Milk Toast: Good for What Ails You

Diners at the Bâtard, an upscale restaurant in Tribeca, NYC can enjoy a dessert dish called milk bread, “A Christmastime treat from Germany,” says the September 1, 2014 issue of the New Yorker. The article goes on to describe this milk bread as having crème-brûlée crackles with innards like French toast or the texture of iced donuts.

New Yorker_Food & Drink

My German-Swiss Grandma Longenecker’s milk bread was much simpler. In fact there were only two ingredients: Milk and toast, probably with a little butter. Picture a bowl of warm milk and pieces of toast snippled up making a kind of stew. And she called it milk toast, not milk bread, serving it as a balm for belly aches or whatever else ailed us.

Another milky treat Mother served in the winter-time before school: Hershey’s hot cocoa with buttered toast for dipping. Yes, we dipped the toast in cocoa, inhaled the chocolate fragrance as the warming lump slipped slowly down our throats. Reinforcement for the cold walk to the bus-top. Uh-um, good!

CocoaToast

Do you have any milk with bread images in your memory bank? Any other cool weather warm-up recipes to share?

Coming next: 10 Things Our Family Did/Didn’t Do on Sunday

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Hair: Historical to Hysterical

Baskin-Robbins offers nearly 60 flavors of ice cream at their shoppes. The varieties of dress among Mennonites and Amish, who split from the Mennonites, is nearly as long and equally fascinating. In recent research, I counted dozens of sub-sects.

                                              stackIceCreamCone

By far the most conservative group that maintains plain dress is the Old Order Amish church. The Amish have unfortunately reached pop culture status with hideous reality shows that exploit their way of life including their dress distinctives:

Amish men                AmishGirls

Herr                                                                                    Frau

Beards                                                                          Headcovering with tie strings

Hair cut off straight in back, banged in front                Uncut hair parted in center in bun

Coats, vets fastening with hooks & eyes                       Long dress with cape in solid color

Suspenders and broadfall pants                                  Pleated or gathered skirt

Wide brimmed hats                                                       Black shoes and stockings

As though frozen in time, attire of the Old Order Amish church has not noticeably evolved, reminiscent of their European origins.

Then there is the Brethren Church with its various branches. “The Old Order River Brethren continue to wear traditional garb.” The men look much like Amish but the women “wear opaque white headcoverings, capes, aprons, and a peplum on the dress bodice,” which tapers to a V-shape. An excellent source for detail of other sub-sects: http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/D74ME.html

Typically, my visit to PA includes an appointment with a perky River Brethren woman who gives massages. You gasp “Massages!” but it’s true! Esther has my vote for the Most Modest Masseuse on Earth; she gives head-to-toe therapeutic massages in her home for a shockingly modest fee. Were she fancy, and not plain, she would fit perfectly in a chiroparactor’s office. Note peplum, short ruffle attached at waistline in photo below:

massage table                PlainMassageLady_13x18_72_brighten

Finally, there is not simply a Mennonite Church, but a cluster of branches, including a very conservative branch called Black-Bumpers, who drive cars but paint their shiny chrome bumpers black (less flashy)! Once in Lancaster I spotted a sleek Mercedes-Benz sedan with black bumpers and very plain girls spilling out—an image of paradox if there ever was one.

My own brand of Mennonites is the Lancaster Conference Mennonites, who have driven cars rather than horse and buggies but have long adhered to a strict code of dress since their emigration from Europe in the early 1700s. However, plain dress among these Mennonites has been falling by the wayside since the 1960s and 70s when these photos below were snapped.

3twogirlsMeet the Mennonites_Cover_5x7_150                      3MeettheMennonites

Smith, Elmer L. and Melvin Horst. “Meet the Mennonites in Pennsylvania Dutchland,”
Lebanon, PA: Applied Arts Publishers, 1997.

Marian_hair_braids_3x5_96     Marian_middleschool

Braids, also known as pig tails           Braids circling head with hairpins, middle school

Beaman_Longenecker_wedding_announce  Engagement: transition to fancy

 

 

Cliff_Marian_hair teased_Crista_4x3_150

Marge Simpson wannabe

Little known fact: The family of Milton Snavely Hershey, the Chocolate King, were Reformed Mennonites; his mother was a member and his grandfather, Abram Snavely, was a bishop for 37 years. Milton married a non-Mennonite. (“Meet the Mennonites”)

                                         HersheyCocoa2

There is a connection, I think, between chocolate and access to memory both plain or fancy, expressed so distinctly by Barbara Crooker:

CocoaPoemRev.

“. . . for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

I Samuel 16:7