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Thursday, 23 April 2015

HOW TO MAKE LABNEH

Good Morning to you,

Before I begin, in case you don't know, I thought I would mention that the term 'Geordie',  is a person from Newcastle. 

.... and I love living in Newcastle and the 'Geordie' women I have met are lovely.

Family is very important to them, they are warm hearted and they love to talk, any time, any place, any where.

I can be standing at a bus stop, waiting for the bus to arrive, and if I am the first person at the bus stop, the second person to arrive, will always chat to me. If I am the third person to arrive, the women already at the bus stop, will always include me in their conversation.

I can be waiting in a queue at the shop and I can guarantee you, that the lady behind me will always talk to me, as will the lady in front.

.... but George, who is a 'Geordie' himself, was surprised to hear women talking in the swimming pool, when he was swimming his many lengths.

When swimming, George alternates between breast stroke and crawl and when he swims crawl, he hears nothing but the whoosh of the water, but when he swims breast stroke, he hears snippets of conversation when he passes by.  What surprised him the other day, was that the same group of women were talking when he was swimming his first length and  still talking when he was swimming his final length.  He does not understand this.  When he mentioned it to me, he said "If they don't want to swim, why take all that time to get showered and changed, just to stand around in the water. Why don't they go and have a coffee together and talk?"  I explained that women are not like men, we are different and we enjoy talking wherever we are.

I could see the confused look in his eyes.  He really doesn't understand that we women just love to talk, whether it is at home, at the bus stop or the swimming pool.

What surprises me though, is that he does not understand, because as a young boy, he was brought up in a house full of women.  He also has three women in his life, and when Natasha, Danielle and I meet up, we never stop talking.  When we used to take his mother, Sadie, and his Auntie Mim out and about, they would talk non-stop in the car as well.... so women who like talking have always been a part of George's life.

..... and then he asked, "Why do some women wear jewellery and make up when swimming?"

I think it's time I re-read 'Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus' or maybe I should get George to re-read the book.

..... and my apologies to all the quiet women out there, as I know there are many, I am talking generally about the women I have met.

So while I think where I put the book, let me tell you what we are making today.

Do you remember I mentioned Labneh when I made English Muffins, Labneh and Salmon for breakfast just before Easter. Well, today we are going to be making,


the said Labneh. Labneh is a popular Middle Eastern snack made by straining yoghurt.  

So it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to is,


The Lovin' Spoonful and my oh my, does this take me back to my teenage years.  I was still in school and living in Larnaca, Cyprus, when I first heard the 'Lovin Spoonful. Do you know I can't believe it was so many years ago in 1966. The first song |I heard was, can you guess,

'Daydream'

Whenever this song came on the transistor radio, my friends and I would always dance and sing along... we loved this song.

Do you remember,

'Summer in the City'

and

'Do you Believe in Magic'

I love the songs now, as much as I did then.  So whilst I organise my ingredients, I am listening to and loving 'Darling Companion' and yes, I know all the words and I can't help myself, I am singing along.

INGREDIENTS
YOU WILL NEED
TO
MAKE
LABNEH

500g Greek style yoghurt


4 pieces of cheesecloth 13" x 13"
(washed and dried)

l large jug,
1 soup dish
and
1 large wooden spoon

HOW 
TO
MAKE
LABNEH

I tend to make Labneh in the evening,
ready for the following day.


Line a dish
(I use a soup dish)
with


the pre-washed
cheesecloth.


Spoon the yoghurt
into


the centre 
of
the cheesecloth.


Then
bring the first two opposite corners together
and tie.
Repeat with the other two corners.


Place the wooden spoon
underneath the tied corners.

It will look a little like Dick Whittington's knapsack.


Have your jug ready
(I am using a glass container so that you can see clearly)

and


suspend the 
cheesecloth filled with the yoghurt.
This allows the liquid to drain away.


It is important that the 
cheesecloth bag does not touch the bottom
of the jug.

Cover
and
place in a cool place overnight.

If you place the jug in the fridge, it
will need at least 16 hours to drain.


In the morning you will 
notice that the cheesecloth bag is not so rounded,
in actual fact it looks much thinner.
This is because all the liquid has drained
away.


Untie the cheesecloth
and place the Labneh
in
a


bowl.

On it's own the flavour is mild and tangy,

but
you can add 
other flavours


such as 
chopped spring onions,
chopped chives,
shredded basil,
thinly sliced pepper dew peppers,
crushed black pepper
or
my favourite
crushed walnuts.

Labneh can be served with crusty bread,
crackers, pitta bread,
whatever takes your fancy.

I pop the Labneh into a Tupperware box with a lid and place it in the fridge.  It will keep well in the fridge for 3 or 4 days..... but not in this house, once made, it is eaten and gone within two days.

I mentioned at the beginning that a 'Geordie' is someone from Newcastle, but there are several other interpretations and if you would like to know what they are, take a look here.

It's time to put my thinking cap on, to see if I can remember where I put that book..... I wonder if I gave it away, I hope not, as I need to be prepared, as I have a feeling there could be more questions, from George, in the future.

Take care and I will see you on Thursday.

This week I will be joining,



and











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