Home » Family » When Natural Was Normal – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #57

When Natural Was Normal – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #57

I wasn’t going to participate this week as I’m just so darn sick. But the story kept running around in my fuzzy brain and insisted I wrote it. Plus my body is tired of lying down, though I am going right back to that position after I hit publish. I so wanted to find a picture of Matante Bertha and MΓ©mΓ¨re together but didn’t have the energy to go through the albums so, you’ll have to make do with my grandmother and me πŸ˜‰Β  Needless to say, there is no way in hell I could “matchy-matchy” this photo!

When Natural Was Normal

Honestly. What has the world come to? Once upon a time all eggs were free range and all beef was grass-fed. Now? You have to pay a premium to get your food in its natural form.Β  As for proper milk? No longer available here in Canada.

I remember going up to MΓ©mΓ¨re’s when she’d get her milk from her sister, Matante Bertha, who’d put it into glass bottles.Β  I never knew how long it took for the cream to separate from the milk.Β  That luscious, thick, pure cream… My mouth waters at the memory.Β  MΓ©mΓ¨re would get us to pick fresh raspberries from her garden, which we would carefully pick through (unlike my cousin Mike who ended up with a bowl full of worms!) and put them into a bowl. Then MΓ©mΓ¨re would sprinkle some sugar and spoon that fresh cream onto the berries. Yum!

We’ll never get those days back!

MΓ©mΓ¨re and me at her 88th birthday – my grandmother/godmother/hero

*Mémère means Granny

*Matante is how we say Aunt or Auntie in my family. Though it should be written in two words as in ma tante (my aunt); many of us in Quebec have put the two together to form a single endearment.Β  We even go so far as to say Ma Matante Bertha… πŸ™‚


84 thoughts on “When Natural Was Normal – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #57

  1. Sorry that you’re so sick.
    In fact, we generally look after ourselves too well nowadays; we can’t tolerate the bacteria that folks once could — which is the reason why you can’t buy raw milk.
    Raw milk contains a certain amount of bacteria that makes one person in a thousand quite sick. When we lived in Ontario a school girl died after visiting a farm on a school trip and drinking unpasteurized milk, so ever after…
    You could argue that she’d have a greater chance of getting killed on the freeway going to or from the farm, or having some reaction to a drug, but so it goes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I swear. Over-fatigue is the main culprit. And we were all brought up with a little dirt won’t kill you. And yes, we have become wimps thanks to over sterilisation. I’m sure that girl was an odd case…. But as you said, so it goes.


  2. Dear Dale,

    Sweet memories in the most literal sense. There’s nothing to compare to fresh cream is there? It also sucks that you’re sick. Get better soon my friend.

    Shalom and lotsa healing hugs,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle,

      Yes, very sweet in every way. There is nothing to compare, no way, no how! Ugh. I’ll get over it. Eventually. Called off work again today so that should help.

      Shalom and lotsa love, without germs,


      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry you’re so sick. It sounds like my younger daughter has something similar. These lovely memories are so special, aren’t they? I don’t have anything like that, but I do remember how we had our milk delivered when I was a child in Dallas, and in the winter, it would get a little frozen from sitting outside. That is such a wonderful photo of you and your grandmother! I hope you feel better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Merril. It’s been a doozie, lemme tell you. For me to miss the last two days of work, knowing I leave them in rather a bind says a lot. They survived last night and they will tonight. And it gives me nothing to worry about that!
      These memories are so very special. We had mild delivery too! Actually, my sister still did when her kids were young. Of course, I don’t know if you know this, but we get our milk in bags.. πŸ˜‰
      Thank you! She was my hero!
      I’m working on it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As we get older, it is often the memories of our youth that warm our hearts and bring the smiles to our faces. Reading this caused me to find a few memories hiding in the cobwebs and I dusted them off. Thank you, Dale πŸ™

