Saturday, April 22, 2006

I drink warm milk. Right before bed, or in the middle of the afternoon to just relax me, take the chill off, whatever. I know, it sounds a bit gross and maybe a bit more "old-grandmother-ly," but hear me out.

My creation of this delicious beverage is very particular. That is, it follows particular steps, not that it is particular at all in its measurements--but hey, it still is me, after all! I have found, however that the very steps that eventually produce the finished product can be soothing in their own right. Maybe you'll see what I mean as I write--or maybe you will have to try it yourself...

You have to start off with a mug full of cold milk. Then, when you pour in the slug of vanilla extract it first sinks in a single stream right to the bottom and then mushrooms up to the top again, coloring the milk a warm and welcoming tan color. Nuke-ing the vanilla milk for a minute or a minute and a half will get you the warm milk, but it isn't nearly done yet.

The sprinkle of cinnamon comes next, but this is no insignificant step in this process. You see, when the first particles of cinnamon hit the warm beverage, they spread out as thin as possible, trying to cover the entire top of the milk, but never sinking to the bottom. I have grown to have quite a fondness for this characteristic of the cinnamon. But that's for later.

The next ingredient was a suggestion by Mike. The first time he tried my warm milk he did kinda like it--with one addition--nutmeg. So, I guess this is a Mols' original, not just my own. When the first tiniest bit of nutmeg hits the protective cinnamon spread sitting on the top of my warm milk, the cinnamon begins to crack. I have never tried it the other way, so I don't know if it would also work in reverse, but who likes that much nutmeg? and anyway it would destroy my analogy!

As you probably would guess, for this to truly be a delicious, relaxing drink, a teaspoon of sugar is a must. When you stir in the sugar with the now-cracked cinnamon covering and divisive nutmeg, both the nutmeg and the cinnamon seem to dissapear into the quickly moving white cyclone. As soon as the spoon halts, though, so does the assumption that the spices would easily dissolve into the liquid. The cinnamon rises up and attempts again to keep the high ground and spread its goodness over the whole surface of the drink, but this time in more definite clumps than before--the strain on it was too great to stay as spread as it was in the beginning. The nutmeg, however, doesn't show itself again as it had before.

Ok, before I get into my clever analogy, there is some complaints from the peanut gallery--aka Mike (sorry to mix metaphors). I, in no way, intend to identify any person with any ingredient. Mike's addition to the warm milk creation was gratefully recieved and very important. The nutmeg gives it a spiciness that it would have otherwise never had, and I could now never go back to the way it was before that suggestion. Again, I repeat, the personification of the warm milk ingredients in no way relates to real people, any resemblence is coincidental, but hopefully inspiring...

So, for the much awaited (or maybe not) metaphor, which is probably already way too obvious: I see cinnamon as taking the high road--making connections across all the possibilities it can, but never separating from those who made it what it is. Cinnamon is resilient and seeks this high road even through great adversity, where some closer and more lasting connections are made (the visible clumps). On the other hand, the nutmeg only splits what has already been made, highlighting weakness and exploiting them until they become cracks. Once its work is done, however, it descends in obscurity--losing its specific identity. As for the other ingredients, the milk, vanilla and sugar--I'll leave that up to you, my readers--try your own hand at a warm milk analogy!

Thought for the week: What kind of warm milk ingredient are you? (50 points for answers that promote discussion, 75 points for new analogies and answers...)

Other thought for the week: So, do the littlest birds sing the prettiest songs or do the prettiest birds sing the silliest songs? (100 points to the first person who gives it a answer, a wherefore AND can place my obscure partial allusion here...)

4 comments:

Kidgit said...

wow. talk about taking all the fun out of drinking warm milk. then again...

Ben Austin said...

I forgot the question. Since I visited you I've been drinking warm milk, but I don't add the spices. I use Vitamen D Milk, so when it comes out of the microwave it has this peculiar layer of skin at the top. As far as prettiest song, I like the way the Duck mumbles as it putters around on the lake.

M&Y said...

50 points for a thought-provoking "prettiest bird" answer, I am hearing its song right now... I am heartened that I am not the only one who drinks warm milk, though I think scraping skin off the top might turn me off... Y

Ben said...

When you pour the suger in the skin kind of snaps and bunches up. You kind of have to suck it off the top as you take the first sip. Its good.