Smoko Milk

alaric
18th January 2014, 12:55
Who shares my fond memories of Smoko Milk?
When I first went to sea in 1959 I experienced a dreadful gastronomic shock a few days out of London when the supply of fresh milk ran out. The stewards mixed some awful white powder with water and served it as a milk substitute. Much to my amazement, some of my shipmates lapped it up, adding it to tea and coffee, and even soaking their cornflakes with the stuff!
I could not stand it, and as a result have taken my tea and coffee without milk (black) ever since, even though proper (full cream) milk reappeared as soon as we were on the Oz and Kiwi coasts.
Every day in port, a very large jug of this wonderful milk was served at morning Smoko in the Engineer’s Duty Mess, enough for everyone to have several glasses, although I probably had more than my fair share (I still carry the result)? Does anyone else remember this delicious daily portion of nectar? Slow Starvation? No way
I still occasionally treat myself to a glass of milk with, rather than in my morning coffee. Gives me a nostalgia boost.

Satanic Mechanic
18th January 2014, 13:00
Basically I just don't drink milk at all now for the very same reason- black tea and coffee, by the way it turns out black tea is so much nicer the thought of actually putting milk in it is just awful now

Michael Taylor
18th January 2014, 13:03
I remember a milk churn being delivered at the bottom of the gangway for our use during South Island calls .... a wonderful change from coni-oni milk. It was during my MANZ Line days and when arriving back in the States family friends would ply us with fresh milk when visiting them....they could not understand that ships did not carry milk. The advent of LongLife changed all this.

A.D.FROST
18th January 2014, 13:15
Blue Star also ran along the same lines,but you surly you missed out on the Kiwi coast.I remember in New Plymouth the Wharfies canteen rather than throwing it way after they closed we were given a churn,as long as we left it at the foot of the gang way in the morning.Great after work when it was kept in the Brine Room and using a pint glass to help break the ice.Kiwi milk is nectar of the Gods(it was expensive because their was a deposit on the bottles.Happy Days

Mariner44
18th January 2014, 13:34
Always supplied with Carnation condensed milk when the real cow juice ran out. Was this posh, or what? I used to look forward to a midnight cocoa: Cocoa powder and condensed mixed up with a bit of water to aerate it, and then there was a great frothy head on the mug of cocoa once the boiling water had been added.....a sort of cappuccino version of cocoa.

expats
18th January 2014, 13:35
When on coasting colliers I found that fresh milk was a rarity...Sterilised milk and 'Carnation' were usually used...I used to buy my own....

Dickyboy
18th January 2014, 14:47
I don't recall ever having dried milk at sea, though I might well have done. Used to get issued with a tin of coni-oni every week on the pax boats in the 60s, but also used to get fresh milk issued for cereals at breakfast.
I'm a regular user of powdered milk these days, but I only use it in tea. Very rarely does fresh milk pass my lips. Coni-oni I buy as a very special treat, to bring back the memories, or when I'm touring.
The Queen Mary had a churn of fresh milk in the Mess every day, and if I recall correctly. BP had a "Pergal"? A cardboard box with a rubber teat available at meals.

alaric
18th January 2014, 15:18
I was surprised at the number of prompt replies to this thread, and mostly from mariners that didn't sail with Shaw Savill. Thank you for your response.
Several mentions of coni-oni reminded me that this was the only milk that I did enjoy at sea, but only in cocoa and only in cold weather. I think I will buy a tin tomorrow, together with some real cocoa powder rather than hot chocolate and stir up a mug of nostalgia! After all, the weather is quite cold at the moment.

Dickyboy
18th January 2014, 16:04
Had an old Bos'n who used to call coni-oni "Mans Milk" and ask any youngster if he wanted to come to his cabin and see where it came from. :)
PS He also used to call out "Bring me another Deck Boy, this one's split!" :)

Trader
18th January 2014, 18:01
We never saw fresh milk on Blue Funnel when I was there, 1952/56. Maybe on the Aussie run but never on the Far East run.

Alec.

