Friday, October 17, 2008

Milk drenched food--does anyone else do this?


My Lovely wife recently made two wonderful apple pies with traditional lard crust. They are delicious. However, she finds it curious and somewhat distasteful that I can only eat pie when drenched in milk. I do this to all pies except mincemeat and pumpkin. I drench other desserts, such as strawberry shortcake and chocolate cake in milk. All the men on my Dad's side of the family did this. Some of the real country diners around here make provisions for this, by offering milk with such desserts as apple dumplings. My wife never saw this foodway before she moved to Western Pa.

I have tried researching this custom on the web. I did not find a lot of information. Some people said it is an English custom. However, my mother was from a family of fairly recent English immigrants, and she found it as unusual when she married my Dad as my own wife found it strange. My mom thought it was simply a disgusting way to use up the surplus of skimmed milk that old-time farmers had from the days when cream was sold.

Is this just a western Pennsylvania thing?
Is it a country custom?
Is it just a dairy farmer thing?
Is it just a bad habit?
I would appreciate any other knowledge or experience with milk drenched food.

16 comments:

Robert said...

I've never thought of putting milk on pies or cake, but on my mom's side of the family (German and Swedish stock) we've always put milk over our apple crisp. (My wife thinks it's disgusting as well.) I'll have to try it on more desserts - any excuse to have some pie is OK by me!

How about pastries - do you butter them? My family has always put butter on Danishes and coffee cake but my wife thinks we're nuts.

The Midland Agrarian said...

Thanks Robert!
I add milk on apple, cranberry or blueberry crisp as well. Buttered pastries is a new one on me, but sounds good!

kori bates said...

My Husband does the same thing...He also loves milk and crackers..

The Midland Agrarian said...

Hi Kori,
Thanks for dropping by. I just spoke with a good friend who is a lifelong dairy farmer from upstate New York. He never saw people put milk on pie or cake until he came to Western Pa.

TennZen said...

No, it's not just a Pennsylvania thing. We do it here in Tennessee, too, and not just with sweets.

I will take a slice of cornbread, break it up in a tall glass, then pour on the milk... there's nothing better. Just about everybody in my family and everybody I grew up with does this.

I also eat things like peach cobbler and just about any kind of cake with milk on it.

But doughnuts and cookies... they're reserved for coffee!

- Leia (TennZen)

Anonymous said...

I am from Mercer, Pa. born and raised there. I always put milk on 2 crust pies also on cobblers and crisps. I love it on apple dumplings. I also butter most pastries. My grandmother used milk this way as long as I can remember. I must have learned it from her.

Carolyn said...

My father was raised a New Englander (Vermont). He always poured milk on pie and pudding. He also loved to crush up saltines and add milk. I will add milk to pudding if we're out of whip cream.

The Midland Agrarian said...

Thanks for you comments, Vermont to Tennessee is a very wide swath. I know I am not alone in enjoying this treat.

Anonymous said...

My grandfather a farmer of Luxembourg decent always put milk or cream on his pies, cakes, apple or rhubarb crisp, peach cobblers. Chocolate cake with milk is the best. ummmm....maybe it’s an inherited trait. Now I'm hungry, gotta go bake something.
Roxanne

Zoyche said...

I did this last week on an apple crisp! I do it to most crisps, cobblers, or covered pasteries- but not to cakes. Must have learn it from you! It's sorta like putting ice cream or a cream topping on it I guess........ a poor man's creme anglaise :)

The Midland Agrarian said...

Hey Zoyche,
Sorry to leave you with a bad habit, but it does taste good.

Love You.

Linda J. said...

Greetings from Kittanning! I just found your site.

My dad always had milk on his strawberry shortcake...of course, his way of thinking was that milk was good with everything!! We grew up with butter on pastries, too.

Kaira said...

Interesting... my Puerto Rican brother in law pours milk all over his cake. His wife finds it very odd.

The Midland Agrarian said...

Thank you for dropping by Kaira. I never thought of Puerto Rico as a milk drinking culture. Was he from a farm background?

Kaira said...

Actually, he isn't at all. I think the closest he came was when they moved to California (I think) and the kids had to gather walnuts off the ground - a job he hated! They also had to go get chickens out of the chicken coop but they weren't really farmers. My husband doesn't do the milk on cake thing so I'm not sure how his brother ended up liking it that way - and only that way :)

Steph said...

All 5 kids in my family loved cake and milk. Sometimes our mom would bake a cake and not even frost it, and we'd have it for breakfast. My mom grew up in central Illinois in an Italian-American family. I'm 52 and still enjoy cake and milk!