There's been this habit that I just can't seem to break this week: steamers. Whole raw milk, warm, rich, and fragrant, comfort poured into a glass ball jar and topped with just grated nutmeg. We buy our milk in advance, receiving a gallon every Sunday evening. That's sort of a lot of milk for two not really into milk people. Not that we're not into milk. I mean, we are now. I want to make ricotta, mozzarella, raw milk yogurt, paneer. But the time to do so just hasn't presented itself to me in recognizable form or fashion. So at the end of the week we end up making non-raw yogurt, bringing the temperature of the milk up to about 180 degrees, in a sense pasteurizing it. This yogurt is extremely delicious and such a treat, but we usually still end up with a little milk at the end of the week that we try to save and savor, the milk itself unexpectedly going sour. Thus, the resulting and habitual end of the evening winter steamer.
I know there is a lot of fear generated out there about fat and whole dairy, and I'm not attempting to renounce it, but I'm not sure I really believe it. I would so much rather drink this decadent product, coming straight from a cow I met practically down the road, then a less fresh industrially produced rendition. It sort of bewilders me that so many of us drink dr. pepper, eat high-fructose corn syrup cereal, snickers bars with a mighty long list of ingredients, cheeses wrapped in individual portioned plastic and advertised with "real milk." I choose the raw whole milk over all of these things. I don't want them. I want my local udders! My comforting sweet treat! I can't stay away from it!
So here's how I do it.
Vanilla or almond extract
Heat this in a sweet little pot, being frugal with the extract. If you really want to try for a steamer you can whisk the milk and make it somewhat frothy. My slippers are usually forcing me up the stairs by this point, so I don't usually get into the whole froth thing. Pour into a medium glass ball jar. Top with a hearty grating of fresh nutmeg. Sniff the goodness, the nutmeg, the aromatic milk, filling your body with restful intent. Appreciate the leathery and marbled texture to the nutmeg, and then simply rest.