Last night Seb and I went to visit some of our friends who are farm-sitting at a small organic (raw) dairy. Before sharing a delicious, very buttery meal the chores had to be done. I wo-manned the kitchen for a while and everyone else disappeared into the barn to milk the cows, wash jars, check on two 1-day old calves, feed hay, etc.
For a while I watched the items in the oven, and flipped through Sally Fallon’s “Nourishing Traditions”, learning interesting tidbits about fermentation, raw dairy, and vegetables. Then I did what my old babysitter self does best- raided the fridge. I was looking for cream – hoping to achieve the ecstasy I remember so well of sweet whipped cream. My plan did not come to fruition until later that night because the only cream I could fine smelled a bit old and cow-y. But that night I had my fill of various dairy products, and after wards waiting for the familiar ache that I expected my lactose-intolerant self would produce.
I waited for the ache, but instead just felt the very dull pain of eating too much.
For the last few months I’ve been trying to introduce a bit of raw dairy to my body. I’ve been staying away from most dairy products for the last 5 years and for two years now I’ve been able to eat kefir and yoghurt with success. From friends, farmers, and Sally Fallon I’ve been learning of all the benefits of raw milk and the digestibility of raw milk for the lactose-intolerants among us, so I’ve been giving it a try. While not entirely submitting to the entire world of dairy products, in moderation I’ve been able to digest and feel energized from milk/butter/cheese, etc.
I really want to be able to use raw butter (from grass-fed, properly managed cows) as a staple in my diet, however expensive it may be. I’m tired of emptying bottle after bottle of olive oil, and I don’t want to have to move to Italy to become a locavore, and I’m still warming up to the whole pork-lard thing. If someone in Ontario would make organic canola oil like “mighty trio organics”, I would be in locavore heaven- but for now I am on a quest to digest butter. Ha!
After a bit of procrastination and fridge searching, I did the dishes, and finally succumbed to my curiosity- what was happening out there in the barn?
I haven’t spent much time around dairy cows, or in a milking barn, and though I still haven’t been a part of the milking, I enjoyed the few moments spent in the barn last night. I missed one of the highlights I had hoped to be there for- feeding the milk from the end of tank to the hoards of cats. Though sorely disappointed, I still was able to spend a good 30 minutes with two others trying to move a giant holstein nurse cow away from the calves and into a tied stall for the night (I think that’s what they called it). Little did I know before, unlike horses, dairy cows let you push, prod, and poke them without kicking. And what a beast she was. We didn’t get her to budge, and she stayed in with the calves all night.
We all went inside to that very butter-glazed roast chicken, roast onions and squash swimming in butter, scalloped potatoes in milk with parmesan cheese, and marinated kale salad (not with butter). Even after all that, I felt pretty dang good.