Cash Rules Everything Around Me. Wu-Tang Clan blasts out of a large, handheld stereo. It is a mantra, a belief, a religion. I don’t know or care much about cream. As someone who’s lactose-intolerant, I try to avoid it at all costs. But sometimes, I will cheat. That is being human.
Grandma Rosie used to tell me a story about a time when milkmen were still a customary part of American Life. She said the milk would arrive in the morning at the doorstep, and the cream would be at the top. I have never had this experience and so this minor facet of her life, I have never and will never truly know or understand. Even newspapers aren’t delivered door-to-door anymore. There can’t be anymore paper routes in America, right?
I’m not sure if I’ve ever milked a cow. Maybe on some school field trip I had a tug or two of a cow’s utter. I know the idea of it, the strength and courage required to do it, always seemed to baffle me, for a product made so readily available.
Cream – Thick, white, and sweet. Inflammatory. Digestively disruptive. But a staple of culinary anything from soup to desserts. It can be simple or complex. I’m no chef, but I’ve eaten enough meals and seen enough Food Network to know the potentialities of this dairy product. It can feel and seem pillowy soft when whipped; light as air. What is another word for creamy? Thicker than milk, than water. A farm export staple. Smells fine, but smells rancid when it goes bad. You know right away. I remember smelling a carton of old milk and there was no question that it needed to be disposed of.
Butter & Cream. Comfort, soul food. Ingredients that need to be experienced to truly know. How would I describe cream to an alien? UFO sighting, landing, crop circles no less! Of course these aliens –