I think everyone knows what milk is. It's that white liquid that you pick up in the dairy section, in plastic gallon containers or in cardboard containers. In some places,- Britain, I've been told, is a good example- the milk is made shelf-stable and sits in boxes in non-refridgerated shelves. In class, we've worked with dry milk which was an entirely new experience for me. You can have soy milk, almond milk, hemp milk... Yeah, they aren't really milk since they technically didn't come from a mammal, but for people with lactose intolerance or for vegans, they're good alternatives. And any of the shelf-stable stuff, whether it's the soy milk or the dry milk or the UHT, is good to have in your emergency kits. (You do have an emergency kit, right?)
So, I figure most people are familiar with milk, so I thought I'd use today's post to talk about a milk many in the US may not be familiar with: camel milk. Yep, you can get camel milk in the US. Camels are great sources of milk in areas that are extremely dry with poor forage. Many desert and nomad cultures place great importance on camels.
Until recently, it was illegal to sell camel milk in the US. If you owned a camel, you could drink its milk, but you couldn't sell it. Laws have changed and now, depending on the state, you can get camel's milk. Some people claim it can cure various disorders, but I haven't read any of the papers and I'm not doing any of the research so I can't make a statement. In the meantime, I'll keep remaining doubtful that any one food can cure anything. Be part of a healthy diet? Sure. Cure something? Eh....
Still, that doesn't keep me from thinking camels are adorable and wanting to go to a camel dairy. (Camels might smell, but their lips are so soft and they're adorably comical!) So where are these mythical camel dairies in the US, you ask? Well, I can only find one that you can visit: Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona, CA (near San Diego). It's not producing camel milk for human consumption yet, but they do have tours on select days. Supposedly there are other camel dairies around, but I can't seem to find any internet presence. I can only speculate that the other "dairies" are small scale and not really "dairies" but are instead farms with one or two camels.
National Hot Toddy Day
The first time I heard of a "hot toddy" was when I was out in the desert, which gets extremely cold at night, and I asked for a hot tea, honey, and lemon. When my order arrived, my friend asked if I wanted a hot toddy, explained what it was, and then added some whiskey from her flask. (I'm still a little surprised at how many of my friends have multiple flasks and use them.) Apparently, I now had a Southern-style Hot Toddy.
According to Wikipedia ("According to Wikipedia." I wonder how many times a day that get's said. That should be a book title. But I digress!) a hot toddy is any hot drink with alcohol. That's it? Psh! Then I've had plenty of hot toddies! Another friend holds a huge Christmas party every year and serves delicious mulled cider. And Swedish glögg? MMM! (There's tasty Swedish glögg at the December Nights celebration every year - I highly recommend it!)
But my favorite "hot toddy" would be a drink I learned from a former roommate. We just called it alcoholic hot chocolate. I think Chocolate Hot Toddy sounds more distinguished, so I'm going to call it that from now on. To make a Chocolate Hot Toddy, make your favorite hot chocolate and when you pour it into a mug, leave a little room. Then add Godiva Chocolate Liqueur to taste. For variation, try adding Godiva White Chocolate liqueur or some Bailey's. If you want it minty, you could try a little creme de menthe. Or a little stronger? Try adding a little vanilla vodka. That's the beauty of a Chocolate Hot Toddy - it's customizable.