Ken Wood
18th January 2014, 18:33
Seem to remember something known as a mechanical cow, used to produce milk, I presume, from powder. Anyone out there with more info on this?

john fraser
18th January 2014, 19:03
Seem to remember something known as a mechanical cow, used to produce milk, I presume, from powder. Anyone out there with more info on this?
We had the Iron Cows in Ben Line.Ken. used to make about 5 gallon of milk.It was a stainless steel container,the motor was in the lid,with a long shaft that reached down inside.nowadays it would be similar to a high speed blender. The 2nd cook was responsible for making the milk,which consisted of water,milk powder and unsalted butter.Some cooks made an excellent job of making it. One old man used to have a glass of it every morning,swore it was as good as fresh milk.

John Callon
18th January 2014, 22:58
The powdered milk that was used went under the brand name of Millac. If it was produced in a milk machine and then chilled in the fridge it was quite palatable. However many cargo liners, tankers and bulkers etc did not have the luxury of this piece of equipment but if the instructions which came with the product were carried out then you could produce a decent type of milk by using a large whisking bowl and whisk and plenty of elbow grease.

barry john macauley
19th January 2014, 09:12
As far as I know we had no mechanical cows with Shaw Savill(at least I was never asked to fix one). However the hand bashed milk was certainly perfectly adequate for corn flakes and tea.The Smoko milk was certainly very pleasant on the coast.
The mention of cornflakes brings to mind a story(probably apocryphal) about a 'frig. engineer named Nobby Scholes who had quite a serious stutter. One morning at breakfast, Nobby,with the steward in attendance, started to order..."ffffffffff" went Nobby, fish chief? asked the always helpful steward, after a polite period. Frustrated but not wanting help Nobby carried on, "ffffffffffffffffff" f**k it I'll have cornflakes!.
barry mac

lakercapt
20th January 2014, 03:48
Mechanical cows produced good quality of "milk" as long as the ingredients were measured out correctly. It was when they skimped on the salt free butter as the powder was skimmed milk and then it tasted horrible!!!

tom roberts
20th January 2014, 11:04
First trip being the peggy I had to get the stores for the day ,two tins of conny oni for all the deck crowd, I opened them both first time and got a right bo****g from the old hands as when I went to get the second one out of the locker it was covered in jaspers as was the sugar I had not put the lid on,never made that mistake again.

Pat Kennedy
20th January 2014, 19:51
We never saw fresh milk on Blue Funnel when I was there, 1952/56. Maybe on the Aussie run but never on the Far East run.

Alec.

Alec, they had big blocks of frozen milk which were thawed out on the galley stove every morning in a stock pot. That was used for breakfast cereal. Condensed milk for tea and coffee.
Then, fresh milk in Singapore, brought on board by a crowd of Chinese lovelies. Surely you haven't forgotten them?
regards,
Pat(Thumb)

makko
20th January 2014, 20:58
I think I will buy a tin tomorrow, together with some real cocoa powder rather than hot chocolate and stir up a mug of nostalgia! After all, the weather is quite cold at the moment.

Alaric,

Put a big spoon of cocoa powder in a mug and fill up with filter coffee, a bit of sugar and maybe a dash of milk! Very refreshing!

Rgds.
Dave

brandane
20th January 2014, 23:05
What a great thread ~ and great to see so many replies here!!
I hated powdered milk on Shaw Savill ships and as result always drank lemon tea on board ~ and hated coffee. Today I drink mainly Chinese tea or some herbal teas ~ even English Breakfast is nice without milk. On recent visits to China ~ visited many tea-houses and now have good stock of chinese tea and pu'er tea - and chinese teapots and little cups ~s'wonderful ~
Thanks to Shaw Savill ~ I love tea without milk!

John.H.Clark
28th January 2014, 21:46
It did make you appreciate milkshakes in the Auckland ferry building even more. Do people try to make cocoa without condensed milk ?
John

mcglash
10th February 2014, 04:22
Yes the milk on the coast in my case It was my protein fix for the day and if you were called to the phone as was usual around smoko time, if you didn't take your milk with you one of your engineering "mates" drank it. I won't mention what you had to do with your Tab Nab to try and prevent it from being consumed along with the milk if you were called away. On the Aussie coast especially Sydney you had a vendor come on the wharf around smoko time and sell flavoured milk,Malt was my favourite.

