precious gift: antique ceramic laban pot

201345 cat
Yesterday I helped Tete take her cat, Ashanti, to the vet. When we got back to her house, she told me she had something of her mother’s she wanted me to have.

201345 labneh vessel
This ceramic pot, estimated to be at least somewhere between 80 and 100 years old, was used by my great-grandmother (im Tete, or as we called her, The Other Tete) to make laban (Syrian yogurt).

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Our family just buys laban from the store now, but I still remember when Tete used to make it from scratch.

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To make it from scratch, you use milk and a little laban from a previous batch.

201345 labneh vessel4
You bring the milk to a boil, but then it needs to cool to a certain temperature before you can add the yogurt, so you don’t kill the live cultures. How do you know when it’s cool enough? Tete would stick her finger in the hot milk, and when it was cool enough that she could keep it in for 10 seconds without burning herself, it was ready! After mixing in the yogurt, she poured the laban into this pot to let it do its thing.

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I’m going to figure out a way to make a vegan version. My goal is to have it ready to celebrate Pascha on May 5. Wish me luck!

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