For most of us this probably brings thoughts of a soothing bath – warm water, softened with milk – made to believe we would have beautiful skin after soaking for an hour –
Well – wrong. My milk bath was from another source. Left home alone for a week with one chore to complete – purchase some canned foods from the local Bishop’s Warehouse in number 10 tins (long-term storage!) and also dry can 50 lbs of powdered milk.
An easy enough chore one would say. I made the trip to the Bishop’s warehouse – about ten miles round trip. Picked up five cases of pre-canned foods – Montana red wheat, rice, white flour, oats and pinto beans and borrowed a canning machine to process the powdered milk I had waiting for me at home.
Along with the aforementioned products I also had twelve cans and lids and oxygen packets – all ready to go. One of the men from the warehouse had easily loaded the canning machine into the car. Upon arriving home I lifted the machine out of the car – wrong!! I lifted but nothing moved. This thing is heavy!! Well, it weighs about 75 lbs and is not flexible at all!! I backed the car up a little closer to the porch and pulled and heaved the container out of the back of the car onto the porch. Where is that dolly?
Found the dolly and wheeled the container into the kitchen – but one cannot use this canning machine in the container. I hoisted and struggled – heaving and straining – and managed to get the machine onto the counter. Using the two big (huge) C clamps provided I did my best to secure the machine to the counter top. Finishing up with step one I brought in the cans and lids – then to the basement for that powdered milk.
Yikes – it is a 50 lb bag. What was I thinking? Maybe the better question is “Why wasn’t I thinking when my husband suggested I take care of this little chore while he was in Salem pushing legislation around?” Well, there is always more than one way to skin a cat – right? So I heaved and rolled this 50 lb bag of powdered milk up the basement stairs. Phew!
So let’s begin – read the instructions – ok – fill the cans – easy enough – to within a ¼” of the top. I am now covered with powdered milk – it is everywhere in the kitchen and on me! It just goes in every direction!! Cans are all filled – place the little oxygen packet in each can – check! Okay – time to seal the lids on.
Place the lids on the cans – place the can on the machine – raise the can into place – push the lever for three turns – and now pull the lever – whoops the machine is moving off the counter top. Reconnoiter – place foot on side of machine; pull lever, push and hold button for three turns – done!
Now bear in mind I am not the most flexible individual at 66 years old. I have lifted, hoisted, rolled and shifted heavy items to get to this point and NOW I have to raise my right leg to the height of the counter top to hold the machine in place while I pull on the lever and reach into push and hold the button for a count of three. Well, you’ve got it figured out – this is I Love Lucy at her best!
Two cans down and the third can will not come off the machine. I still have nine cans to go – this isn’t good. Out comes the large rubber mallet – a few good whacks and the can comes loose. Nine more done – whacking each to get it loose from the lid eating machine and I am finished.
Needless to say I probably won’t be the same tomorrow – if I can walk – but the milk is
dry canned and I am calling on the neighbor to help me load this monstrosity into the car for its return tomorrow. Perhaps a milk bath of the real kind is in order – ah but we removed the tub to remodel the bathroom – another story indeed!