Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wistful Wednesday

Okay, a look into my past.  This is a picture of Ginger, my beloved milk cow.  She was half Jersey and half Brown Swiss ... she looked more like Brown Swiss with coloring and size but she had a beautiful Jersey dish-face.  She also had the Jersey milk - she had a quart of cream for every gallon of milk.

Ginger was born in the "wilds" and had never been handled by humans until she was about three years old.  The lady who sold her to me told me that she didn't like men and that we had to be careful of her ... she was not a tame cow.

After I had had her for a while, Norm started milking her once in a while and she allowed him to.  But she never let him close to her calves!  I've seen him scale (fly?) a four-wire barbed wire fence when he got too close and she took after him.

Ginger would never allow us to pet her or cuddle her - her horns would swipe if we got too close to her face. She also would only give me a certain amount of milk, as she had to save the rest for her calf!  No matter how much "coaxing" I would do, I only got about a gallon per milking and I knew she had a lot more in her!

I had two other cows about the same time - one was her one and only heifer calf, April, and the other was a purebred Jersey, Dusty Rose, that Joy showed in 4-H and I trained to milk.  When the decision came to cut down to one I had to make a choice - the other two had been hand raised, were "cuddly" (well, for a cow), were milder tempered and were smaller - much easier for me to handle.

So what choice did I make?  No question - Ginger stayed, we sold the others!  I had - and still have - a soft spot for that cantankerous old gal!  I don't think she thanked me for keep her, but I was grateful that I did.

And, I still dream about her occasionally --- miss her something fierce!  My Ginger - giver of great milk and cream!  I even have recipes that I had altered to say "If using Ginger's milk ...... " 

I'm heading out to Marshall tomorrow for a four-day Fiber Festival where I will be demonstrating weaving on "Cherry."  It will be a beautiful day tomorrow - I am sure of it.  You have a beautiful day!

1 comment:

Jan said...

Love, love ,love Jersey milk. We had a Jersey named Christina and her sweet calf Abigail. She was a great cow and gave all the milk, cream and butter our family of eight could handle. Our 8 and 10 year olds did some of the milking so you see she was an easy one.