Date: Thu, 14 Mar 1996 16:06:16 +1608 From: "Donald M. Lance" Subject: Re: Blinky milk etc >Donald Lance asserted in the meantime that with homogenization and >pasteurization, milk doesn't do any of these things on its own. Well, Donald, I >don't claim any kind of magic touch. But milk from my local Stop-n-Shop if >left alone when I'm out of town most definitely does get blinky. I couldn't >swear to it, never having encountered clabber in its native habitat, but I'm >pretty sure I generated some clabber only a few years ago. After I poured it >down the drain and ran the disposal, I went out for dinner! Today's milk does spoil, but the result isn't exactly like the sour milk, clabbered milk, and clabber (curds and whey) of "olden days," You can buy some tablets to put in modern milk and make it sour and clabber up so you can make cottage cheese. After my parents no longer kept a milk cow, my mother would make buttermilk and cottage cheese by using tablets that she bought; the name of the tablets almost makes its way to the surface of my mind, but not quite. My point was that what happens to today's milk seems to me to be somewhat different from what raw milk used to do with the bacteria that came from the cow (or milk lot). Raw milk turned blinky and then sour fairly fast if you left it out of the icebox/refrigerator. Because modern milk doesn't taste like our blinky milk of old, I don't feel comfortable using 'blinky' but don't mind of others of non-rural persuasion do. To turn the discussion to dialect research: I've wondered whether foodways and dialect have gotten mixed together in some of the data analysis. This conversation about clabber has brought back old memories. What we called clabbered milk had smaller curds that had not yet coalesced into the large curds of clabber. Sometimes either my mother or my father (I forget which) would stir up the clabbered milk and drink it. So I wonder whether the incidence of 'clabbered milk' bears some relation to the distribution of the consumption of this item. (Language and culture, etc.) Clabber, like buttermilk, was thought to be good for digestion; in fact, nowadays doctors recommend that we should eat some yogurt or drink buttermilk to restore "natural" intestinal flora after taking a batch of orally-administered antiobiotics. Donald M. Lance, University of Missouri engdl[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]