How do you say 'gooey brownies'?
My Korean ESL class gobbled up their underbaked treat.
I promised my class of 11-year-old Koreans that I would bake them a treat for memorizing how to introduce themselves.Skip to next paragraph
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They can now say in English: "Hello, my name is ... (they fill in their Korean name), but you can call me ... (American name). I am ... years old. I come from Yang Ju, South Korea. I like ... ('computer games' is the most popular response. Others include 'basketball,' 'pizza,' 'my family,' and 'to read a book'). It's very nice to meet you."
Baking American treats was something I had anticipated doing for students when I came to South Korea to teach English as a second language (ESL), so it came as a surprise to find that my apartment did not come furnished with an oven. Instead, apartments typically include a two-burner gas stovetop, a microwave, and a refrigerator.
And since a microwave is simply a defroster to me, the solution I found for the baking problem turned out to be to buy a tabletop convection oven. It was on sale in Seoul and after much discussion, the sales clerk and manager at the megastore there agreed it could be delivered to Yang Ju (an hour north of Seoul). With serious faces that indicated that they were pretty sure the sale would tank when the customer was faced with a hefty delivery charge, they told me it would cost an additional ... $7. The last delivery I had in the United States from a store in Nashville to Cookeville (pretty close to the same distance as Seoul is from Yang Ju) cost $150. The oven arrived two days later.
It came with an owner's manual that explained how everything worked and included plenty of tasty looking recipes – all written in Korean, of course. So I relied on the Internet to teach me how to use my new appliance. But I did not need the World Wide Web to realize that the first thing one needs when baking cream cheese brownies is cream cheese. Korean grocery stores have dairy sections, but they feature mainly a huge variety of yogurt, some soft cheeses, butter, and a few choices of milk – my favorite being "Einstein milk," which makes the assurance on every carton that "Einstein Milk is Natural DHA milk secreted from milk cows."
One side of the carton, written entirely in English, reads: "Using advanced biotechnology, Einstein is a completely different non-fortified natural DHA milk produced directly from milk cows. Einstein is produced only in designated farms with exceptionally good natural surroundings where healthy milk cows are screened and cared for with special feed to maintain their top conditions. The stringent quality control system that no others can imitate helps maintain the value only Einstein has. Milk for your precious family – choose the best. Einstein. 100% natural milk with no other added ingredients."