Hanging Gardens

K’s indoor gardening scheme is proceeding as planned.  The pole beans have sprouted and grown like megamonsters.

They grow up so quickly…

Of course, the more controversial part of the plan is the part where we’ll have hanging indoor planters all over the apartment.  There are those of us who argue that the plants won’t get enough light in the middle of the room, that we could just rely on getting a lot of canning done to carry us through next year in vegetables.  And then there are those of us who won’t let go of a dream.

And so I find myself sharing my home with a macrame-suspended pot full of borage, of all things.  (You can eat the flowers in salad!)  File under “You know you’re kind of a hippie when…”

It should also be noted that in this picture, K is watching someone ski down the sidewalk.

But plants aren’t the only thing currently suspended in this house.  Behold the making of the labneh!

Labneh is a soft spread or cheese made by draining the moisture out of yogurt.  It can be used for sweet or savory things alike, and is great spread on banana bread.  In terms of taste and texture, it’s like a cream cheese with some extra zip.  It’s been a big hit around here in the last week or so.

To make labneh, fill a straining cloth, clean dish towel, or plenty of layers of cheesecloth with yogurt, tie at the top, and suspend over a bowl.  I used a trucker’s hitch over a cabinet hinge, because I use the trucker’s hitch whenever I can, whether it’s in the kitchen or on top of the van.  It’s my favorite knot, or at least my favorite hitch.

Drain until it stops dripping for maximum firmness, but feel free to stop before that if you want a softer labneh.  Bonus points if someone hears the dripping and assumes the roof is leaking.

It’s great plain, but when I made the most recent batch I grated in a clove of garlic and sprinkled with salt, and let it hang for 24 hours.  Spread on a certain loaf of bread that I will post about later this week, it was a showstopper.

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