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Sunday Sessions. Kitchen Stories. Fresh Milk & Morning Tea…

Sunday Sessions. Kitchen Stories.

Fresh Milk & Morning Tea…

Back to the start of our Sunday Sessions, Kitchen Stories, we remember fresh milk & those big morning teas delivered up the paddock. Fun times.

In the early days, when we were still in primary school, we had a dairy farm. While dad was building up our Angus stud, & his breeding reputation, the income had to be supplemented, 13 mouths still had to be fed.

Before school every morning, through blustering wind, rain, hail or shine, up to the dairy we’d trudge in bare-feet, or gumboots (if there were any left), & help encourage cows through the process. The dogs would mostly do the rounding up & pushing them into the yard. We would venture into the warm, muddy sludge & bring 4 cows in at a time. On frosty mornings this was a welcome activity, of sorts!

  

We’d wash their teats & get them ready to go on the milking machines, big doey-eyed darlings.

The milk was separated through big, noisy machines.  Yelling was allowed in the dairy, which was also a kind of liberation in its own right. With so many people in the house, some semblance of quiet order was constantly aimed for, oft requested :)) so this was an area to cut-loose.

  

Big tankers would come & take the cream, which we sold, & the skim milk would feed the poddy calves & the pigs, which we fattened up & also sold. Loud, messy, busy, involved. A great spectacle!

Even then, I always found the smell of all that fresh milk & cream over-bearing, & to this day, am still not a huge fan of dairy products. Great for cooking with, but not so much for me to personally consume!

    

We’d send the cows off when they were done, & wash down the whole dairy, machinery, floors, vats, each other.  Warm, soapy water sloshing around with big brooms, hot rinse water…in those days of water conservation on the farm, it was almost like play-time, almost like freedom in being a kid :))

Although we made the most of it, the work was never done….we’d line up along the waiting bath & wash our feet & legs, get dressed, have breaky & go off to school. For some of us, only to come home & do it all over again for the afternoon milking session.

  

Not for me though…being the eldest of those 11 kids, as soon as we got home, out of our school clothes & had something to eat, it was time to get on with preparing dinner for the multitudes…

Mum would start the ice-cream making process earlier in the day, & I would give those daily 4 trays their second beating, before returning them to the freezer for the evening meal. Maybe I would make a couple of instant puddings to have with preserved fruit, or a mountain of custard to have with pudding.

There was butter to be made, churn, churn, churn in the salty water. Big wooden pats always waiting to be slapped around, shaping the butter, like giant plasticine blocks. Cream to be whipped for scones for the workers’ morning tea….

  

And there were always slices, cakes & biscuits to be made, for the kids lunch boxes, for show season weekends, & for the men who came to help at harvest time.

It was fun to pack big picnic hampers of goodies & ride on the back of the tractor up the paddock to feed many appreciative people.

That meant sustenance, drink, a moments rest in the shade, debrief &a laugh, before getting back into our respective jobs. (For me it meant being involved with people in the big, wide world, outside of the kitchen!)

And always a plethora of dairy products…we even had a goat which we milked by hand. Never did make any cheese though….this story is for Lyndall :)) enjoy!

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3 Comments
  1. Love these pics and stories of these ‘doey eyed creatures’

    one of 11 kids. Whoa. Cool. Love your story and pictures.
    It just feels good to be connected to animals and our food.
    Sounds like a wondrous upbringing.

    Joy

    • Thanks Joy & Diane for stopping by..& for enjoying! But most of all for taking the time to share with us, thankyou. Love Roni xx

  2. My parents used to always take my to the local fairs and I loved being able to milk the goats. We lived in the suburbs so it was the only time I got to “experience” farm life. I loved all the foods they sold at the fairs!

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