Battle lines drawn over drinking milk, baking corn bread


Not by cow's milk alone does man live. There also has to be soy milk, cornbread and bacon fat and squaw bread. At least that is what I read in the mail and hear on the phone.

Born to drink milk

From: Georgia Corso, Baltimore.

Re: Column standing by cow's milk

Dear Happy Eater,

. . . I was raised attached to my own cow. I have always been exceedingly healthy and drink, as an adult, at least 3 glasses of milk at day. I know, my doctor tells me it is way too much, but we all have have our vices.

I also have two kids. The boy drinks milk at every opportunity. Any time I put chocolate in it, it becomes nirvana, a meal in itself.

Now the girl will drink milk, but only if encouraged, like with an electric cattle prod. She prefers orange juice. . . . We go through orange juice like milk. When frozen orange juice is on sale, I clear out my deep freeze so we can make it through the week.

. . . The upshot . . . is [when] the girl is sick . . . a simple cold runs a fever with her. She usually ends up missing a couple of days of school. The only good thing is that she will drink orange juice, which is the first thing the doctor insists will help.

The boy had perfect attendance last year. Never caught so much as a cold.

So they can say all they want about milk. Gorgeous teeth, healthy bones and incredible resistance to colds and flu is all milk ever gave us.

Eater Replies: I don't think science would smile upon us if we claimed milk drinking prevents colds. While that may be the case your house, it sure isn't in mine. I, too, drink several glasses of milk a day and regularly catch the colds that my kids, also big milk drinkers, bring home.

Good medical research is supposed to get beyond personal examples and personal prejudices. And it seems to me the Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine, the group that attacked cow's milk, greatly overstated its case. I confess I like the idea of considering milk-drinking by adults as a vice. There are so few vices left.

Finally one anti-cow's milk caller suggested I broaden my view of milk. She suggested I sample soy milk or goat's milk. She had a point. But if I try out some other milks, I'll probably do it alone.

Surprising my kids with soy milk on their breakfast cereal would not, I think, be the best way to win converts to the new world of alternative milks.

Without bacon grease, it isn't corn bread

1% From: Charles Cluxton, Baltimore.

Re: Column on making corn bread in a skillet

Dear Happy Eater,

As a skillet corn bread devotee I was really pleased to see your column on it.

While home-made is best, you even get good results from that stuff in a box if you use a skillet.

I, however, take exception to the (vegetable) oil cookbook author Crescent Dragonwagon uses in her recipe.

Real down-home people will only use bacon grease and you must use a cast-iron skillet. Those other skillets are no match for cast iron.

Eater Replies: This corn bread crowd is one serious group of people.

Shortly after Ms. Dragonwagon's recipe ran in the paper, I was attending parents' night at my kid's school. All of a sudden the mom of one of my kid's classmates approached me. There was fire in her eyes.

"No real corn bread," she said referring to Ms. Dragonwagon's recipe, "has flour in it . . . only corn meal."

Squaw bread very big secret

From: Della Pratt, Cumberland.

7+ Re: Mom search for son's favorite bread

Dear Happy Eater,

My son, Ted, was treated to a birthday dinner at the Chart House in Baltimore. They served a basket containing two types of bread, sourdough and "squaw" bread.

He loved the bread but I could find no recipe for it. . . . I was wondering if you could get the recipe and find out if the bread has another name.

Eater Replies: Chart House officials say they are glad you like the bread, and hope to see you back in the restaurant because that is the only place you can find it. They said the bread is a "signature item" baked only for Chart House restaurants, in some undisclosed ovens.

Native Americans regard "squaw" as a derogatory term. Chart House officials say the name has no connection to Indian heritage. In fact "SQUAW" is an acronym for "Super-Quality-Unique-Awesomely-Wonderful."

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