Sustainable WNC

The Gateway to Sustainability in Western North Carolina

The Color of Milk

I usually try to spend at least one full day in my kitchen at home. At the moment I am working on a new menu featuring food from within 100 miles.

Today I have been testing some simple ideas, working with basic recipes. This evening’s meal will be Lasagne with Blue Hill Farm Egg Pasta, Local Milk Bechamel and Spinning Spider Cheddar. I might throw in some Jake’s Farm Spinach, or that could be my salad. I am very interested in the taste difference using these ingredients to make the lasagne.

What I did not expect, (but I shouldn’t be surprised by) is the color of the food, especially the milk! I am using some raw cow’s milk from a friend’s dairy to make the sauce.

I look into the jar and see a pond of pale silver-yellow milk with corn-gold butter fat floating on the top - cast like Spring pollen, or fallen cherry blossom petals after a light rain. The pasta, too, is brilliant, almost orange; due to the color of pasture egg yolks different than “production house” eggs.

There are many differences in food produced in your backyard, so to speak. Some subtle, some not. Food is more than calories to fuel a body, it is also the substance that feeds the mind and spirit. My dinner today started with an art show, the colors of life: Cream White Aztec Gold Painted by the Hand of Jasper Johns Lasagne. Thank you Chris, Wayne and Jon for the palette….

Joyful dining!

One Response to “The Color of Milk”

  1. Charlie Jackson Says:

    Hi Mark. The title of this article came to mind when I read a press release yesterday from the NC Department of Agriculture. As you are no doubt aware, NC has rather strict rules against raw milk. For whatever reason NC is very afraid of unpasteurized milk (even though it is legal (and regulated) in many states). Currently in NC it is illegal to sell unpasteurized milk for human consumption. In a move to make sure that unpasteurized milk sold for pets does not end up being consumed by humans the NC Board of Agriculture will be proposing new rules. In their meeting coming up on Monday (April 23) in Raleigh they will vote on a new rule which will require all unpasteurized milk sold for pet food be dyed “charcoal gray” and be labeled “Not for Human Consumption.” I don’t really know much about the relative benefits or problems associated with unpasteurized milk but it seems like NC has some of the most restrictive laws anywhere.

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