Sunday, December 5, 2010

Got Milk?

In Canada our milk comes in bags. I've heard from people in varying countries that this is incredibly strange. I understand that the proper way for milk to be presented is in a carton with a picture of a missing child or ex-husband on the side.

Canada has missing children and its fair share of ex-husbands who many would like to go missing and we have milk cartons. Generally the cartons are small and expensive. A 2 litre carton in fact will cost about the same a 4 litre bag of milk. We have a family of 5 which drinks 20 litres of milk a week; guess which presentation we buy.

The bag system is near perfect. A bag of milk contains 3 individual pouches of milk 1.3 litres each. Every home has a reusable pitcher specially designed to hold a pouch of milk for pouring. Rich houses have 2 pitchers; chocolate milk comes in bags too!

So, we bring the bag of milk home, put a pouch into a pitcher, snip a hole in the top corner and pour. Easy, cold, milk.
Canadian Milk

There are two fundamental problems with the bag system.

the first problem...

 Once you drink the 1.3 litres, the bag is empty. Like a baby it doesn't change itself.  Changing the bag is like electing someone to tackle the poopy diaper, nobody wants to do it. People in our house moan and groan. The rule is "if you empty the change the bag." That's the rule, so generally after I dribble the 5 ml graciously left in the bag for my morning coffee I change the bag.

the second problem...

You need to snip the corner of the bag to get the milk out. This problem isn't really about the milk it's more about scissors. We keep 6 pairs in the kitchen, we even had a special little milk bag snipping gadget for a while. Sometimes I use a steak knife in a moment of desperation. Sometimes we get this...

Evidently 6 pairs of scissors, the milk sniping gadget and the steak knife were all missing. I'm left staring at the puddle of milk surrounding my coffee cup wondering..."which of my adorable children resorted to using their teeth to open the bag?"

E-man assures me that KJ used a knife not her teeth. I'm grateful for that.

Perhaps I should borrow a milk carton idea from my international friends and paste a picture of scissors onto the side of my reusable pitcher.