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So sorry you are under the weather and hope you get well soon. That crummy little bug payed a visit to me over a week ago and I’m just beginning to feel better.
    Now, onto the story. A great memory. I grew up spending all my Summers on the farm or with “the folks” in VERY rural Northern Missouri. On the farm we had everything on the table raised local. We milked cows, raised beef and pork, chickens and even had a few sheep at one time. The garden was huge. As a result I still remember, with fondness, the fresh milk, churning butter, picking veggies and eating them right in the garden. Guess what? I lived. Go figure. It’s a shame the majority of people today will never know that real taste and experience. Good story and memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a nasty one, lemme tell you. I haven’t been hit by such a one in a long time.
      Nothing better than farm raised and grown! Of course you lived! You weren’t being filled with the poisons they now put on food to make them grow faster and resist bugs…
      Glad you liked my little memoir.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dale,
    What you did with this is so interesting … something about you, a tribute to a family member, a flashback to a different time, and a commentary. Brilliantly done!

    On a related note, last year when in Ljubljana (Slovenia), there was a pure milk dispenser/machine located near the central market area that is filled daily. I’ve never seen one before or since.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Q,

    This is just beautiful. Not to mention true as all get out. What I think is most sad is the unique feelings that the simple things used to evoke in us. Now everything is a sell, every moment is a capture for someone’s profit. And as you so eloquently put it, all those things we once took for granted have been slapped with a premium price tag. And don’t get me started on water. Hells . . we used to drink water from the tap. Now we pay for the ‘privilege’ of getting our water from a plastic bottle.

    As for the Canadian Hannah Storm, there you are, flashing your fantastic smile with Memere. I can’t help thinking you two had it all figured out. πŸ™‚


    Liked by 1 person

    • B,

      Aw, thank you, my friend. Isn’t it, though? Those simple things brought such joy. It sure didn’t take much! And now? You have to pay extra for your food to NOT have something added… and they have to be put in a special section of the grocery store, usually looking rather sad. Water. Now that is a crazy thing. We drank water from the HOSE! Hells, I still do.

      Thanks so much. She was my hero. This woman was such a pillar of strength – and imagine this, she didn’t think she was… Two peas in a pod, I tell ya. I miss her so much. Believe it or not, she died exactly five years before Mick at the age of 92. Just four years after this pic.


      Liked by 1 person

      • It really is about the simple things. At least for some of us peeps. And yeah, there is too much segregation with food anymore. It’s become specialized, which means more moolah.

        I remember drinking from the hose. And water fountains . . everywhere.

        Wow. You can’t make that stuff up.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It really is. I’m sure we are not alone in wishing the simpler things would come back. All about the bottom dollar.

          I still do and I still do. And guess what? I’m alive – k… today I’m sick but has nothing to do with drinking the water πŸ˜‰

          Ya just can’t. She was his sweetie, too πŸ˜‰

          Liked by 1 person

          • They call it progress. And if you don’t keep up, you’re not down with the program. Whatevs. I prefer to keep it old school, at least on this count.

            Nothing at all. The bottled water phenomenon really gets me. As much water as I drink, you would think I would drink more bottled water, but nope. I DO have one of those filter pitchers, but that’s like, ninety five percent of my water intake right there.


            Liked by 1 person

          • We are both fans of old school. For various things.

            It’s ridiculous. I remember when Europe had their water problem so they resorted to bottles and said, you’ll see, you’ll be drinking from bottles too… I pssshawed… day-um…
            I had a “Pur” system in my old house and filled my huge water bottle dispenser doohickey from the tap. Now… I’ll have to change for one with the filter. We get used to not having to taste chlorine so it’s annoying when we do…


            Liked by 1 person

          • It comes down to this. Would you rather live in a world where milk came in glass bottles? I would. Most definitely.

            We gave in. We monetized it. Imma stay away from my soapbox, but really, there are so many corners who are guilty on this count. From corporations to elected representatives to us.

            Amazing how that works, huh?


