Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The "M" word

I was never a big milk drinker. Then I moved to Haiti where they don't sell real milk. In the markets of Port-au-Prince, you can buy UHT milk or powdered milk or canned milk, none of which taste quite right. Suddenly, milk became a precious commodity on my short visits to the US and something all my friends here in Gonaives crave. We get jealous when visitors talk about it and we joke that the mere mention of the "M" word is painful to the ears.

One day as we sat, dreaming about "G's of M" (gallons of milk, in case you were wondering), we realized that here in Gonavies, we are much closer to the countryside and all sorts of livestock, including cows. Where there are cows, there should be "M". So Lewis, Clark, and Sacajawea (aka Josh, Isaac, and Keziah) set out on their faithful steeds (bicycles) through the uncharted wilderness (farmlands 3 miles outside the city). We rode for about an hour along dirt roads and little paths until we were pointed to the house of James and Gilbert.

James and Gilbert are brothers and they own 8 milking cows. Right there, that Sunday morning, James led us half a mile through the fields to his favorite cows and milked them in front of us. We came home with beautiful, fresh frothy milk.

We have an arrangement with James and Gilbert now, 4 gallons of milk every Sunday. Josh, Isaac and I ride out there and fetch it on our bikes, bring it home and boil it for about an hour on the stove.

And then we all enjoy bowls of cereal and glasses of chocolate milk and servings of real homemade ice cream and cookies and milk and peanut butter sandwiches and milk and brownies and milk and ... MILK.

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