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Meeting the milkman

Deb - Bamboo 8

Two years ago on my early morning walk, I came eye-to eye with a serene and beautiful cow; not an uncommon experience at New Cambium. I smiled and said, “Buenos Dias, mi amor,” and to my delight heard a man respond, “Buenos Dias.”  Manuel stopped milking and looked around. After introductions and much laughter, I asked if I could get milk from him. “Si, claro,” he said. So began our relationship and the delivery of a gallon of raw milk, warm from the cow, every other week. 

My first question: Is this safe to drink as is or should I boil it?  Raw milk from grass fed cows contains significantly higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, and beneficial antioxidants, such as vitamin E and beta-carotene, which help reduce inflammation and fight oxidative stress. Boiling milk destroys some of these along with potentially harmful bacteria (See the link below). Since we have strong immune systems we opted to go with it raw.

The second, and bigger question: What are two people going to do with so much milk? The solution? Drink some and make yogurt from the rest.  It’s simple. Heat the milk, cool it, add a spoonful of yogurt culture (plain commercial yogurt works), leave it in a warmish place for a few hours, cool it in the fridge, and you’re done. Of course, the next logical step is making frozen yogurt, a real treat with so much fresh tropical fruit. We could also make cottage cheese, cream cheese, and ricotta by adding acid—lemon juice or vinegar—to the raw milk. 

The whole process of working with the milk plus our friendship with Manuel is pure joy. Other Cambium residents and visitors agree. What better connection with nature, the land, with people, and food on our table?


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