The most popular Milk Calendar recipes tend to feature chicken & pasta?
May 30, 2018 9:37 AM   Subscribe

Canadian Milk Calendar recipes going back to 1974. [thanks Vicmo!]

And yes, there are perfectly good reasons not to drink milk if you choose. Please enjoy this MeFi thread from 2003 where we all fought about it.
posted by jessamyn (28 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Outstanding! I didn't get my calendar this year so thank you, especially for the Pudding Pie recipe :)
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 9:48 AM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

this post is making me gassy
posted by poffin boffin at 9:49 AM on May 30, 2018 [3 favorites]

Love this, thanks.

Growing up our house *always* had the Milk Calendar hanging on the kitchen wall. Of the dozens of free calendars we'd get every year, for some reason that was the one that made the cut. It wasn't for the recipes—I can probably count on one hand the number that were made.
posted by howling fantods at 9:56 AM on May 30, 2018 [5 favorites]

We always had it hanging as well, though I had assumed they had stopped making them as I haven't had one/ seen one in years.
How does one get their hands on a physical one these days? Is the only way by hitting the webpage to order one once they are released?
posted by Laura in Canada at 10:02 AM on May 30, 2018

These recipes only work with milk from a bag.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:21 AM on May 30, 2018 [15 favorites]

Wow - didn't realise how many years I've been making this trifle for Christmas! There was always a milk calendar in my family's kitchen when I was a kid.
posted by champagneminimalist at 10:25 AM on May 30, 2018

Wow I totally forgot about the Milk Calendar.
It was the family calendar, for years, in the kitchen by the phone. I don't know if we ever even tried any of the recipes, it was just the calendar.
posted by chococat at 10:32 AM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

There's no milk calendars for 1976-78. So I clicked the 1979 milk calendar, and it's wierd who completely 70s the recipes look. I didn't realize food even could look dated.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:36 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

I appreciate hearing people's memories of this. It's a thing that seemed really ubiquitous in Canada and yet I grew up a few hours south and had never heard of it before today. I did some curcosry clicking to see if I could find some richer history of it (it's just dairy hype after all, even tho it's also super interesting) and had not been able to.
posted by jessamyn at 10:38 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

I, too, had totally forgotten about the milk calendar. But like others have stated, it was the calendar in my house growing up. Wow.
posted by aclevername at 10:45 AM on May 30, 2018

it's weird how completely 70s the recipes look.

Broccoli with cheese sauce! Now there's some good 1970's eatin' for ya right there!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 10:46 AM on May 30, 2018

Yeah, the thing is, as completely ubiquitous as the milk calendars are, they’re so ubiquitous that they completely fade into the background and easily go unnoticed unless pointed out. Or, to put it in more Canadian terms, it’s always just-a beeeeeeeeeeeen theeeeeerrrrrrrre.

Anyway, I’d be willing to wager that at least 90% of the homecooked meals of my entire childhood came from the milk calendar, Canadian Living, Chatelaine, or a Campbell’s soup can.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:49 AM on May 30, 2018 [4 favorites]

Broccoli with cheese sauce! Now there's some good 1970's eatin' for ya right there!

We did essentially the milk calendar recipe one time a year or so ago for a family holiday meal---Eater Easter, I'm pretty sure. Our nieces, who are often really picky with veggies, could not eat enough cauliflower. They still ask if we're doing it again soon.
posted by bonehead at 11:00 AM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

...Ontario & Atlantic Canada

That's what I get for moving to Quebec.
posted by Laura in Canada at 11:49 AM on May 30, 2018

I posit that the free LCBO Food & Drink magazine you get at the liquor store is the new Milk Calendar, in Ontario at least. Every time we visit my parents, my mom has grabbed one for each of us kids. The meatball recipe from a few years ago is my go-to...making it tonight in fact.
posted by chococat at 12:22 PM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

