“Doing the dairy” in winter: Pt. 2
dairy n. 1. Room or building for keeping milk and cream and making butter, cheese, etc.
(Definition from The Concise Oxford Dictionary.)
We don’t have a dairy. In our house, a room for keeping milk and making cheese and yoghurt is called a kitchen-cum-dining room. So when June says, “I’m doing the dairy,” it’s doubly misleading, because, for one, all she’s doing is getting the milk in bottles, and the pails, funnel, double layer muslin filter cloth, ‘first squirts’ mug* and udder cloth clean and ready for the next day’s milk, and two, she’s doing all of that in the laundry.
Cold water, scalding hot water, a shaker cage containing a block of dish washing soap** and a step-by-step process, all are essential to June’s way of keeping things hygienic.
Rinsing the milk out of bottles and pails with cold water first stops a calcified smear from building up over time. For the rest of the cleaning process, the water’s at least 80 degrees centigrade because the woodstove’s water jacket (or in the jargon, ‘high output boiler’), is fiercely efficient: the water in our hot water cylinder can easily get to boiling point! Doing the dairy, the searing pain is unbearable, even with gloves on, if you leave your hands in it for more than a few seconds.
“Doing the dairy”: step-by-step:
*The ‘first squirts’ mug takes the first 2 or 3 squirts from a teat, which is then thrown out. In that way, any build-up of potentially harmful bacteria in the teat since the goat was last milked 24 hours ago, are flushed out.
**See Shake, Rattle and Roll
That’s all on modern-day homesteading at Little Owl Gully till next Monday. Thanks for your company. Bye for now.