotta say that it’s a pleasure to meet u mr. Mccormack as well as your lovely blog. It just answers to what I’ve been after for a long time lol and may I ask you wether u know any other aussie eng-teaching blog o vlog o podcast o alike to indicate(a free one)? please? already thank you and have a fab week!!

  12. Hey Rob!

    Thanks for the great posdcast! I heard around that australians also says “barbie”, to mean “barbicue” and this food is very popular in Australia… it’s almost like an australian tradional food, like meat pie.
    The word “Esky” to mean refrigerator is new to me! Never had heard it before.
    I will search about the salads that you mentioned, seems tasty! I heard that some partys in Australia is “BYO” that means, “Bring Your Own”. I need to know how to prepare the salads for when someone invites me for a barbecue! 🙂
    Oh, what is that tomato sauce that you mentioned, it’s ketchup?

    • Hi Alessandra,
      Yes, we often use the word ‘barbie’ to mean barbeque. BYO means to bring your own alcoholic drinks (like beer or wine). Tomato sauce is our name for ketchup, so you are correct there.
      I am sure you will enjoy an Australian barbeque.
      Cheers and thanks for your message!

  13. It’s pretty easy to listen to your English sentences for me. I think contents are also good for people who are studyiing English to speak. When I nealy lose my confidence of my English, I will use these podcast for recovering it. I will try to think about it again.

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