Monday, June 4, 2007
June is Dairy Month
June is Dairy Month in Wisconsin. I grew up on a dairy farm which meant for eighteen years I drank gallons of whole milk, ate lots of cottage cheese, real butter, and had my hamburgers with cheddar, my baked potatoes with sour cream. I can only hope all this emphasis on dairy was good for my now middle-aged bones; it wasn’t so good for my waist and hip measurements. I didn’t taste skim milk or margarine until I went to college and roomed with a houseful of calorie conscious women; it was a real shock. I digress. Back in the 1960’s I was also a 4-H member, and we always did displays in local businesses for Dairy Month, poster about the health benefits of dairy, usually decorated with cheerful Holsteins. There was usually some sort of recipe contest featuring milk, cheese, or other dairy ingredients. This was pretty much before yoghurt was popular, so I know I didn’t have recipes featuring that. Buttermilk was as exotic as my family got.
I remember one dairy cooking contest I entered with my neighbor, a woman who lived a half a mile away in a house across the road from the end of our long gravel drive. Her goal was to sneak in a cake that featured butter flavoring instead of the real thing. I had a sour cream coffee cake I llked, though on contest day I accidentally doubled the butter (no fake stuff for me). I won in my area with the buttery coffeecake, and I think maybe the neighbor lady won something too. Five dollars each, and we got our name in the local newspaper.
Today I don’t overdose so much on butter or sour cream, but I find it hard to resist berry smoothies for breakfast. There are lots of possible variations, but this one is good. The amounts are variable, and a person can use any fruit in season. Put everything in a blender and drink up. This makes a couple big smoothies.
Banana Strawberry Orange Smoothie
• 1 banana
• 1 handful of strawberries
• 1 cup yoghurt
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1/2 cup orange juice
• a handful of ice cubes
The pen and ink drawing was done last summer at the Janesville Oasis. Bessie is a giant Guernsey cow made of fiberglass. She is something of a local tourist attraction, though the Oasis with its cheese shop fell to a bulldozer, soon to be replaced by a Menards.