I visited my step-sister and her DH in the West Midlands recently. We enjoyed a lovely meal out and I drank one, or maybe two small glasses of wine. Hang on, did I say glasses? OK, my step-sis and I shared one or two (or three) bottles of wine so next morning I woke in her spare bedroom with a mouth like the proverbial budgie cage. (after 7 pregnancies during which I avoided drinking at all, my capacity to cope with alcohol is about the same as a 12 year old!)
I lurched down the stairs in the morning in search of caffeine and bleary-eyed I opened the fridge and found that Midland's staple - sterilised milk.
Also known as "stera" or bull's milk it has a unique taste, not unlike Carnation condensed milk. I had totally forgotten about its existence until I saw it in the fridge.
So many happy memories are tied up with bull's milk for me as even though we didn't actually drink it in my house, some of my favourite people in the world have made me endless beverages with the sterilised milk tang to it and I remember seeing crates of the narrow glass bottles during trips to the newsagent to choose my 10p mix-up. To me it's the taste of home, my roots, my origins.
It's a silly thing but drinking my cuppa this weekend with added "stera" made my day.
I'm not sure if it really is just a Midland thing - I've not seen it on sale in Hertfordshire where I now live. Does anyone else remember it - or still drink it?