|Not ready to give up her Lala|
Gas prices climbed.I can no longer tell the difference between the high-end Hyundai sedan and a high-end Mercedes sedan.
Romney closed the field.
More States sensibly legalized same-sex marriage.On the music front, Toby Keith released his song Made In America, pandering to jingos who associate patriotism and protectionism. The song booms at least every ten minutes from the ceiling speakers in the West Marine stores here in San Diego. But fortunately, they also play The Lumineers, who in our absence ascended to prominence with a roots music style that just makes me feel good and restores my hope in everything human.
Steve Jobs is gone.Magnum ice cream bars became available in the U.S. We first became acquainted with these when we arrived in Mexico and assumed they were distinctly Mexican—turns out they are made by Unilever and have been selling all over the world (except the U.S.) since the 1980s.
Unfortunately, something that I hoped would change here in the U.S., did not. I hoped that while we were gone, U.S. grocery stores would have been reconfigured and shelf-stable milk would be the dominant offering in the milk aisle. It didn’t happen.
|I think only UHT milk is|
They don’t sell a lot of pasteurized milk in Mexico. In fact, you can only find it in the very large supermercados, and only a couple facings. Like 70-percent of Europeans, the Mexicans buy their milk in liter-sized boxes. It is ultra-high-temperature (UHT) processed and so requires no refrigeration until opened. It has all the nutritional value of pasteurized milk.Living aboard and cruising, UHT milk is the next best thing since sliced bread (and especially if cereal is a major part of the diet for half your crew). We would buy and store aboard 36 liters (9.6 gallons) at a time in Mexico, rotating them into the fridge as needed. Their many-months shelf life is suited to our life in which a “quick trip to the store for milk” is rarely realistic. Their small, rectangular form factor is ideal both for dry storage and for small, awkward galley fridge spaces. There is no place in our fridge to put a gallon of milk and the half-gallons and quarts are too tall.
Now our situation is dire. The girls are eagerly consuming their favorite Trader Joes cereals and we are down to our last few liters of Lala milk. I found a Hershey’s-brand boxed UHT milk in a San Diego Ralphs grocery store, but it was $1.99 per quart, or almost $8.00 per gallon.This was encouraging; I’d solved the supply issue, I now had only to solve the price issue.
I searched online. Suddenly, $1.99 per quart began to seem cheap. On Amazon.com prices ranged between $27.00 and $63.00 for 12-quart cases—shipping not included. Elsewhere I found more of the same. I searched suppliers and wholesalers to an avail. And then I stumbled on a post on a message board praising Dollar Tree and their great price on UHT boxed milk.I rushed over to the site and found it! A 12-count case of Gossner Foods quart-sized, boxed UHT milk was listed for $12.00—not too far off the 90-cents-per-liter price point we enjoyed in Mexico. Yes!
No! The stuff is out of stock. Judging by the five reviews on the page, it’s been out for a while and isn’t coming back anytime soon. The people who wrote the comments were obviously dedicated UHT milk drinkers, their passion and despair evident: “We depend on you for this milk! We need 120qt NOW! Its such great value - who do I need to call to impress upon you how important this is to us...”So far I’ve kept the girls in the dark about the looming crisis. Neither is tall enough to peer down into the locker where the milk reserves are. But one day soon, there will be no more boxes to remove from that locker, our Mexico milk supply exhausted. I will suggest we give powdered milk a try; they will surely stage a milk mutiny. I just hope it doesn’t happen before Windy returns home.