I don't smoke, drink or do drugs. I feel guilty when I say crap and tip the untalented buskers every week at our Farmer's Market. But the allure of full fat, creamy delicious whole milk is more than I can resist. I'm under no illusions. I know that a cup of whole milk contains 8 grams of fat and 25% of my daily saturated fat. But I don't care. That's right, me and my full fat milk mustache just don't care.
I grew up on powdered milk. It was the one dark spot of my otherwise idyllic childhood. We were happy there, in the woods of Connecticut. My eight siblings and I didn't want for much and had worked out our peace treaties with each other and the world. But every morning we would come downstairs and have to face the reality of a freakishly large family.
Heaven forbid the powdered milk was prepared the night before - no, we always waited until our bowl of Cheerios had been poured to discover the emptiness of the blue gallon pitcher. Then a hasty batch of powdered milk would be thrown together and slid across the table at me. There were the inevitable lumps of dry milk powder that had not yet dissolved floating on the surface and it was still steaming from the hot tap water. Mom would rectify this by throwing in a few ice cubes and pointing to the sugar bowl. Is it any wonder porridge became my breakfast of choice?
I don't remember much about kindergarten except for lunch time. There were these amazing little red boxes at the end of the lunch line. Whole milk. Cold. Smooth. Incredible. You had to carefully unfold the top of the box so that the cardboard didn't tear incorrectly and your drinking area become unprofessional. I was the master at creating the perfect spout. Once opened, I would shape the cardboard just right so that the carton contoured perfectly to my bottom lip. And then I would drink - slowly - oh so slowly - my precious whole fat milk. I liked to take in large mouth-fulls and let the thick drink seep into all the corners of my mouth and leave a silky film after it was swallowed. I learned to trade my less desirable lunch items with friends for their milk and would build a small metropolis of empty milk cartons on my tray by the time the bell rang for us to go out to recess. Kindergarten was fantastic.
When I got to be about 12, my older siblings started leaving home and my mother began buying real milk at the grocery store for our diminished ranks. But it was 1%, 2% if we were lucky. I still craved whole milk but hid my passions as we are taught to do as teenagers. A few years later I even gave up milk for over a year at an older boy's suggestion that the whole idea of drinking cow's milk in the first place was disgusting.
It wasn't until last year when my toddler began drinking cow's milk that my ravenous lust for whole milk re-surfaced. Doctors recommend infants drink full fat milk so I added it onto my grocery list. And then one day there it was. An entire gallon in my fridge. And there I was. Just staring at it. What followed was inevitable.
With as much negative press fat and calories have gotten recently, I still haven't had the courage to pour myself an actual glass of it, but every time I happen to be in the kitchen alone I'll peek out the window and make sure the neighbors aren't looking and take a few desperate chugs from the jug. On the record, I drink Vanilla Soy Milk exclusively for both the health and snotty benefits. But off the record, after my family is asleep I go straight for the stuff with the red cap.
My husband just left town for the week. I'm off to drown away the loneliness. How could something so wrong feel so right?