Haloumi Cheese

I was privileged to stay with the Samara family in Bil’im, a village in occupied West Bank of Palestine. It is a village surrounded by olive orchards, vineyards, family gardens, and grazing lands on which goats and sheep are grazed.  I was fortunate to be able to see Mr. Samara’s daughter-in-law prepare Haloumi, a Palestinian White Cheese almost always served with breakfast.

If you need a primer course on how to make cheese, see in information in the “Related” section below.

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh active yogurt
  • 1/2 tablet rennet
  • 2 oz. Kosher salt

Supplies

  • 1.5 gallon stainless steel pot, thick bottom
  • Large white handkerchief, boiled
  • colander
  • 3 quart plastic tub with lid

Procedure

 

6)  Cover again, let the curds sit to firm up for 10 min.

Related

Beginning Cheese Making

Cheese Making, Illustrated

Images taken around the Samara family’s home.

Yogurt Making, Illustrated

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Bil’im

The people of this brave village stand as an example to the world of how non-violent resistance can successfully resist injustice and military might.  Israel has been confiscating all “unoccupied” Palestinian land.  Israel defines “unoccupied” as any land on which no occupied structure exists.  Thus, olive orchards, vineyards, agricultural land, grazing land are all being confiscated.  These ancient Bil’im olive orchards, lovingly tended for many centuries (see the terracing in the picture below) are all officially “unoccupied.”

 

 

 

 

Young men of the Samara family with which I stayed, including Walied Samara (right) who taught me several new steps to the Debki–the national dance of Palestine. THANK YOU Walied–I loved the dancing!

Related:

Palestinian White Cheese being prepared by Mr. Samara’s daughter-in-law

 

 

 

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Istanbul to Rome: Images of Macedonia

These pictures were taken during a whirlwind ten days traversing through Macedonia from Istanbul to Durres Albania, then by ferry across to Bari Italy, and train to Roma.

We will have MUCH more to say about our experiences, but I must first say that we continue to be impressed and gratified at the hospitality and generosity of people we meet around the world.  Macedonians have a rich cultural history and have done well at preserving it.

Click on the image to enlarge it OR click on the text to reveal an additional photo gallery:

Istanbul

 

 

Istanbul: Ancient Churches & Mosques

 

 

 

 

 

Northern Greece

 

 

 

 

 

Bitola: Southern Macedonia

 

 

 

P9100185

 

 

 

Brajcino

 

 

 

 

 

Ohrid

 

 

 

 

 

Struga

 

 

 

 

 

Elbasan, Albania

 

 

 

 

 

Durres, Albania

 

 

 

 

 

Roma, Italy

 

 

 

Northern Greece

Northern Greece

Northern Greece has been influenced over the millennia but a wide variety of occupiers, each leaving their own cultural traces. Edessa, for instance shows Turkish influence in its architecture.

One often sees herds of sheep and/or goats being shepherded alongside the roads. The milk from these herds makes fabulous local cheeses!