Roy

french47
10th February 2014, 13:38
I too was an engineer, I remember putting the Milk? on my corn flakes and watching the weevils doing the breast stroke to the side of the bowl.
Yes it did taste strange !

ben27
11th February 2014, 00:25
good day alaric,sm.18 jan.2014.22:55.re:smoko milk.i have read the post's on the likes and dislikes of powdered milk.in ww2 on carriers we made fresh powdered milk daily.there was a crew of 8to 9 hundred at a time.never heard a complaint.they were using powderd milk on the homme front.and glad of it,sorry life has been so hard for you.regards ben27

slick
11th February 2014, 06:35
All,
In Geelong 1959 (MV Trevose) loading Grain, crates of milk were delivered to the Gangway top for the wharfies loading 'to settle the dust', we too were invited to help ourselves, truly generous.

Yours aye,

slick

alaric
11th February 2014, 08:37
good day alaric,sm.18 jan.2014.22:55.re:smoko milk.i have read the post's on the likes and dislikes of powdered milk.in ww2 on carriers we made fresh powdered milk daily.there was a crew of 8to 9 hundred at a time.never heard a complaint.they were using powderd milk on the homme front.and glad of it,sorry life has been so hard for you.regards ben27
I am a country boy Ben. Grew up with milk straight from the farm during WW2. Is it any wonder that I didn't take to the powdered stuff?

ben27
11th February 2014, 23:19
good day alaric.s,m,yesterday.#25 18:37.re:smoko milk.straight from the cow,must have tasted great,have a great day regards ben27

John Rogers
12th February 2014, 00:35
There was also the Evaporated milk in tins,mixed with a little water it done the job, also it was good in coffee.

spongebob
12th February 2014, 01:26
Some mariners will go to great lengths to obtain fresh milk and this story re German U-Boat 862's visit to Napier port has been authenticated post war but the story re milking the cows remains a rumour



Quote

U-862 departed for her second war patrol from Batavia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakarta) in the Japanese-occupied Netherlands East Indies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlands_East_Indies) in December 1944. Assigned the task of operating off Australia, she sailed down the west coast of Australia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia), across the Great Australian Bight (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Australian_Bight), around the southern coast of Tasmania (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmania) and then north towards Sydney (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney) where she sank the U.S.-registered Liberty ship (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_ship) Robert J. Walker (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=SS_Robert_J._Walker&action=edit&redlink=1) on 25 December 1944. She then travelled around New Zealand (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand) and entered the port of Napier (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napier,_New_Zealand) at night undetected.[3] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_submarine_U-862#cite_note-3) This has given birth to an urban legend in New Zealand, where it is said that the captain of the U-862 sent sailors ashore at night to steal fresh milk from a farm. This may arise from a joke made by Captain Timm to Air Vice Marshal Sir Rochford Hughes in the late 1950s.[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_submarine_U-862#cite_note-4)
U-862 then returned to the Indian Ocean. On 6 February 1945, about 1,520 km (820 nm) southwest of Fremantle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fremantle,_Western_Australia), U-862 sank the U.S.-registered Liberty ship, Peter Silvester (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=SS_Peter_Silvester&action=edit&redlink=1), which was loaded with mules (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mule) bound for Burma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma).
Unquote

Bob

tom roberts
12th February 2014, 11:39
We used to call evaporated milk shaky on Merseyside.I note comments on the best milk shakes has reminded me of the best one I have tasted,re my comment on Aussie and my wish never to go there again it was there I had a fresh pineapple milk shake to beat any I have ever had.

G Eyre
24th February 2014, 03:40
On the Alaric we used to get a panikin of fresh milk every day in the duty mess while on the NZ coast, it was a race with a mug to get some before it all went; consequently there was more spilt than drank on most days, late revelers returning to the ship in the wee small hours used to steal a bottle left in a shop doorway by the milkman otherwise it was powdered at all times.

