Rye Bread Recipe

Rye Bread (taken from Favorite Swedish Recipes, edited by Selma Wifstrand)

6 C rye flour
2 C white flour
2 1/2 C milk
2 yeast cakes
1 1/2 t salt
1/3 C fat or butter
3/4 C molasses
2-3 t fennel seed or aniseed, pounded

Mix yeast with 1 T sugar. Melt fat, add milk and heat until lukewarm. Pour into big bowl, add molasses and half of rye flour and mix well. Then add yeast, salt, seeds and remaining flour gradually. Beat well until smooth and firm, cover with towel and allow to rise in warm place until almost doubled in bulk. Turn out onto floured baking board and knead well.

[Note: The next part continues as part of the last paragraph, but I’m pretty sure there are now two different ways to shape the dough, so that’s how I’m typing it.]

Divide into 6 pieces; roll each piece into round flat loaf. Cut out a hole in the center. Place on buttered baking sheet, prick with fork, cover and let rise. Bake in hot oven (425 F) 15 min until light brown. Remove to towel, brush wiht warm water and cover with towel or cloth.

Shape into 3 loaves, prick with fork and let rise. Bake in moderate oven (375 F) 30 min. Brush with warm water when half done and again when ready.

He’s the Foreigner and Three Times the Thinking

Good Man suddenly changed his tune. “Jingle bers! Jingle bers!”

Koreans often confuse the L and R sounds since they’re both written with one character in Korean—ㄹ. “Bells,” I said.

Good Man shook his head. “I know that. It is my joke. See, people don’t understand me because I think three times. Everyone else thinks one, two times. But I,” he said, tapping his temple, “I think three times!”

***

Saturday, after getting a great deal on some jeans ($16.99, original price tag still on them read $88) and a spring jacket ($39.99, original price tag….$280!) at Marshalls, Good Man and I went to a Korean restaurant we’d never been to. It wasn’t a very fancy place where you can get your meat cooked in front of you. It wasn’t as grimy as one of the Orange Places in Korea. It was a great in-between place.

I ordered for us in Korean. Seafood hot stone bibimbap for Good Man and jajjangmyeon for me. The ajumma didn’t flinch. Later I yelled, “Ajumma! Bori cha deo chuseyo!” Ajumma, please bring us some more barley tea.

The ajumma replied in Korean, asking if we wanted a whole glass. I nodded. When she approached the table, she told me my Korean was great. I disagreed and then she looked at Good Man and asked him if he spoke Korean.

He burst out laughing and said yes. She looked at me, looked at him. She cocked her eyebrow and clucked her tongue in that restaurant ajumma way that anyone who’s lived in Korea would recognize and said, “She is more Korean than you. You look like a foreigner.”

At this point, Good Man was nearly choking on his rice. He gets asked all the time if he’s not-Korean. Some Vietnamese guy once approached us asking for directions because he assumed Good Man was Vietnamese. Master’s Brother didn’t believe Good Man was Korean when he first met him. Apparently he’s often asked at school if he’s [Not Korean].

After the ajumma left, Good Man nodded, “My grandmother was a Moon, you know, and the Moons came from China. And then we have my uncle who looks French. I am not pure Korean.”

Lest you laugh at the French uncle, Good Man really does have an uncle who does not look Korean. He looks like his brothers, but line him up against them (or any other stack of Koreans) and he looks Not Korean, too.