You can always tell when someone knows about Jersey cows. Mostly likely, they've got a milk can from Jersey on display somewhere.
Jersey cows are small, gentle things with pretty faces and long eyelashes. They do not give as much milk as some other breeds - Holsteins, for instance - but their milk is very rich in butterfat. That's why in the world of dairy, there's a strong Jersey subculture, even though there tends to be not as much money in Jersey milk as in some other kinds of milk.
Laura's father, James Pappas, was a noted breeder and milker of Jersey cows. He had a very small dairy but a very large international reputation, to the extent that he corresponded with dairymen on the island of Jersey.
Jersey is a part of the UK. The citizens there speak English - well, in their odd British way - and relish the fact that the island's capital, St. Helier, is a tax haven. But the place-names are in French, and indeed, the island is a relatively short (but still too long) ferry ride from St. Malo, an ancient port on France's west coast.
This photo on the left shows Laura and dairyman John LeFleur, a friend of Laura's father, with one of John's cows. As always, to see these photos fullsize, just click on them.
A number of years ago, in a desperate attempt to escape France and the French, we visited there, even enduring a ferry ride of several hours on the English Channel to do so. As I think I mentioned in an earlier post, we visited some of the dairymen with whom Laura's pop corresponded.
But that's not all we did. We also shopped. We shopped for ourselves and for family members. Mostly we bought milk cans.
We bought one of the real things, as well as several small silver souvenir replicas, some of which we gave away.
What with one thing and another, including the passing of relatives, the ones we gave away have come back to us. They now live in the kitchen, all grouped together, as is appropriate. These milk cans are short and much rounder than the ones you see here in the U.S., which tend to be tall and cylindrical. We like them. Every time I pass them, they make me smile. I thought you might like them too.