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I don't like drinking milk. No, wait! Let me qualify: I do not like drinking powdered milk, which was pretty much what we were given when we were very young.
Unfortunately, there were no cows next door, and purchasing fresh milk was quite expensive. So, for our nutritional needs, powdered milk it is. The thing is I don't like the taste of powder, which never really disappears even after it's dissolved in lots of water.
There was a time, though, when a milk truck all the way from Los Baños, Laguna would drive up to the house weekly, and we'd get our supply of fresh milk that was not very costly (I think, it wasn't me who was paying).
They brought along those steel canisters and people from around the neighborhood would buy, so that was probably cost-efficient for them to come around. And they also had deliveries en route.
Looking back, I don't know why they stopped coming by. And if by then we were ready to leave for Singapore... or was that after we got back? I forget.
Still, I favored the taste of fresh milk (pasteurized, of course) and didn't mind consuming more than a glassful, as was the requirement, before leaving for school.
The powdered milk, however, took me forever to finish! I didn't even think incentives worked. Oh, but I did enjoy adding Milo (choco malt drink) to the powdered milk. That seemed to mask the taste somewhat.
To this day, I can consume fresh milk, but still pass when it comes to powdered milk. I don't mind using it for cooking, though. Works just fine, and cheaper, too.
Milk with cereal is okay. Cookies and milk, okay, too. Milkshake? Sure, why not. But all fresh, no powdered, thank you.
I do like polvoron, which is made of powdered buttermilk, toasted flour, butter and sugar, cut into small oval shapes then wrapped in colored cellophane paper, then chilled.
We enjoyed making them as kids, at least the wrapping part, because half of it would already end up in our mouths!
So, why the memories of milk?
I tried making the three-ingredient ice cream early this morning. And one of the three is condensed milk. Now THAT I remember very well.
For afternoon snacks, our nanny would make me a glass of condensed milk with water, and since it was very sweet, that was more palatable than the powdered kind.
As an adult, my memories of this type of milk only goes as far as leche flan (caramel custard), which my grandmother, aunt, and even Mom, used to make. Mom and Aunt still make on rare occasions, and they still follow that same recipe handed down from Lola.
Am not a huge fan of leche flan, unlike most of my relatives who relish it and would be competing as to who got to bring home extra flans after a party or reunion. A small slice would be okay for me. One of my uncles could finish one whole flan in one sitting if you let him!
Anyway, back to condensed milk. So, when I had almost emptied the can, I added water to wash off any residue, stirred, and gulped it down. Voila! The taste comes back. And it's still the same although it's a different brand I used.
Now that was comforting. Yeah, it was sweet, but not overly, since it had more water and I was just rinsing the can before taking it out to the trash. I guess that's why I preferred it to powdered milk. It was creamy, and didn't have that cloying taste of powder!
And oh, oh, I also remember slathering bread (pan de sal in particular) with condensed milk to eat as snack! Yeah, that was good, too. Two pieces did it nicely. Not that it was enough to substitute for the powdered kind.
More milk memories suddenly rush in...
My eldest nephew did not enjoy the benefits of breastfeeding. His mom had a rough time then and no matter what she did, there just wasn't enough milk for the baby. So, they had to turn to formula milk for his sustenance.
Unfortunately, the boy was lactose intolerant and it was several months before the pediatrician finally diagnosed this. He had to be hospitalized because he was turning blue, and I remember driving him and his parents to the hospital because his father was in a state of panic!
I drove like crazy then because time was of the essence, and got him to the ER just in time. We looked for a more experienced pediatrician, and that was when we learned that he was lactose intolerant, and needed a special kind of formula.
As a result, however, he had a weak respiratory system growing up and would be prone to colds and cough. Thankfully, through careful management of the pedia, he outgrew that and is now mostly healthy.
His younger brother was more fortunate in the breastfeeding department and did it for about six months. By this time, his mother obviously knew what to do, and was successful in expressing milk and letting the baby latch.
It would be their youngest, a girl, who really reaped the benefits of breastfeeding as she did it until she was two years old! And because it was never a combination of formula and breastmilk for her, she wasn't quite comfortable with a feeding bottle. When she had to be weaned, it was straight to a glass for her.
They don't seem to have any problem with powdered milk now, but I know they enjoy fresh milk more. But then again, they don't drink milk as much now.
I do take calcium supplements in place of milk, and that seems to be working out pretty nicely. The brand I've switched to now seems to have helped strengthen my bones, especially since I have a weak left knee.
Wow, that was quite a discourse on milk... and all because of a can of condensed milk. By the way, my ice cream came out just fine.