AllisterSpeirs
6th March 2014, 02:01
I was surprised at the number of prompt replies to this thread, and mostly from mariners that didn't sail with Shaw Savill. Thank you for your response.
Several mentions of coni-oni reminded me that this was the only milk that I did enjoy at sea, but only in cocoa and only in cold weather. I think I will buy a tin tomorrow, together with some real cocoa powder rather than hot chocolate and stir up a mug of nostalgia! After all, the weather is quite cold at the moment.

Having difficulty handling all this nostalgia,especially that milk churn at the bottom of the gangway at Appleton Quay Melbourne.I remember it arrived usually around 6-30am. and the night watchman got the first slug,perhaps even the second and third.If only wee could do it all over again.So many great memories ..

AllisterSpeirs
6th March 2014, 02:06
I was surprised at the number of prompt replies to this thread, and mostly from mariners that didn't sail with Shaw Savill. Thank you for your response.
Several mentions of coni-oni reminded me that this was the only milk that I did enjoy at sea, but only in cocoa and only in cold weather. I think I will buy a tin tomorrow, together with some real cocoa powder rather than hot chocolate and stir up a mug of nostalgia! After all, the weather is quite cold at the moment.

Having difficulty handling all this nostalgia,especially that milk churn at the bottom of the gangway at Appleton Quay Melbourne.I remember it arrived usually around 6-30am. and the night watchman got the first slug,perhaps even the second and third.If only wee could do it all over again.So many great memories,and hey Shaw Savill was the best I tried the rest.

alaric
6th March 2014, 09:07
Allister's rhyme, "Shaw Savill was best, I tried the rest" says it all, and backs up my claim made in the Pig & Whistle forum, Down to the Sea thread on February 11th
"I say this from a very privileged position, having sailed with the best shipping company, on the best ships, on the best routes, with the best shipmates and crews at the best of times.
Another sweeping statement which may be challenged?"
This statement has not, in fact been challenged, so I think we can take it as official SN view that Shaw Savill was indeed THE BEST

Pat Kennedy
6th March 2014, 09:26
I dont want to rain on your parade, but, I only sailed in one of Shaw Swivel's, the Waipawa.
A good ship with a good crowd, both on deck and down below. But the accommodation was very basic and the food was nothing special.
I'd give it five out of ten.
Pat(Thumb)

alaric
6th March 2014, 09:32
I dont want to rain on your parade, but, I only sailed in one of Shaw Swivel's, the Waipawa.
A good ship with a good crowd, both on deck and down below. But the accommodation was very basic and the food was nothing special.
I'd give it five out of ten.
Pat(Thumb)
Never had the pleasure of sailing on a Wai, but please bear in mind that Waipawa was built 1934

Pat Kennedy
6th March 2014, 09:43
Never had the pleasure of sailing on a Wai, but please bear in mind that Waipawa was built 1934

And you could tell!
(Jester)

AllisterSpeirs
7th March 2014, 03:48
I dont want to rain on your parade, but, I only sailed in one of Shaw Swivel's, the Waipawa.
A good ship with a good crowd, both on deck and down below. But the accommodation was very basic and the food was nothing special.
I'd give it five out of ten.
Pat(Thumb)

G/day Pat Im really quite excited that Iv at last came across someone that has actually sailed on the old Wiapawa,I did the last trip on her it really was a sad day when we let go from Invercargell,the only,, ship that I ever sailed that had wooden derricks, they were at No.4 hatch.I believe she was the first ship on the coast to have a crew bar happy times indeed.

spongebob
7th March 2014, 04:42
And you could tell!
(Jester)

Pat, I was built in 1934 and your right, you can tell.

Bob

TOM ALEXANDER
7th March 2014, 07:52
Milk after about 4 days out was condensed mixed 50/50 (or so we were told?) with water. For some strange reason, my Dad who served with the Royal Horse Artillery in Kenya in WW II had a similar experience and they called it "bull's milk". (Bounce)

alaric
7th March 2014, 10:21
G/day Pat Im really quite excited that Iv at last came across someone that has actually sailed on the old Wiapawa,I did the last trip on her it really was a sad day when we let go from Invercargell,the only,, ship that I ever sailed that had wooden derricks, they were at No.4 hatch.I believe she was the first ship on the coast to have a crew bar happy times indeed.
See post #1 Wooden Derricks thread on The Bridge forum.
Hope to find out more about wooden derricks. Did anyone come across them on older SSA ships?

