Well, I did crank out one more. This is very therapeutic so thanks for letting me be your "patient."
Milk in a box
Milk – ahhh, the staple of everyone’s childhood. I know I drank a lot of it growing up, sometimes taking the gallon jug of Vitamin D milk right from the shelf, taking off the cap and gulping down mouthfuls in front of the open fridge before putting it back, drained of half its contents. Who doesn’t like milk? I feel sorry for those who are lactose intolerant, I mean nothing goes better with cookies, cornbread, cake, or a PB&J than a tall, cold glass of cow’s juice. In Afghanistan it’s a different story altogether.
Have you ever heard of “shelf stable” items? I’ve had shelf stable bread in past deployments the consistency of which is akin to a new sponge, just after getting wet the first time. Not good. Well, we have shelf stable milk too. It resembles those boxes of Juicy Juice Moms put in their kids’ school lunches, with the attached plastic straw on the side of the box, sheathed in a wrapper. However, this milk is nothing like Juicy Juice.
Overall, I shouldn’t complain about the milk – it’s drinkable and does resemble regular stuff. Plus, we have it, some places don’t. One must put out of one’s mind the fact that a box of this stuff can sit in the sun, unrefrigerated for months and still be considered good. It still is the perfect complement to all those aforementioned food items, but it doesn’t bring the same “I’m smiling on the inside” satisfaction as real milk. The one thing I CAN complain about though is that fuckin straw. Sometimes it’s cracked so when you draw on it (no, I didn’t say suck on it but that’s what I meant), you get foam in your mouth instead of a nice mouthful of milk. Worse, after poking the straw thru the small hole, turning the box upside down and squeezing it into your bowl of cereal – the milk squirts out in streams in all directions, always on your freshly clean shirt!
The stuff comes in flavors too, for the adventurous. My favorite is strawberry. It’s sweet and tastes like the Nestle Qwik strawberry flavored stuff. It’s never bad, even when not cold and I sometimes use it with my chocolate or vanilla flavored protein powder. Banana flavored is decent too, but it’s too sweet for my taste. The worst is the chocolate flavored stuff. It doesn’t really taste that chocolaty and on more than a few occasions a thick goo came out of the straw when I sucked on it. (Keep it clean you perverts, keep it clean.) Yeah, the milk solids or chocolate flavor had congealed on the bottom of the box. It tasted horrible and I shudder now remembering it, suppressing the urge to spit.
Don’t forget the Soy milk. The DFAC will often have vanilla flavored Soy milk – which we’ve come to love, except for Woody. He won’t drink it because according to Woody, milk comes from cows, not from plants and therefore Soy milk isn’t milk. No luck trying to explain the difference to him or describe dandelion milk or any of the milky substances from various plants – the kid is too black & white.
I’m currently in Kyrgyzstan – en route to the states. There are all manner of surprises here foremost among them is the milk. We get whole or low fat milk in plastic milk cartons. It’s incredible after a year of what we did have. I will remember this base for that alone! Although a massive step up from what we were drinking, it doesn’t compare to the fresh-from-the-cow milk I drank in Garmisch when on R&R. That’s my new favorite. Anyway, milk will continue to be one of life’s little pleasures.