There's a nifty article in today's food section of the L.A. Times about the resurgence of milkmen in Southern California. Milkmen, I thought, had gone the way of rotary telephones and roller skates with metal wheels . . . but no, it appears that they're making a comeback.
We had a milkman the whole time I was growing up. I think we got a delivery of four half-gallons of whole milk (later 2%) twice a week until I was in high school. Four gallons of milk a week! Well, there were six of us in our household, and we all drank milk. My brother and sisters and I all loved milk -- we poured it on our cereal every morning and each drank at least one glass at night for dinner. Milk was, in fact, one of the few dietary items that my mom put any kind of restriction on: we were allowed to have a second glass at dinnertime, but no more than that, and it was frowned upon to take more than about half a glass's worth for that second serving. I think Mom just didn't want to run out. Mom and Dad drank milk, too, though not as avidly as we kids did, and Mom used it in a fair amount of her cooking, especially in desserts.
Our milkman left our milk delivery in a little wire basket outside the back door. He arrived in the wee hours -- probably around 4 or 5 a.m. -- and whoever was up first brought the milk inside and put it in the fridge. Our milk did not arrive in glass bottles as pictured -- it came in plastic jugs with screw-on caps. We would put the basket back outside the night before the next delivery was due. I never thought much about it until, as I said, my mom stopped the milk delivery and started buying gallons from the supermarket sometime during my high school years. I don't know if whoever sold us the milk stopped offering home delivery around then, or if my mom decided that it was more economical to buy milk at the market.
I learned about centrifugal force when my brother took an uncapped half gallon of milk and swung it in a circle over his head, and none of the milk flew out of the jug. (And just now, when I was looking for an online article on centrifugal force to link to, I learned that it doesn't really exist! Yet more youthful notions shattered.)
The house Sean and I live in now, built in 1922, has a milk door (please note: that picture is not our milk door) in the back wall of the house. The milkman, in days of yore, would open the little door and place the milk on a shelf inside what is now the laundry room. The door is sealed shut now, but the Times article almost makes me want to sign up for delivery service and make that milk door operational again. I wonder if there's anything that would ever make me want to start using a rotary phone again?
From the Got Milk? website, here is the recipe for Salted Caramel Milkshakes (serves 2):
1 pint of vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup caramel sauce
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon salt
To finish: whipped cream
Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until combined. Divide between 2 glasses and top with whipped cream.