Friday, June 26, 2015

Childhood Memory -Lady the Milk Cow

   I was taking a stroll down memory lane trying to remember different parts of my childhood that my kids aren't going to experience.  There are differences but there are also similarities like raising chickens and having a large yard to play in.  I had a good childhood but we weren't exactly in the higher income spectrum...
We weren't "poor" but extra income wasn't there.
Our needs were met but we didn't live a life of extras.
   I know that my parents did the best they could but vacations for us weren't like they were for my childhood friends. Dinner was made from scratch and eating out at a restaurant was almost unheard of (!) however it was all good! I had a great childhood with a balanced mix of work and play and knew that I was loved- THAT is what is important.
   We lived on what I would call a "farm-ette"...I don't think that is even a word. :-) My parents raised or grew a lot of our food.  We had a huge garden, grape arbor and fruit trees so my mom canned, juiced, jellied or froze much of the produce. We also raised much of our meat. We were a family of 5 (my parents, my two brothers and me) and as many of you know, kids seem to drink a lot of milk. Since we already had several other animals my dad felt that it would be a good idea to get a milk cow.
   He came home one day with a small, gentle, brown cow. Her name was Lady and she was a Jersey. She wasn't easily spooked and that was good with 3 kids in and out of the small barn.  She would look at us with her big, brown eyes like she knew her milk was helping us to grow healthy and strong. I was probably about 7 or 8 years old and could help a bit with the milking but my dad usually did it while I was helping mom with my little brothers.  I can remember him bringing the big milk pail into the kitchen and mom had a stainless steel filter/strainer that he would dump the milk into. I can remember standing on a chair watching the creamy liquid slowly flow through into another container. 
   Mom would take the milk and put it in the fridge. After it cooled and separated she would skim the cream off the top with a spoon that she had bent into a ladle. She used the cream to make butter!  Oh my! was that good on a piece of homemade bread fresh out of the oven! 
   I make bread and I have even made butter so Madilynne and Ryder have experienced that.  We currently have cows on the farm but we don't milk them.  They are here to keep the grass down and fertilize it as they go.  I am not exactly sure how long we had Lady or what ever happened to her but I do remember her being a big part of our food supply for a while.

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