How do you milk an oat?


‘Lactose intolerant? I’m any-kind-of-milk intolerant’

A couple of nights ago, Trevor Noah was talking about how facing a second wave of coronavirus while still fighting the first was kind of like when he was a kid and his mom would serve him vegetables at lunch that he hadn’t eaten from dinner the night before.

This reminded me of when I was a kid and my Mom would try to enforce milk drinking. “Young lady, you are not leaving this table until you drink that milk!” Well, any of you who has ever had a child or been one will realize that there is no way to force a kid to consume anything.

So that glass of milk would go back in the fridge — only to be brought out at the next meal. And the next, and the next. Until the milk ring inside was positively etched into the glass. No way I was going to drink that milk.

No milk mustache on that determined face

Honestly. I bet you a box of Fig Newtons (which The Child adorably called “Big Newtons”) that if I could go visit her right now, my Mom would whip out that same glass of milk and plunk it next to my plate.

Just look at this delightful person! Who’d ever imagine she was a died-in-the-wool drink-your-milk nazi?

I know people who swear by milk and cookies. Not me. There’s just something about milk. It’s too thick. And it looks so, um, milky. The only way I can tolerate a bit of lactose is to add a dash to one of my two favorite beverages, which are coffee and wine. (I bet you can guess which gets the milk.)

Me, enjoying milk the only way I can: in coffee. I don’t have to be drinking it in a boat in Borneo, but it helps

Of course, now I am paying for my stubborn no-milk-mindedness, with osteoporosis that is basically off the charts. So listen to my Wise Mother and drink your milk, dear Readers. Drink your milk. If you find it as disgusting as I, you can do like I did when I was pregnant: just hold your nose and chug it.

Now, some well-meaning people in my World have suggested I try one of those non-milk milks. Perhaps you’ve seen these “milks” in your store, on your table, or even in a Loved One’s glass. These are made from soy, from almonds, from coconut and even from oats.

I’ve asked it before and I’ll ask it again: “How do you milk an oat? Aren’t its udders awfully tiny?”

Some of these people drink these milks because they are (or think they are) lactose intolerant. Others drink them because they are vegan. (For those who don’t know, vegans don’t drink milk or consume any dairy products — and this is on top of not eating any meat, poultry, fish or eggs.)


Some people are lactose-intolerant. Others are just plain intolerant. (As well as illiterate)

Others, like my personal Dude, drink these alternative milks because they say they prefer them. Me, on observing his Dudeness pouring a gray, viscous substance over his Total: “Ick, that looks disgusting.” Him: “It’s delicious; you should try it.” Me: “I’ll try it the next time I vote Republican.”

Just for fun, here’s the very tiny kitchen in the Ken and Barbie House — a work in progress, yet you can see there’ll be plenty of room for “milks” in that fridge

Well, it’s just about time for me to go make a sandwich to not drink a glass of milk with. In the meantime, I did think of something that sounds even nastier to drink. I was introduced to this beverage by a birding buddy in Borneo. Now, of course, the idea of being offered a sip of anything across the table in a restaurant anywhere sounds absolutely, well, delicious.


It’s a tossup (literally) as to which I find more revolting: any kind of milk — or this bird’s nest flavored beverage

Amagansett, New York. August 2020

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8 thoughts on “How do you milk an oat?

  1. How do you milk an oat? You don’t. They add fillers. It’s another drink with sugar, unfortunately.

    I was never big on milk… except chocolate milk when younger. There was always something “off” about low-fat milk—the way it’s treated isn’t great, and the pasteurization promotes lactose intolerance because the enzymes are destroyed. But do we really need milk for calcium or bone health? Not really. Bones need exercise, vitamin D, electrolytes and a host of nutrients including boron (found in fruit). There’s more calcium in kale, and absorption is enhanced by garlic. Variety is key. But I never stop eating cheese!

    • Wise words, O Adamjasonp! Thank you for the voice of dietary sanity. And for the cool science facts. Boron! Who knew?! But I do love fruit. And garlic…and cheese…

    • Very interesting suggestion! I don’t know, since we ever had “bought” cookies at home (!) Tho I don’t remember enjoying milk even with Mom’s homemade oatmeal, molasses, or peanut butter cookies. (They all were really good, but all we wanted was Oreos. Or maybe Chips Ahoy!)

  2. Give me the regular stuff–no weird milk for me. Thankfully, we can all tolerate lactose around her and enjoy some kind of bone-builder. I start every day with yogurt, but I’m a routine sort of person. My grandmother had terrible osteoporosis and was very hunched. I know I don’t do enough bone-building exercise so I make up for it in dairy (well, mostly cheese!). I can pretend I’m doing something good for myself when I tuck into that wedge of brie–ha!

    • Hey Becca — If you’ve gotta drink milk, then go for the Genuine Article, I say! And, on a serious note, I wish I’d heeded my Sage Mother’s advice and had polished off that glass of milk at every meal — I wouldn’t have to deal with osteoporosis! So good on you, as they say across the Pond. (And yes, I like yogurt too. And cheese? Love love love — especially brie!)

  3. Ilove cold milk on porrige or a weetabix, semi skimmed for me or 1% as some call it. I have enough to make tea look like chicken soup. Avglass of would not suit my tummy and full milk literally would make me ill #colitis #dDverticulitisDisease. So to help I attempted Almond milk, prebiotic shots and oat milk. The word milk is a white word a cold freh clean word. But they all were a shade of humus … humus that had been dropped on a carpet scraped up and mixed with liquid. “My stomach rolls as I write,” None of that is going in my mouth, *a yellow grey tinge* flushes my cheeks as I recall. Like yoghurt I but 0% plain white thick greek, then add my own fruit. You see I have to know the fruit is not disguising non white slop. Weird, maybe but it is my thing.

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