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Sunday, August 29, 2010

When I was little, my grandparents' milkman travelled by horse and cart, and the milk was in big churns

When I was little, my grandparents' milkman travelled by horse and cart, and the milk was in big churns, which I can picture now in my mind's eye, along with the large metal ladle with the very long handle with which he used to measure, filled to the brim, an exact pint and then, with practised skill, pour into the customer's jug without spilling a drop. - If the milkman's horse had relieved itself while standing on the road, my grandfather would go out afterwards with a shovel to get the manure to put on the rhubarb in the back garden.

That was wonderful-tasting milk which, when left to settle, would have cream that rose to the top. That was milk which would go sour after some days if not drunk. Pasteurised milk today does not go sour; it goes bad and has to be discarded, but the sour milk of decades ago would not (usually) be discarded, because it would separate into curds and whey and the curds could be made into a kind of cheese that some called cottage cheese and some called curd cheese.

That milk from my childhood was raw full-cream milk, far superior in taste and goodness to the pasteurised and other heat-treated milk we have to drink today, worse luck. - I asked Carol, the milk-lady who delivers my milk in glass bottles, whether they have raw milk on their farm and she said that she and her family drink raw milk, but they are not allowed to sell it. It's such a pity. So much of today's food has been degraded by the powerful food companies, and our health has suffered in consequence. There are, obviously, differing views on the pros and cons of raw milk and processed milk, and you can read them on a multitude of websites, but that is my view.