Milk To The 4th

We like milk. Well, at least we used to.  Now it seems regular milk is simply not good enough for our population of mammals.  Where once we had a total of 3 types of “cow” milk (Our kids drank 2%, my wife(on the rare occassions she drank milk) and I drank skim milk, and our undernourished foster child drank whole milk) living in our refrigerator, we now, today as I write this, have a variety of things that have never seen the inside of a cow.

The milk-ish products in our frig include the following:

  • Gallon of 2% milk:  Our only shout out to the milk of my youth.  (Growing up, we got milk directly from our neighbor who milked the cows.  We got whole milk that was unpasteurized and unhomogenized.  Once the milk settled out, my mother scraped off the cream that rose to the top and made yogurt.  I don’t remember eating any of the yogurt, but she told me she used the dehydrator to make it.  My daughter has heard this rumor and wants me to put the dehydrator on my Christmas list so she can experiment.  Since getting the blender for Father’s Day, she has had far more fun with it than I.  Why shouldn’t she ask for it?)
  • Almond milk:  My mother has been buying Almond milk at Aldi’s for a number of years.  She has been cheering its merits for quite some time.  I have tried it, but remain a traditional mammal.  The non-traditional mammals will drink it knowing full well there is no guarantee when or IF the carton will be replaced when emptied.
  • Soy milk:  This one was one I did not really ever planning on drinking.  Our Chinese exchange student doesn’t ask for much, so when she requested the soy milk, it seemed hard to turn her down.  She drinks it very diligently….a cup in the morning and at night. [I believe.]  (My experience with Chinese students [I am guessing adults, too.] is they are very disciplined.  And she certainly is that.  She likes sweets, but limits (at least she gives all appearances of limiting) her consumption of them.  She may sneak an extra cookie into her lunch, but she is rarely seen getting a snack after dinner.)
  • Coconut milk:  This one is my fault.  I had this incredible plan to make a Caribbean feast for dinner.  I had 15 or so skinless, boneless chicken thighs marinated w/ a bottle of Caribbean Jerk marinade.  Since I was such a good planner the night before, I had set 4 cups of beans in a bowl with 12 cups of cold water.  They expanded nicely and after cooking in the crockpot all day, they were ready to be blended with some rice in an INCREDIBLE (or not) Caribbean Beans w/ Rice.  Since last time we made rice, I doubled it and there was barely any left over for school lunches.  I determined I was going to get ahead of the curve and double it.  The plan was good, but I failed to factor in the impact of the coconut milk on the flavor of the rice.  Needless to say, the rice wasn’t a hot mover at dinner.  When the containers came out for pre-packing tomorrow’s lunch, the rice was almost completely absent from the festivities. Only one container had the rice paired with some broccoli.  I don’t fault them for not being more enthusiastic.  A happy, satisfied cook is much more likely to experiment and sometimes hit one out of the park.  Right…..a half gallon of coconut was purchased for the bean and rice experiment.  It was cheaper than buying 2 cans, and it may tempt us into other experiments.
  • Hazelnut creamer:  We have had one of these in the frig for quite some time.  I am NOT a black coffee drinker.  My wife sometimes dances with the black brew. I am also a recovering sugar user–why does my wife stay married to me?  I usually don’t use full strength creamer.  I will splash the creamer and make up the difference with milk. I have attempted to take walks with other flavors of creamer, but I usually reach the bottom of the cup  unsatisfied.
  • Chocolate Caramel creamer:  Since my son moved back home while commuting to school, he has revealed a variety of new habits.  The habit that pleases my wife the most is his graduation to coffee drinker.  As an added bonus, he usually has coffee in the morning and another cup in the nightish time.  The chocolate caramel is definitely his creamer of choice.  My daughters have also been known to make an iced coffee where this creamer is an ingredient.  If our youngest son would only start drinking coffee, my wife would know her job as mother was a successful one.

I suppose milk to the 6th might also have been an appropriate title.  Having sometimes been overly a purist, I was not sure exactly if the creamers qualified for a “power of milk”.  In my desire to be accurate, I may have inadvertently offended any whose entire dairy consumption comes from their coffee cup.  (Better milk than those little, non-dairy creamer cups–yuch!)

Also, I have failed to address any cheese present in the frig.  For those who are curious:

  • we have mexican shredded cheese for our frequent tacos, carnitas, and fajitas
  • cream cheese for any of those bagel purchased at the discount bread store,
  • American cheese-we really don’t eat it.  It is only to show our support for America–kind of like putting out the flag on various holidays,
  • Provolone-one of the best cheeses ever.  When it goes on a hamburger, the meat gives it a big hug and takes a bite out of its neck in a pseudo-vampirian embrace,
  • Mozzarella-the pizza cheese of choice–as long as it hasn’t already gone moldy,
  • Parmesan- a nice thing to have around for those Italianish things us Americans think we do so well.
  • The final holdout…sour cream– not a cheese, not a milk.  It is a big glob of dairy goo that is all too necessary when I make banana bread.

Maybe at some future day, I can give a tour of the vegetables presently residing in our frig.  (Even more exciting, the ice cream and dairy products residing in our freezer.) It is not as good as an adventure movie, but may compete with “Honey Boo Boo”.  (I doubt they have many vegetables in their refrigerator.)  Making a milk “suicide” (in my youth, a suicide was a little bit of each soda/pop available at the fountain.  Cream soda was essential for a good one.) might just be the right way to bring closure to my dairy adventure….

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