In this week’s The Willowbee Tree story, “Plenty for All”, Little Ty does not want to share his blocks with his older brother, and when Clancy leaves to play something else, he folds his arms and wonders why he is suddenly all by himself. Later, when all three children travel to an oasis in the Sahara Desert, a fox, an antelope and a gazelle teach them how generosity brings new friends.
The Sahara Desert stretches across North Africa and is one of the most naturally inhospitable places on Earth. Perhaps because mother nature is so brutal there, the inhabitants have developed a reputation for being especially welcoming of guests, with lavish spreads of rich meat, vegetables, and tea.
One commonly served dish that’s easy to make at home is a cheese called “Labneh." Made by straining the whey from Greek yogurt, Labneh is a tangy cheese that can be made with no special equipment. It takes a few days and a little space in the fridge, but that’s it.
Served plain, it’s mild enough to please even picky eaters, but you can also dress it up with almost any seasoning you like. We love ours with fresh herbs or a drizzle of honey.
Serve up a batch this week with some crackers or warm pitas, and pretend you’re feasting at a desert oasis!
1 500 gram container of Greek yogurt (about 2 cups)
a pinch of salt
flavoring of your choice (fresh herbs, honey, or even cinnamon will all work well)
pita bread or crackers (for serving)
Position a strainer so that it rests inside a larger bowl without touching the bottom.
Lay a clean, white tea towel in the strainer and pour the yogurt into the towel.
Gather the ends of the towel up into a gentle twist and pop the whole thing—bowl and all—in the fridge for at least 24 hours, but more like 48 if you can manage it.
After that time has passed, release the yogurt—which should now be the consistency of cream cheese—out onto a cutting board and use a fork to work in a pinch of salt and any other seasonings you’d like to add.
Serve with crackers or warm pita bread.
If you liked this recipe, here are others you might enjoy:
Not yet a subscriber? Try a free trial HERE.
About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred-year-old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two preschoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion — showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun — in her Sparkle Kitchen posts.