Friday, 14 March 2008
The Milky Way To Heavenly Delights.
My aunts had various enamel pails and basins used only for handling milk ,and these were kept scrupulously clean,and out of reach of children and animals. The various basins were kept in a tall,deep cupboard in the coolest part of the house,which we called the "closet". In the different basins,you would find milk undergoing all the stages of change,giving us single,then double cream( cream - "barr" or ""uachdar" )and finally resulting in large basins of natural yoghurt,thick and sour(we called this "bainne tiugh" - thick milk). Slabs of "bainne tiugh" would be lifted from the basin using a saucer,and we would have a bowl of this with salt herring and potatoes. Another way of taking this thick milk,was as "lamb's feed",where a handful of oatmeal was added and the whole thing stirred vigourously with a fork. Bainne tiugh was delicious any old way,except with porridge,of course. Most of the thick milk was boiled in a large pot over the peat fire,giving curds("gruth") and whey. The curds could be used to make cheese,but not in my time. We were a little modern now,and got our cheese from the Co-op van. The cream was sometimes used to make butter,in a plunger- type churn. Some of it was preserved with the ubiquitous salt. It was fine if you did not mind crunching through large rock salt crystals. But the crowdie(curds) was mixed with the blend of creams to give the ever popular "gruth agus barr". Crowdie and cream spread thickly on buttered bread or on a fresh girdle scone - Heaven ! So,you can see just how important the cows were to us,especially Daisy,our beautiful,brown and white Ayrshire. Here endeth the lesson on "Milk".