We've gone from barely filling the bottom of the cat's milk bowl to a quart, or so, of milk each day from Delilah, our LaMancha goat. That's still not much, but it's an improvement for the first-time mom.
I've been freezing most of it for future soap-making use, but hadn't yet tasted it.
Back in the early '90s, I was a Marine Corps photojournalist stationed in downtown Tokyo for about six years. Up until that point I was a big milk drinker. But in Japan I was leery of buying commissary milk that had traveled halfway around the world and I didn't trust Japanese milk, so I did without.
When I returned to the States, milk no longer agreed with me. A bowl of cereal in the morning would lead to a very unpleasant day.
I tried soy milk with a bowl of cereal ... but ... yuck.
I'd read that some people who are lactose intolerant can digest goat milk because of its smaller fat molecules. Lactose passes through the intestines more rapidly, not giving it time to ferment.
When Jackson Hall, now 10, turned 1, his parents, Chris and Missy Hall, of Dowagiac, discovered he was allergic to dairy products.
The Halls turned to goat milk -- and it worked.
"It was $4 for a pint of goat milk at Meijer," Missy recently recalled. "The goat milk at the stores -- it's gross. It tends to have that goaty taste that so many people are familiar with."
"Missy actually said she would never want goats," Chris recalls, but J.D.'s allergy changed things.
"IsworeI wouldneverown a goat, partly because my goal and passion was to raise dairy cows (Guernseys to be exact). My neighbors who have the dairy herd had a single goat that liked me for some reason and followed me everywhere. It was truly a pain in the rump ... because it would not leave me alone. I hated that goat. I have come to love our girls, and have realized that this is the dairy farm that God was preparing me for all those years ago."
The Halls got their first goat five years ago and they currently have 24 -- 15 are kids born this spring at their Amazing Grace Meadows homestead.
I'd heard, and read, other success stories, so finally picked up that box of Raisin Bran I've been avoiding for years.
I'd been preparing for the Sunburst marathon since January and didn't want to risk digestive problems during a marathon so the Raisin Bran sat on top of the refrigerator for a few days.
Finally, the moment had arrived.
I was expecting an odd taste, but was pleasantly surprised and actually rather shocked that it tasted and smelled like -- well, like milk.
Although the Raisin Bran tasted great, I spent the rest of the day expecting the worst -- but nothing happened.
Apparently I'm one of those people whose systems can't handle cow milk, but can handle goat milk!
But ... raw or pasteurized?
That's for another day.