Coco's milk supply is truly diminishing. We are down to 3/4 gallon a day. Not enough for cow shares, family and baking.
We get 3/4 gal goat milk a day, give or take and that is used for yogurt, cheese, baking and goat shares.
Goat's milk is great but I want the feel of heavy cream in my coffee. Thick, creamy like a hug from a good friend, like a blazing fireplace on a cool winter's night, like fog on a warm night. Strong coffee with Coco's cream is a meditation for me every morning. An assurance that whatever the day might bring, we will make it. We have riches. Abundance.
Drinking Coco's cream is more than a ritual. After almost two years of milking, it is a relationship. I can feel her warm flank and smell her hay smell and remember the sound of milk streaming into cold stainless steel. I can feel her tail whack me when she grows impatient. Drinking her cream, I drink the clover and the sunshine, the wind and the rain.
Okay, okay, maybe you think I am getting a little ridiculous. But it really does feel that way to me.
Which is why I felt like a traitor the other day. Our farm acquaintance has a family cow and I requested some milk from her to get us through the dry spell at the end of the week. I needed milk for baking bread and for cream for the coffee. We were so short I wanted to make sure the kids had plenty to drink. We even had to cancel some of our cow shares. I picked up a couple of gallons, thrilled to have some extra raw milk.
The milk was great. Really. My coffee tasted fine.
But something in my gut felt like I cheated on Coco. I wanted to rush outside and tell her I was sorry for drinking someone else's milk. That it was terrible. That nothing could measure up to her milk. I wanted to tell her I would never again savor a cup of coffee until she was back into the milking game.
But I wanted to.
Maybe I will.
The kids did ask me if the milk in their cereal was from another cow since they didn't think it tasted the same.
"Was it bad?" I asked.
"Not as creamy," said they (once they heard it was not Coco's milk. )
I think they felt a bit odd drinking someone else's milk too. But not so odd we won't continue to supplement during the dry spell.
We are so thankful for the wonderful milk that does indeed taste every bit as creamy and sweet as Coco's milk.
And thank you even more, Coco. I love you so much, I can't imagine going a few months without your milk. But in a few days you will be on a nice pre-maternity leave. We want you to have plenty of time for that baby to grow healthy and strong. Then we will be back together.