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  • When we started pasteurizing for the students, I included the Sisters’ supply, too. I sold the milk from our cows to the plant and got back fresh milk with the same butterfat content. The Sisters wanted to be sure it was our milk. We had a terrible sense of pride there. I let them think it was ours for two years, then I let word out. Immediately, the milk didn’t taste as good as it had the day before. The issue went to Chapter and I showed them the cost analysis. They agreed, but insisted it was never as good.

    photo: the cow barn at Saint Benedict's Monastery, built in 1911 or '12, still standing and re-roofed in 2006; currently the home of Common Ground Garden, the monastery's Community Sustained Agriculture (CSA), which does not have a milk share.

    Dedicated to Sister Jameen Mape of the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn. In addition to doing the food management for the large monastery and school, she taught in the dietitian department of the College of Saint Benedict. Her work included "experimental cookery," and her lab produced some of the first salad dressings for Kraft with stabilizers to keep them from "oiling out."
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