Warning, this is a bit of a rant. Ages ago, we took Reina to visit the Beijing dairy of choice, Wonder Milk. You may not realize it by all my big city sophistication (just check out the sleek wardrobe), but I’m a small town boy who grew up next to a farm. Granted, it had one horse, three chickens and couple of cows, but it was a farm nonetheless. My dad’s cousin raises hundreds of heads of cattle and my uncle use to have a small ranch in Pendleton, Oregon. My point is, I can spot a good dairy farm and there is one thing life has taught me about dairy farms – they stink. Wait, that’s not it. I mean, they do, but a good dairy farm is good to find. Just hold your nose.
Right, so we drove out to the dairy, donned our plastic boots and toured the facility while our kids (it was a group) pointed out the cows while mooing to them and offering hay to entice the bovines close enough to pet them. It was great and afterwards we got to enjoy some cold fresh Wondermilk brand milk, yoghurt and ice cream. Well, those of us who do not have a dairy allergy were able to. I got to enjoy a refreshing bottle of water. But I’m not bitter.
Reina and Savvy both enjoyed the tour and, more importantly, the quality of the milk, so we became loyal shoppers after that – even though Baba had issues initially with the price. In the end, I decided there should be at least one thing we can let Reina drink that we can be confident is as close to organic as possible in this town.
There was just one little problem (okay, two), finding 2% was challenging for what seemed like ages. In our local Hua Lian, it is still stocked sporadically enough that I grab the whole milk when the 2% is scarce. The bovine juice consumers in the family don’t mind and I don’t really care either except for one tiny inconvenience; the 2% box is nearly impossible to open correctly. Maybe it’s just me, but when I push back the ends on the whole milk cartoon and pinch them together as the diagram helpfully illustrates, the carton pops right open. Milk pours out and everyone is happy. But when I do this to the trusty 2% cartoon, the thing seems to be fused together. It is as if the milk is trying to avoid consumption. I end up resorting to dig my fingers or a knife between the layers and the result is a torn opening that still allows the milk to be poured, but it just seems a bit unsanitary (maybe I should wash my hands first). I’ve looked at this problem from many angles, engineering, architecturally, philosophically and frustratingly and the only conclusion I’ve come too is that black cartons of milk don’t work well.
Don’t know why, but that’s been on my chest for some time. I’m sure I’ll be getting a lifetime supply of milk delivered to my door any day now.