            Liked by 1 person

          • Absolutely! And delivered by a guy wearing a crisp white cap, to boot!

            We did. And we did. And I don’t blame you because it feels like we’re beating a dead horse at times. (such a horrid expression)

            Nuts, I say.


            Liked by 1 person

  8. I remember my Uncle’s farm, with the pet goose, which was better than any guard dog, and aunty had her own cow, making her own butter. They also had chickens and I collected the eggs, being mortified when one broke when I washed it. Uncle then kept pigs, but the sow went mad and killed her litter, twice, so he went to sheep. Heartbreaking the still born lambs and lambs rejected by their mothers, Uncle skinned the dead babies and tried to pass the rejected off to the ewes. Most times it didn’t work and the lambs were hand reared.
    Then he invested and ran a trout farm. The last time we visited, guinea fowl were running around all over the place. He’s in his nineties now.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a great piece of family history. It really is a shame we have to pay more for natural and organic, as opposed to processed, covered with toxins food. Bit finding raw milk and grass-fed beef is getting easier. In Colorado, you have to β€œbuy” a cow to get raw milk. Essentially you pay a fee to the farmer and then you can get milk.

    Feel better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Eilene! It is backwards, isn’t it? Though, to be sure there is more loss in the non pesticide foods… Still.
      Indeed. I don’t know about my area, to be honest. I imagine owning a cow gives you rights.

      Working on it!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Two thoughts …

    1. What the heck is proper milk?

    2. We have a lost a lot of our humanity by ignoring the simple things and accepting the mass produced, industrialized, consumption-driven focus of the modern world.

    Liked by 2 people

      • 1. Yeah, that’s just not a thing that exists anymore. Unless you live on a farm or dairy. The closest we get is “raw milk.” But it costs like three times as much as the mass produced milk and all sorts of ninnies insist it’s a huge health hazard.
        2. It’s impossible to really reverse the industrialization and mass production of food. I think of how much chicken (or beef) it takes to keep food on the table at all of the restaurants and dining room tables across the land and realize … it’s pointless. We’ve lost this.

        Liked by 2 people

        • 1.Exactomundo. And there you go… it costs three times as much and yep… huge health hazard that will kill us all…
          2. True. It’s definitely a lost war. People will not do without.

          Liked by 1 person

          • A number of years ago, I took a class on making cheese — we learned how to make ricotta and mozzarella. Ricotta is relatively easy. But mozzarella? Aint so easy. Plus, you can’t just use the regular ultra-pasteurized, super-duper-homogenized milk in the grocery store.

            After the class, I tried it a few times at home, but it’s really kind of ridiculous to spend $8 or $9 on a gallon of milk to make one little ball of mozzarella. So, yea, I don’t do that anymore.

            How is this related? I have absolutely no idea. It’s just what I thought about.


            Liked by 1 person

          • When I was in Tuscany we learned how to make cheese – well, we watched him make it πŸ˜‰ I know ricotta is easy.
            It’s crazy how expensive it is to make one’s own stuff… sigh.

            I love it. And it is related in a bass-ackward way πŸ˜‰

            Liked by 1 person

  11. I remember that kind of milk too, Dale. When you’d get the cream settling on the top and that was the best bit to put on your cereal in the morning. Used to have foil capped bottles delivered to the door too, though you’d have to cover them or the blue tits would puncture the lids, get to the cream first.
    Lovely reminiscences


  12. How wonderful!
    I had an Auntie Wanda, who lived on a farm.
    I would spend part of my summer there, and all the food was fresh.
    The best were the strawberries and fresh peas. When I told her my memory of helping her shell the peas, plucking the green bit from the tops of the strawberries, and filling up the pails, she bust out laughing.
    She said, “you mean filling up your stomach!”
    GET WELL SOON!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sometimes I think we’re fortunate to have lived more ‘natural’ phone/computer free days and also that we’ve experienced both. When you don’t forget, you have a different perspective in life – hence, your post is a beautiful reminder. xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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