No. 21 – How to turn Low-Pastueurized Milk into Clabber (and Why You would Bother)

I grew up drinking skim milk. Actually, to be accurate, I grew up drinking powdered milk. The fact that it was also skim was probably incidental. I don’t think powdered milk comes in any other form.

So as a result I grew up drinking something akin to a chunky white water. My friends always freaked out when they would come over and I would offer them some. They couldn’t believe that I could stomach drinking it, but then, it was all I knew.

Once when I was eleven, I was on an airplane over the Atlantic ocean (PanAm no less!) and the flight attendant asked me if I would like a glass of milk. And I said, yes, I would like a glass of milk. So she brought me what I can only now assume as a glass of whole milk. I foolishly started chugging what I had assumed was ‘milk’ in my understanding of the word, and immediately felt sick. After a lifetime of drinking chunky white water, the impact of whole milk on my taste buds was revolting. It was like drinking directly from the fat layer of a baby seal.

Eventually attending public high school broke the spell of powdered milk over my family. My younger brother finally refused to drink any more of the stuff, and maybe by then we were less poor and could afford to drink undehydrated milk like normal people, but only skim milk of course.

Because fat was evil.

Fast-forward to married life, turns out my wife likes drinking fats:

WIFE: “I’m not drinking skim.”

ME: “That’s fine, we can buy two kinds of milk.”

WIFE: (silence)

ME: “Or…fine.  But I’m not drinking whole milk, I had a bad experience. Plus fats are evil. I’ll go up to 1%.”

WIFE: “2%”

ME: “Fats are evil!”

WIFE: “Well then evil is delicious!”

ME: “FINE! We’ll go to dairy Hell, but when we have kids we’re going to rethink this!”

TEN YEARS LATER: “Oh look Honey, there’s a sale on the Whole, Non-Homogenized, Pasteurized-at-low-Heat milk and cream!” (High-fives at the market ensue.)

Turns out my wife was right. Fats may be evil, but they are also delicious.

(AUTHOR’S NOTE – Fats aren’t evil, sugar is.)

Now we live in this alternate world where fat is good and fermented fat is like a superfood. We used to always get our milk on Fridays so unfortunately by the Thursday of the next week the milk would be on it’s last leg and turn into something my wife referred to as ‘clabber’. Clabber is apparently really good for you (when made with ‘mostly’ raw milk, not pasteurized since that just turns rotten), but it’s also basically just sour milk that tastes bad…

Thursdays in our house became ‘Clabber Thursday’, the day that I, being dependent on dairy for most forms for eating (see Dairy Free Diet post) would invariably forget that the milk had turned and attempt to make a protein-clabber shake or pour clabber over my cereal (the very worst way to start your day).

Again, I think I have Nourishing Traditions to blame for Clabber Thursdays being a thing in my life.

Curse that book…and it’s offspring.



Next thing I knew, sunglasses were banned, and going about bare-chested without any sunscreen was encouraged. We also began a regime of what I can now only describe as an illegal level consumption of vitamin D3.

Illegal in Canada anyway.