Thursday, November 4, 2010

Don't Cry Over Spilt Milk

Recently I decided to start buying milk from a local farm that gets its milk from a small creamery.  The decision was made after I drank a glass of (organic) milk we'd been getting from the grocery store.  Like most milk, it's bottled in plastic, which I could taste when I drank it.  All I could think about was that whatever was leeching into the milk from the plastic was going into my children's bodies.  So even though the milk from the farm is a bit more expensive, I decided to make the switch.

The milk we've been getting is bottled in glass, for which you have to pay a deposit, and I get the non-homogenized milk.  There are several advantages here.  First, the glass is re-used.  Even though we were recycling the plastic jugs, I would think there's less processing involved in just sterilizing a glass bottle versus putting a plastic jug through the entire recycling process.

Second, the milk I get is not homogenized.  That means there's good old fashioned cream on the top, which I scoop out and substitute for oil in baking.  Homogenization began as an attempt to make all milk the SAME for each consumer, but there's more to it than meets the eye...or the gut.  There are studies that show that homogenization can lead to leaky gut syndrome, and though I've been drinking homogenized milk for most of my life, it's always nice to cut out another health risk.

Finally, I'm supporting a local farm.  Granted, they get their milk from a separate creamery, but I'm still putting money directly back into my community and the milk isn't getting shipped from across the country.  And less fuel = happier environment.

All that being said, we seem to be having problems getting this milk into our stomachs.  Last week, the kids spilled entire glasses of milk three times, and I admit, I got frustrated...especially by accident #3.  But this morning beat all.

Byron gets up shortly before I do to get ready for work, and Charlie - the true early bird of the family - usually follows.  By the time I got up this morning, Byron was almost ready to walk out the door.  Then I opened the fridge.

Sometime between then and the time Byron had gotten himself breakfast, an entire, full bottle of milk had burst in the fridge due to mysterious overcooling.  That particular bottle had been placed right next to the cooling vent, which for some reason decided the refrigerator compartment was the freezer.  Milk was splattered on each tray, over the sides, into the drawers, and onto all the food in the fridge, including the venison that was cooling (happily, it was covered).  Byron gently reminded me not to panic before he had to leave, as little blue eyes were watching me. 

During the hour it took me to clean out the fridge and dispose of the shattered glass, I thought a lot about how I react to difficult situations.  Lately, it hasn't been so pretty.  But as there was nothing I could do to reverse the situation, I tried thinking of the bright side (not something that comes naturally to me).  This hadn't happened at night, for one.  The fridge had gotten colder, which is much better than it shutting down completely and all our food spoiling.  And only one bottle had burst, not the other two that had been sitting right next to it.

I'm still not sure what's wrong with the fridge, but I'm at least going to give the coils a good cleaning today to see if that helps (it hasn't shut off at all this morning, despite turning the temperature down).  It may need a new thermostat.  It may be on its way out.  But I'm going to try to remember the good in this relatively little episode of spilt milk.

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