Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Cow Milk & Where Calves Come From

Until she was too feeble to get up before dawn every morning, summer and winter, to milk it, Grandma Edith Stutler had a cow. I think I remember her collecting the milk in a galvanized pail. She let the milk set to cool down, then she put it in the fridge. A short time ago I asked Ma how grandma kept the milk before she got electricity in the late 1950s. Ma said she had a gas refrigerator.

The milk and cream would separate before long. So, there was skim milk with cream sitting on top. If you wanted whole milk for your cereal you beat the milk and cream together with your spoon before you poured.

Once a week Grandma took all the cream and churned it into butter. She had a rectangular metal churn much like the one in the photo. From that there was buttermilk as well as skim, whole and cream. If we weren't drinking the milk as fast as the cow was producing it, Grandma dumped the remainder in the hogs' slop bucket that sat next to the stove.

Oh, yes. Where calves come from . . . My sister Jackie, fascinated with the new little calf in the barn, asked Grandma where the calf came from. Grandma told her the cow dug it up in the dirt.

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