From my childhood days I remember the times when I was poorly with a cold, and my Mum would always offer me a cup of hot milk with honey to sooth that sore throat. These days the advice in media ranges from Yes, the warm milk is great for sore throats and for helping to sleep to No, it's all old wives' tale. We belong to the first camp of warm milk drinkers. Both my younger son and husband often request a cup of warm milk with honey before bedtime.
And if you ask them, they will swear it makes them feel better when they are unwell. Just a couple of weeks ago my little man had a middle ear infection, and though he had no appetite and didn't fancy eating anything, he drank hot milk with honey.
I confess I don't often drink milk in its pure form, but I love a good cup of latte, the milkier the better. We have a decent Italian coffee machine (though temperamental as many Italians, it brews a great cup of coffee), and I am always generous with a frothy milk when I make a cup of latte.
In summer my men enjoy a milkshake with berries.
I'm glad none of us have issues with dairy, as we use milk extensively, and it would have been a difficult adjustment not to use it in our meals. I have tried most non-dairy milk products, and they just don't appeal to me.
Every morning my husband has a bowl of granola or muesli, and out comes the big bottle of milk from the fridge. If I fancy a bit of porridge for breakfast, like today, I also cook it with milk.
When I was reading about farmers who work with Cravendale milk, it made me think about my own grandmother. Baba Zhenya (as we used to call her) held cows, and treated them with great love and care. She lived in a remote village in the south of Russia, and I remember how every evening she would go out of the house to meet her cows returning from the pastures, herded by the end of the day back home.
I remember the smell of the fresh hay in the barn and the warm breath of cows, their big soulful eyes and sandpapery tongues. A townie, I wasn't very enthusiastic about the fresh warm milk, and preferred the cold milk from the fridge.
My grandma made her own cottage cheese and other dairy products, and she would ride in a little two-wheel horse-drawn carriage called brichka, selling the milk and dairy products to the other villagers. Her dairy products were much admired and appreciated, and people always asked her if she had more milk to sell.
My grandma is long gone, and those milky days are just a distant memory.
I have a huge respect for the dairy farmers, theirs is not an easy life. With the milk prices going down, it's not a surprise that you hear about farmers' protests. I am totally on the side of the farmers. The milk shouldn't cost less than bottled water.
I am happy to pay more for the milk and support the British farmers.
Cravendale is produced by 3,200 British farmers who are part owners of Arla Foods. I hope these farmers stand up for themselves and get their fair share.
Cravendale milk is pure and tasty. It is delicious cold or hot, on its own or with a little bit of honey. Great in coffee or tea, it is a versatile ingredient in cooking a huge variety of dishes.
Often referred to as the milk-drinkers' milk, it is a good product to start a day with, or even end the day with.
How do you enjoy your milk? Warm, cold, with cookies or bread with honey?
Disclosure: I received a few vouchers to purchase Cravendale milk. All opinions and stories are mine.
This post is an entry for BritMums #MilkDrinkersMilk Linky Challenge, sponsored by Cravendale