Geoff Gower
7th March 2014, 10:28
Who shares my fond memories of Smoko Milk?
When I first went to sea in 1959 I experienced a dreadful gastronomic shock a few days out of London when the supply of fresh milk ran out. The stewards mixed some awful white powder with water and served it as a milk substitute. Much to my amazement, some of my shipmates lapped it up, adding it to tea and coffee, and even soaking their cornflakes with the stuff!
I could not stand it, and as a result have taken my tea and coffee without milk (black) ever since, even though proper (full cream) milk reappeared as soon as we were on the Oz and Kiwi coasts.
Every day in port, a very large jug of this wonderful milk was served at morning Smoko in the Engineer’s Duty Mess, enough for everyone to have several glasses, although I probably had more than my fair share (I still carry the result)? Does anyone else remember this delicious daily portion of nectar? Slow Starvation? No way
I still occasionally treat myself to a glass of milk with, rather than in my morning coffee. Gives me a nostalgia boost.

Some sophistication there !! In my eight years at sea all I ever got was "Conny Onny" tinned condensed.Not really enough to last a week but if careful then you could get one neat finger-full to lick and suck making the experience last as long as you could! Pleasure !!!!!

stein
7th March 2014, 10:28
The "iron cow," as the mixer was called in Norwegian, functioned quite well as I remember it. But we sometimes ran out of powder, and was given thin oatmeal soup as substitute, and that really was no real substitute!

Something called "Viking Milk" was once common as coffee addition in Norway. It was yellowish and you got it in a small thin that you punctured twice with a special tool, and it was said to be able to last for 8 years. What that consisted of I don't know, the adverts only said it was sugarfree, but while it was OK for the coffee, the taste of it alone was truly vile. Fridtjof Nansen brought it along with him to the North Pole in 1893-1895, and it was part of the Norwegian life-boat rations. Here's a strange advert for it with a whale catcher and a ghost fleet of Vikings: http://eldre-reklamebilder.origo.no/-/image/show/1059235_viking-melk?ref=checkpoint

alaric
7th March 2014, 23:19
The "iron cow," as the mixer was called in Norwegian, functioned quite well as I remember it. But we sometimes ran out of powder, and was given thin oatmeal soup as substitute, and that really was no real substitute!

Something called "Viking Milk" was once common as coffee addition in Norway. It was yellowish and you got it in a small thin that you punctured twice with a special tool, and it was said to be able to last for 8 years. What that consisted of I don't know, the adverts only said it was sugarfree, but while it was OK for the coffee, the taste of it alone was truly vile. Fridtjof Nansen brought it along with him to the North Pole in 1893-1895, and it was part of the Norwegian life-boat rations. Here's a strange advert for it with a whale catcher and a ghost fleet of Vikings: http://eldre-reklamebilder.origo.no/-/image/show/1059235_viking-melk?ref=checkpoint
Hello Stein, is the advert implying that Viking Melk was whale extract? That would account for the taste!

trotterdotpom
8th March 2014, 00:31
Hello Stein, is the advert implying that Viking Melk was whale extract? That would account for the taste!

Anyone who has the nerve to milk a whale deserves the right to wear cows' horns on his hat. I'd like some assurance that it didn't come from a Sperm Whale though.

In reality, it sounds like the Vikings may have taken "conny onny" technology back home from Lindisfarne.

John T

stein
8th March 2014, 05:01
Yes it is condensed milk, 50 per cent of the water removed. The claim of "no sugar" was because other producers added sugar to conserve the stuff, I read. Probably nothing particularly Norwegian about it but the name, but it was something very common in our coffee drinking nation before everybody had refrigerators. To me the tin with its Viking ship has become emblematic for a time with steam locomotives, hats, and large wood-cased radios etc.