Things in the 70's were piquant, like that potato salad. We always had milk calendar thumbtacked to corkboard by the phone.
posted by parki at 12:28 PM on May 30, 2018

The Ontario Milk Marketing Board sure was aggressive in the '70's. The calendar was in everyone's home and those Wear a Moustache commercials were on TV constantly.
I still have my Wear a Moustache patch.
posted by chococat at 12:53 PM on May 30, 2018

The photos for 1990 made me think of a throwaway joke from an MST3K episode: "Is everything brown or do I have retina damage?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:12 PM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

Milk Calendar? I guess it's an old-people thing (since it only comes in newspapers). Never heard of it before.
posted by scruss at 1:29 PM on May 30, 2018

chococat, I agree with you. The LCBO Food & Drink mag is a very big deal in our house.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:59 PM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh yeah this is both the calendar and cuisine of my youth. I didn’t realize that there was a milk calendar shaped hole in my life, but of course I haven’t got a newspaper in years.
posted by rodlymight at 5:12 PM on May 30, 2018

this post is making me nice and sleepy
posted by not_on_display at 6:05 PM on May 30, 2018

OMG. I don't drink enough to ever visit the LCBO for booze, but I always stop in and try to get their magazine. Then I take it to my aunt and she cooks me yummy things. She frequently makes the coconut-peanut caramel popcorn recipe and at least one of the cakes. But that's a hard magazine to get. They're "sold-out" within a day or two of coming in. One year I had a student who worked at the LCBO and when I mentioned in passing once that I could never get the magazine because they were always gone she started bringing me each issue when it came out.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:57 PM on May 30, 2018

I worked for a few years on the Milk Calendar distribution plan, around 2009-2014.

It's quite expensive to print and deliver all those calendars and one year, we decided to go more targeted. And as noted above, newspapers were reaching an older crowd and we wanted to get the calendars primarily into the hands of younger families. So we did a geo-targeted distribution in newspapers (only areas with a higher proportion of households with kids) and some women's/family magazines. We were being more strategic and saving money!

OMG the complaints the poor Dairy Farmers received that year... So many people calling and writing asking for their calendar, very upset that they didn't get it.

We went back to the full distribution the year after.
posted by mephisjo at 7:40 PM on May 30, 2018 [6 favorites]

it's weird how completely 70s the recipes look.

Broccoli with cheese sauce! Now there's some good 1970's eatin' for ya right there!

My mom still makes this for holiday meals.
posted by bkpiano at 8:17 PM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

One of my hobbies (such as it is) is collecting spiral bound old recipe books used by small community schools, churches, etc. as fund raisers (not the modern incarnations that often have lots of filler recipes not from the community itself). An interesting thing that happens with them is that you see food trends and can trace the history of some recipes. One date square recipe or a Queen Elizabeth cake recipe gets shared across various groups, sometimes years and kilometres apart. Germaine to this conversation, some of the recipes that I see frequently are recipes that have their origin from this milk calendar (like variations of the trifle recipe or the stuff like the broccoli and cheese sauce mentioned above). So in a way, that calendar helped disseminate kind of Canadian cuisine almost as much as people like Mme. Benoit.

A strange thing that Canadians struggle with a lot is what it means to be Canadian. I think it is often stuff like this milk calendar, this weird cultural artifact of a different era (and a product of our dairy supply management), that kind of reflects our personality. For better or worse.

I don't get newspapers anymore but I usually pick up my milk calendar when I go to farm fairs (I think I got one at the Erin Fall fair last year).
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:33 AM on May 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

I read through this thread maybe fifteen minutes ago, but down my phone and went on to other things. I just now noticed, playing in the back of my head, a tiny distant melody. The words trickled back: “...swinging down from a tree,/ it’s one against three,/ when they attack,/ or when you’re tied to the track – /wear a moustache...”

Damn you, jessamyn, and whatever jingle writer the Dairy Marketing Board hired decades ago. That’s going to stay with me.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:19 PM on June 1, 2018

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