Month of May: “Together: Our Community Cookbook ” Recipe: Cherine Mallah’s Belboula or Barley Porridge

“As soon as I saw you I knew an adventure was about to happen.” Winnie the Pooh

Together: our community cookbook is a charitable project inspired by Meghan Markle, The Dutchess of Sussex to help fund the continuation of the Hubb Community kitchen in London. The Grenfell community kitchen was made available to the women who had lost their living spaces after a terrible fire ran rampant through the towering apartment building in 2017. The women consist of many nationalities and religions. Each recipe in the book gives credit to the woman who shared it which I really love. Meghan had befriended many of these women and collaborated on this project to create this delicious collection of ethnic foods. I highly recommend it, especially if you like Middle Eastern food.

When I met Abby in Texas in 1983 and she invited me to visit Wisconsin after our tree planting season ended I hitched a ride with her and her sidekick Nik taking a few weeks stop in Mountain View, Arkansas. When we arrived in the enchanting Kickapoo Valley I met her family at a most inviting place called Green Hollow Cabin where they all lived. It was an old graying log cabin perched up in the magical hills of the valley outside one of the smallest towns you can imagine. The town of La Farge, now home to Organic Valley, consisted of a bank, a few bars, a tin structure diner called the Band Box, a grocery and feed store. Abby’s family was mom Janet, step father Mark, brother Aaron, step sisters Jersey and Emily and step brother Sam. Abby was the eldest of the offspring and they all lived together in this small space with a magnificent leafy green view from the front porch, no running water and an out house. Each of the children had a bedroom about the size of a small office cubby. Everyone was warm, funny, creative and full of life. I thought the whole arrangement was grand and I instantly fell in love with each and every one of them which I still feel to this day, decades later and miles apart.

Everyone needs a soft place to land and Green Hollow Cabin was just that place where I was embraced with open arms and for that I will always be grateful and remember fondly.

Our first recipe is a simple barley porridge sweetened with honey and topped with fruits and nuts. The recipe calls for barley couscous (belboula) which I couldn’t find so I substituted it for pearl barley instead. Cook grain. Add cinnamon and sweetener of your liking and add any kind of milk. I used cashew milk.

One Reply to “Month of May: “Together: Our Community Cookbook ” Recipe: Cherine Mallah’s Belboula or Barley Porridge”

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