What should I do with all this Milch??

| September 7, 2013

The other day, Paul comes home from work to find that Sequoia and I are not home; we’ve left no indication of where we’ve gone.  When we do come home, I walk upstairs and casually mention that I am boiling milk.

Paul:  To make what?

Me: Nothing.  It’s raw and I have to boil it.

Paul: Do you know how to treat raw milk?

Me:  What do you mean, how?  How do you treat raw milk?

Paul: I don’t know.  I’m asking if you know.

Me:  How would I know?  She said I need to kochen the milk because it’s raw.

Paul: Did they say how to “kochen” the milk?

Me:  Not they, Paul–she: Sarah’s mom.

Paul:  Where did you get the milk?

Me:  A FARM.

Paul:  What kind of farm?

Me:  A DAIRY farm.

Paul: And the farm didn’t tell you what to do with it?

Me: There was no one there where I got the milk, Paul.  It was a machine.  A milk machine.

Paul: You can’t just boil milk, or it will scald.

Me:  I know THAT, Paul.

I retreat downstairs to the milk, which I realize I’ve left unsupervised while we’ve had this discussion regarding the acquisition, preparation, and imminent scalding of this raw milk.

IMG_2832This would be a good time to reveal that nothing whatsoever about the acquisition or transport of this raw milk was well-thought-out. When Sequoia’s friends suggested we go to this farm, I assumed it was your basic petting zoo, maybe an educational working farm.  I didn’t picture a dairy farm where farmers were going about their business while people were allowed to just wander around unsupervised, trying not to get run over by tractors or step in manure, petting cows as they slowly passed on the big rotating cow platform.


There is a milk station at this farm.  It serves all your milk needs and so much more.  When you enter the shed, you stand between two vending machines.  They dispense glass milk bottles, dairy products, honey, sausage and potatoes.  You buy your bottle(s), then you step inside the next room, where two machines stand.  One dispenses flavored milkshakes (put in a coin, choose a flavor, and watch it fill your cup).  The other dispenses milk.

I watched in awe as my friends filled several bottles of milk.  Of course, I had to buy a glass bottle and fill it with milk.  (Then, of course, in characteristic grace, I overfilled it and splashed milk all over the place.)   I had leftover milk remaining in the machine, which did not dispense change.  I sent Sequoia to the car to find more bottles.  She and her friends found a notebook, pencil and the DVD player, and did not return.  I found her school water bottle, drank the water, and overflowed it with milk.  I then found Paul’s coffee tumbler, rinsed it out, and filled it with milk.  Out of containers, I left extra milk for the next guy.

Previously, I had no understanding of just how cold 1) raw milk is when it comes out of a machine; and 2) glass bottles get.  As we exited the farm, I realized I needed to stop the bottles from rolling around on the floor.  I quickly stuck the coffee tumbler and water bottle into the drink holders.  The only place left in the car I felt the bottle of milk would be safe, was between my thighs.

I nearly drove off the road.  I whooped and hollered–and yes, I’m typing “whooped” and “hollered”, because they’re the only words that describe what was going on as I tried to maintain control of the vehicle.  Sequoia demanded to know what was suddenly transpiring in the front seat.  I spasmodically explained that it was as if someone were pouring ice down my pants.  I was whooping the whole way home.  My thighs were numb when I got out of the car.

I carried all three containers into the house and dumped the contents into a large saucepan, then walked upstairs to inform Paul of my intentions–at which point we engaged in our above “discussion”.  When I returned downstairs, I turned down the milk and immediately began to research raw milk treatment online.  That’s when I discovered that there is a debate as to whether I should not treat it:

-I’d be crazy to boil it, because pasteurizing it deprives me of the vitamins, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria found in raw milk;

-I’d be crazy not to boil it because to drink it will likely kill me.

So I now have one full milk bottle and one full mason jar of raw milk in my refrigerator, awaiting their fate, which is most likely spoiling.

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Category: Ex-pat Parenting, In Germany A Broad blog, Shits & Giggles

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

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