Where Have All the Milkmen Gone?

It’s amazing how many varieties of milk we can buy these days. Everything from the 4% calorie laden kind to blue skim milk. Then there’s lactose free, acidophilus, goat’s milk, half-and-half, and the perennial favorite of kids, chocolate.

Way back when, we had only two choices--regular with the cream floating on top or buttermilk. All came in glass bottles, and we didn’t have to go to a store to get them. They were delivered every few days by a milkman who placed our order in a metal container on our front porch. This he did after removing the empties we had left for him. This ritual occurred during the wee small hours of the morning much to the consternation of the light sleepers in our family who were regularly awakened by the clink of glass bottles emanating from our porch. The only time we saw the milkman was when he came to collect. In between, my bubbie left notes telling him how much milk, butter, and cottage cheese to leave.

To this day, my mouth waters when I think about the cream that settled on top the milk. I liked it best on oatmeal. I rarely got to experience this pleasure, however because the cream was usually saved to make whipped topping for strudel or other scrumptious desserts that came out of my bubbie’s oven on a regular basis. In those days, I’m sure no one ever imagined that a product like Cool Whip could someday be purchased along with frozen strudel at the grocery story.

Despite the insulated box which was supposed to protect the milk from the heat and cold, the milk often froze in winter, pushing the cap and some of the frozen contents up and out a few inches. This phenomenon fascinated me! I was certain that the cream had turned into what its condition implied - ice cream. Unfortunately, I was never allowed to prove this to be true!

I kind of miss the days when we found delicious provisions on our front porch. It was a little like getting a present every few days and certainly beat trying to decide what kind of milk to buy at the grocery store. I finally solved that particular dilemma however. I always choose the one dated the farthest ahead.


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