sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Got Milk?


It's St. Patrick's Day, when green beer flows, and I'm blogging about milk. But I like milk.

I started liking milk the day that I was born. I still like it. I just do. I come from European stock, which means that my ancestors drank milk and ate cheese. I am not lactose intolerant. Good things come from milk. gelato and ice cream head the list. 

I don't drink milk that often as an adult because it elevates my blood sugar and throws pounds on, but it doesn't mean that I don't enjoy the occasional tall, cold glass of moo-juice with my breakfast. 

When I was a young boy, my grandparents had a Jersey milk cow. I had to milk Bessie the cow every morning, early and again at night. Bessie (are all female cows named "Bessie"?) needed to be milked twice daily, and in the cold of winter, a nasty tail in the face was most unpleasant. That was offset by the 8 inches of cream on top of the one gallon glass jar full of milk.

At the time, I really didn't understand that the "city people" had to drink homogenized blue john. To me, milk included a full dose of cream. Sometimes we'd skim the cream when we needed butter. Home churned, salt added, fresh butter. Cheese was a bit more complicated and we never did make a brick that would rival the creamery in town that made cheese to rival what I later ate in Holland, Denmark and Germany.

Jersey Cow
We only had one cow. I pitied the other boys who grew up on dairy farms (thought they did have automatic milking machines) because their days started at about 4 am and then they caught the bus into school. There were a number of dairy farms in the area.

My children don't drink milk because their mother raised them not to like it because she didn't like milk. I always felt that they were missing out. 

There was a goat ranch near where I lived. Yes, I milked goats too (as a guest milker), drank goat milk, ate goat cheese, etc. I understand that it's better for you, but NOTHING tasted so good as the milk that Jersey cow produced.

Some people say that consuming unpasteurized milk can be deadly. In the US nobody has died from drinking unpasteurized milk in the past 40 years. So all you haters out there can stow the argument.
According to the CDC, during the period from 1990 − 2006, there were 24,000 foodborne illnesses reported each year on average. Of those, 315 per year are from dairy products. This means dairy products account for about 1.3% of foodborne illnesses each year. That’s not exactly an alarming number, considering that more than 75% of the population consumes dairy products regularly.
I live in a city now, far from those wonder years, but I still have a taste for milk.


16 comments:

  1. I think the point of this post is that milk is good.

    Who knew?

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  2. Point taken and agreed with. I was raised drinking milk for breakfast and lunch, but tea for dinner/supper. I never loved milk as much as I did when we returned stateside and gave up the powdered milk they had onboard. Milk IS good. Especially with Krispy Kreme Donuts or Oreo's.

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    1. Navy milk (the powdered and reconstituted kind) is not milk. I have a hard time getting it down unless it's glacially cold. However if you add Oreo's... well, yeah.

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    2. Fresh baked home made chocolate chip cookies, fresh out of the oven and still hot, with a big glass of ice cold milk.

      Beat that.

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    3. It can't be beaten this side of heaven but it's a tie with home made bread fresh from the oven with home-made butter and honey on it.

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  3. I miss unpasteurized cheese. I really do.

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    Replies
    1. You have to go back to the old country to get that, and yes, it's just that much better.

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  4. Love whole milk, extra cold, and real butter! We had a small dairy near one of the ranches, I could take my gallon jugs down and tap into the big tank, mark it on their calendar and be good to go... good memories!

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    1. You need to con your father (maybe bet him high card or something with the deck stacked) into getting a milk cow for the present manse. It would satisfy your desire to have cows near, for delicious whole milk and you could practice roping. Of course, once you get the cow, you'll need a quarter horse, and then once you have the horse, you'll need a saddle and the appropriate tack, then you can't go out on your horse without the proper outfit and those fancy boots and a 40X Stetson. Then you'll need a horse trailer and a new pick up to pull the trailer... All because you need a proper glass of milk.

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  5. We had between two and four. I like milk now, but didn't when I was milking the cows. The smell from the milk was too much like the smell from the cows. Milking cows gives you a strong grip, an advantage for a high school wrestler. Dating a ranch girl who milked cows made you careful of where you put your hands.

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    1. I can relate on all fronts. Ranch girls, nearly as strong as ranch boys, and usually want you to ask before you make assumptions.

      This should be a separate blog entry but I had a young, pretty ranch girl (who I knew) pick me up one day in the family pick-up truck one day as I was walking roadside. Back then we walked. Today I don't think that kids do that. I asked her to drop me --- I forget where --- and she took me to her place instead, introduced me to her mother and told "Mom" that she wanted to keep me. Such are the irrepressible wills of ranch girls. Her father took me home, not wanting me too close to his darling daughter. Such are the irrepressible wills of ranchers. On the drive he shrugged toward the 30-30 on the back window of the family pick-up. I looked down to the grips of my 9mm Browning High-Power and he said, "She's right, you're a keeper, but she's sixteen."

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    2. As a P. S. - I left the country for the big city to seek other points under the big sky, but never forgot my youth, milking cows, riding cow rescue on the banks of the quicksand filled Green River, etc. It's a good way to start your life.

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  6. I love milk, but it's caused eczema in both my kids so far, so I feel like in order to be a good mom I have to keep it away from them. I give them goat milk products, which they tolerate much better... but I find it tragically sad -- I really do -- because other than the occasional goat cheese, I really don't have an appetite for goat milk products and I know that they're missing out.

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    Replies
    1. Some people have milk allergies. These were likely passed to your children by X...

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    2. Hope that's all the bad genes they got from him.

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