Yesterday, I was at a “weaning party” at the house of a friend. Let’s call her Joyce, because that’s her name. (Hi Joyce!) Joyce is the ultimate mommy who knits her own baby clothes, makes her own baby food, homeschools, makes her own homeopathic medicine, and follows every recommendation from the mommy books and websites. The websites suggested the weaning party.If you aren’t familiar with a weaning party, it’s when a woman finally decides to stop breast-feeding her kid. It’s such a liberating experience (the pain, inconvenience, and sexual side-effects of nursing is frequently severe) that some women throw parties, complete with the ritual throwing of old bottles in the garbage and handing over of the breast pump to an expectant mother.
We were having cheese and crackers and discussing the latest Time Magazine cover. Another mother and amateur food critic we’ll call Diana (because, well, you know why) asked what kind of cheese we were eating. It was soft, creamy, and oddly sweet. Joyce said she had made it herself and wasn’t sure what it was called.
I stopped eating. A woman who doesn’t believe in bacteria (see homeopathy, above) shouldn’t be working with milk.
Diana knows a lot about cheese figured she’d be able to help her name it and asked what kind of milk she used.
“It’s my own,” Joyce said.
I looked out the back windows expecting to see a flock of goats or sheep in her back yard. I’ve seen stranger things back there, but there were no animals I could see. I asked her to clarify.
“I made it from my extra breast milk. I had a lot left over in the freezer.”
Most of us turned green. Joyce, as she always does when faced with disapproval, turned indignant.
“What’s so gross about it? Come on, you don’t mind when a baby drinks breast milk; why not grownups? You’re okay with eating milk from a dirty animal living in a barn, being fed antibiotics and steroids but not from me?”
I suggested we call it “boob cheese,” and the discussion ended there. Nobody ate any more of the cheese, and Joyce returned it to the refrigerator in a huff.
I have a feeling we won’t be eating at her house again.