Happy Holidays from Our Families to Yours

I recently asked a co-worker ‘what excites you about your job?’ She didn’t hesitate. She said, “I enjoy working for Indiana’s dairy farmers. They are great people”. Our entire team shares that attitude. That’s my passion too. I love sharing the great stories about our Indiana dairy farm families and how they care for their animals and the land.

For example, there’s Paul up in Ossian who knows that his cows depend on him for good care, feed, water and bedding; and he depends on the cows for his families’ livelihood. (Paul, a talented singer, has serenaded his cows many times through the years while rehearsing in the barn before a performance). And there’s Sam down in Huntingburg who milks cows with her husband and their two teenage sons. Sam says, ‘Cow care and comfort is critical. Our cows sleep on sand beds so every day is like a day at the beach for them.’

My greatest pleasure is sharing the good nutrition news about milk—one of nature’s most nearly perfect foods. Milk—a food rich in protein, calcium, carbohydrate, vitamins and other nutrients is delicious and versatile. Guilty as charged. I love milk.

I’m so blessed to work on behalf of people who provide such a wonderful product. People who help to provide food—not only for Americans—but for people around the world! Can there be any finer profession than to produce food for your fellow man? Thank you Indiana dairy farm families.

I’ve also had the pleasure of tasting many wonderful recipes over the years. Here are two. Enjoy them with your family.

Old-Fashioned Hot Cocoa
Makes 4 cups
¼ cup cocoa
¼ cup sugar
½ cup water
3 ½ cups milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine cocoa and sugar. Gradually stir in one-half cup water. Bring to boil. Boil and stir for one minute. Add three and one-half cups milk and heat to serving temperature (do not boil). Add one-half teaspoon vanilla extract and serve immediately. For a change add cherry flavoring to taste for a ‘choco-cherry’ steamer, or add 1-2 tablespoons grated orange peel to the milk, or add ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg with the cocoa-sugar mixture.

Wonderful Chocolate Ice Cream Topping
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
2 squares (1 oz. each) semi-sweet baking chocolate
¼ teaspoon vanilla
Dash salt

Place condensed milk and the two chocolate squares in a small heavy sauce pan. Cover and place over low heat, stirring several times until chocolate is melted and well blended. Add the vanilla and salt. Use immediately for hot topping OR store in refrigerator. Note: For variety, a tablespoon of either hazelnut liqueur or Crème de Menthe may be added. Tip: Place the chocolate topping in a cute little jar, tie on a ribbon and give as a gift.