9 Ways You Know You Grew Up Dutch Dairy

Christmas card with matching cow spotted outifts

Growing up in our dairy community in Eastern New Mexico, it felt like everyone I knew was Dutch and dairy farmers. So all of my family’s weird quirks seemed normal. It was not until I was older did I realize not everyone did all these things. I have included just a few fun facts. Some are more dairy, some are more Dutch.

1. Shaking the gallon of milk before pouring it

We have all done it, forget to shake the gallon of milk and ended up with cream on our cereal instead of milk! Raw milk is not homogenized like pasteurized milk. So the cream settles on the top.

**Please hold your comments about the pros/cons of raw milk.

2. Christmas card pictures with matching cow spot outfits

MOM, please don’t make me match my siblings or wear cow spots!

Christmas card with matching cow spotted outifts
Real photo of one of my family’s Christmas card pictures!

3. Smells like money

When you have non-dairy friends over, and they ask you, “WHAT is that smell?” and you say “what smell?”.

4. Playing Dutch Bingo

No, this isn’t the next hit board game. Everyone is related and/or knows each other in the Dutch dairy community. Dutch bingo is a conversation between two strangers that goes something like this: Ohhh you are a dairy farmer too. You lived in Chino? So you graduated from OC with Arie DeJong? And married Annelise Van Dam? Isn’t she Syp Vander Dussen’s neice? Sooo we are 4th cousins!!

5. Free school supplies at the annual convention and expos

All those vendors with all those pencils, pens and notepads. You better grab a bag and start checking off your school supply list. You get to count this one twice if the annual convention was also your “family vacation”.

6. Favorite Dutch foods

There is nothing better than all the good Dutch treats! You were the envy of every kid at school when you brought a hagelslag sandwich! (This is a sandwich with chocolate sprinkles and butte in case you were wondering!) A few other favorites are oliebollen at New Years Eve, chocolate letters at Christmas and stroopwafels for breakfast!

7. The dairy is your play ground

Whether you are playing with the calves, building hay forts, playing in the cotton seed or making squirt guns out of syringes, a farm is the most fun place for a kid to grow up!

8. Shit is not a cuss word

It is just a part of life.

9. You love cows

Like really love cows!

Did I forget some of your favorite things about being dairy or Dutch? Leave a comment below. I would love to hear other people’s most memorable moments!

Udderly in love with dairy,

New Mexico Milkmaid


49 thoughts on “9 Ways You Know You Grew Up Dutch Dairy

  1. The matching outfits… Someone once said our Christmas card looked like my mom hung a curtain& cut places out for our heads! And definitely the schools supplies and family vacation haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. …was many years past in Southern California, but one of the best things I always shared about growing up on the dairy, in addition to sweeping the hay alley on roller skates and all you shared, was that if you needed to talk with DAD or just hang out with him, you could find him in the pasture or “milk house”…missing my awesome father who taught us 8 children how to work, play, and love God!


  3. Our favorite dairy things; walking through the fresh cowPIES , playing in the cotton piles and eating the marshmallow out of the grain barn .yes we had a fairy on the chino valley in California!!


  4. I am part of the big Van Leeuwen family and can relate to all of the fun mentioned above. We did it all. One story and one correction I would like to add. One day my brother & I climbed up on the top of a 40 ft high hay stack. we were probaboy 8 & 10
    or 10 & 12. He said, “I can run and jump over to the next stack” He ran jumped and didn’t make it and was stuck with his hands on one side of the 40 foot high gap with his feet on the other stack, 40 feet up in mid air. I was the only other person around, I had to go down, get the ladder, drag it up and lay it across the gap so he could get on it and save himself. And one correction: Pasturization is not what keeps the cream from coming up to the top, it is Homognization. Pasturization is a process of killing bacteria. Homoginzation is a process by using extreme pressure on the milk, to break up the fat molicules into smaller particales so that they can no longer float to the top.


  5. Love this! It’s all part of who I am today!! We are back in chino and it’s where our ❤️ is again! Get to raise our 3 boys like I grew up!


  6. Did I see goats in that one video? :?)

    Similar comments, esp. re the stink and the bingo, are characteristic of the Chicago Dutch garbage/trash/”waste” haulers.

    Fun blog.


  7. Playing in the hay barn was always one of our options. also Dutch Bingo, we still play it! Those Dutch last names are always fun. I went from Poortinga (my maiden name) to Munneke, I have brothers farming here in Washington and my husband has relatives still farming in the Chino area


  8. b Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. We play Dutch bingo every where we go. so much fun and it doesn’t take as long as long as Monopoly.


  9. This is hilarious! To this day, I still shake ANYthing I pour, just out of habit (though it’s not the same if it isn’t from a stainless steel jug), and Dutch bingo is so true! When my husband and I were dating we went through our family trees to make sure we weren’t related!!! Also, no visit back to Chino was complete without a trip to the Dutch Bakery for some Double Zouts!!!


  10. Didn’t anybody else feed calves and cows and also doctor them , I also loved playing on haystacks and helping dad milk probably because he wanted company


  11. My husband and I recently reopened the old Holland American store on Artesia blvd in bellflower ca. Inevitably the first question you hear a Dutch person ask when they walk in the door is ” what is your last name?” We have been the hub of ” Dutch bingo” since…….


  12. I really understand #8. I once got in trouble in school for saying that. Mt teacher said that this is not a barnyard, Mr. Van Vliet. I still get a kick out of this!


  13. My husband is a De Jong, raised by a former dairyman, My dad was dairyman. He said he was NEVER going to do the Dutch Bingo thing because he always heard his parents do it. Guess what he does now !! Dairying is an honest, proud way to earn a living.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I am Syp Vander Dussen’s niece—his favorite one too;-)
    Married one of the many, many Arie de Jongs!
    Thanks for the great trip down memory lane.


  15. You become accustomed to the smell of cow poo “The smell of money”! Also never forget the joys of showing your pigs at the county fair wearing your new boots, perfectly matched with your hat paired with jeans!


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