Friday, September 18, 2015

My Dad Sold Milk for Cheese.

 iStock 11-07-14 © Marbury

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My dad had a grade B dairy.  Milk produced in a grade B dairy is not for direct consumption. Instead, it is made into cheese.

We all helped milk the cows. We separated the cream from the milk and saved the cream in big milk cans, which we kept cool in tubs of water.

Before school, we milked the cows. Before supper, we milked again. It was a chore I enjoyed.

When I was quite young and during the time when my siblings were growing up (I'm the youngest) we saved the cream and took it to Collins, Mississippi, to load it on the train and ship it to the cheese factory.

Dad's farm was on the Smith County-Covington County line, south of Taylorsville and north of Hot Coffee. Going to Collins, which was south of Hot Coffee, was always a big adventure. Each trip I received a few coins to buy whatever I wanted at the dime store in Collins.

Eventually, my dad made an arrangement with the Kraft plant in Newton, Mississippi. We continued to store our milk in cans, which we kept in tubs of water, but we no longer separated the cream from the milk. A truck hauled the milk from our farm to Newton every morning.

Kraft was picky about the way we washed the cows' utters and maintained the cleanliness of our entire operation. Another neat policy of Kraft was allowing us to buy cheese. We always had Velveeta.  I loved grilled cheese sandwiches. We had a pimiento pepper patch. Mother canned pimento in fruit jars. What a treat!

When I was sixteen, my father fainted in the woods  from the excruciating pain of passing a kidney stone. All the family but me rushed him off to a Jackson hospital. When I came home from school, I milked all the cows by myself. I know this tale sounds like the kid who walked to school four miles up hill both directions in the snow, but I really did milk all the cows. I believe we had about fifteen at the time. Our cows, part Jerseys,  didn't give huge amounts of milk, but their milk was rich.


Sarah said...

Mary Lou: I loved this story! Now, I know why your mother was there when I was born. My mom and dad also lived near the Smith-Covington County Line. I don't recall who owned the house that they lived it, but it was up on a small hill right by Hwy 37.

The house burned, a number of years ago, and I had one of those "gosh, I wish I had taken a picture of that house" moments!

Thanks for the memories!!


Mary Lou Cheatham said...

Sarah, thank you. I love your comment.