Bear leek, egg and goat milk

About meetings and new contacts

The Volunteer-Teahouse was planned as a meeting point to make new acquaintances from the very beginning, maybe even with people you wouldn’t usually meet.

These opportunities apply to me, too, of course - maybe even more than for the Hungarians, because I meet people in the Teahouse with whom I am really able to communicate.

And so I met a family that owns a small goat herd here in Vereb - and, as expected by spring, was also waiting for a few kids. They asked me if I would like to visit the kids and help with the milking, one day.

I’ve never before milked an animal, but that wasn’t the only reason why I instantly accepted.

Six in the evening and six in the morning

In the end, it took a while before I found the time to join the owner of the goats in his daily milking, because the times where the goes to the goats are six in the morning and six in the evening, and most days I’m either asleep or not in the village at those times. The invitation was for the evening milking, too, because it can be a little more time-critical in the morning.

But this Monday the time was finally there.

Shortly after six (in the evening) the owner collected me at my apartment - he always goes to the goats alone for the milking - and takes me to the other end of the village, where the goat herd lives. Directly in front of it: A big open-air cage for chicken, which also belongs to the family. One of the roosters isn’t very happy about my presence and tries to shoo me away with fluffed up feathers and is put into the stable for that.

The goats - nine in total and at least ten kids - are already waiting for us. They don’t really like being milked but they get a very tasty corn-sunflower seed-oatmeal-mineral mixture and that is more important to them than the content of their udders.

The owner explains me different things about goats in general and his goats in particular. They don’t like being touched at their horns, for example, and have a very clear hierarchy which is even kept up when milking them - they are milked in groups of three, and these groups are the same in every milking.

After the milking we prepare everything for the next morning and collect the eggs of the chicken. A few of them I’m even allowed to keep for myself.

Because I enjoyed the milking a lot and the evening was really interesting, I ask if I can come again, and - with a cheeky grin - get invited for the milking on the next morning.

Which leads to me standing ready at 5:30 sharp the next morning to help with the taking care of the goats, and the work goes a lot faster than the evening before - now that I am able to help directly without needing explanations about what we do. We work parallel on the goats (but the owner milks two goats in the time where I milk one) and the big milk tub is more than half-filled after we are finished. It’s at least ten litres of milk, if not more.

After both the goats and the chicken are fed we make our way back, with a short stop at one of the fields belonging to the family and where they grow - hidden, of course - a bit of bear leek. I am allowed to take a bit myself and promise faithfully not to tell anyone the place, because bear leek is really popular here in Hungary.

Shortly after seven in the morning we’re back at the house, and I get a bottle of the milk we just milked - together with the eggs and the bear leek I can make myself a great breakfast.

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