A visit from my overseas grandchildren is imminent. Their request? Please put a tin of condensed milk in the freezer for us! As a child I never had such ready access to a freezer – the paraffin fridge on our farm barely kept things cold and the electric fridge in our mine house had a freezing compartment only large enough to hold two ice trays – but our children discovered the joy of keeping an open tin of condensed milk in the freezer. This allowed for deliciously thick spoonfuls of condensed milk to be scooped out and savoured on a hot day. During my childhood it was a real treat to share a tin of condensed milk with my brothers. Pull tops had not yet been invented.

Instead, two holes would be punched into the lid of the tin. How well I remember the joy of us taking turns to suck that sickly sweet, sticky, off-white liquid from the tin. Sheer heaven. Nectar from the gods. Of course we didn’t worry about the potential risks of sharing such a treat like that then!

To this day, I regard a tin of condensed milk an essential item to be packed for any camping trip we go on. Even though I eschewed having sugar in either tea or coffee over half a century ago, it feels ‘just right’ to have a large mug of strong, hot coffee with a dollop of condensed milk stirred into it – along with a rusk to dunk in it. This is the ‘right’ way in which to greet the first fingers of light at dawn when camping.



  1. Maybe I would have felt differently as a child had we had condensed milk, but it is far too sickly sweet for me now. When, as a Social Worker, I visited families some would give me tea with condensed milk. I don’t like tea or sugar either. My best option was to let it cool and down it in one.


    • The irony is that I now dislike sweet drinks of all kinds. I think condensed milk was such a rare treat during my childhood (one tin divided between me and three brothers) that I have maintained a lingering delight – hence I have it only now and then in very strong coffee 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. A delicious childhood memory. I have never heard of freezing condensed milk for a treat. The only time I use condensed milk is when cooking.
    Have a great weekend.


  3. Ek deel absoluut jou gevoel hieroor. Ons het dieslfde manuer kondensmelk geniet met die gaatjies. Ek sit steeds in die somer n blik in die vrieskas en nee, mens kamp nie sonder dit nie. Kampvuur koffie met kondensmelk, ai hoe lus ek nou

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Long ago, I used to make a delicious dessert that combined condensed milk with oats, baked until brown, then drizzled with caramel and dark chocolate, then cut into bars. So good, but all those ingredients are now off my diet, alas.


  5. Nou praat jy so reg in my hart in, Anne. Ek verkies ñ blikkie kondensmelk bo alle soetgoed. Een met twee gaatjies in, en een net vir myself. Nes vir jou was dit ñ absolute treat om ñ blikkie as kind te kon kry. My ma het dieselfde daaroor gevoel as ek so ons twee sou een deel. My boeties het nooit eers geweet nie.☺️😉


  6. Dit bring kondensmelk herinneringe terug. As kind het ons vakansies by Ouma op die dorp gaan kuier. Tien uur die oggend is ons met die grondpad na die middel vd dorp, om op die speelgronde te swaai en gly en draai. Die treat was om daarna ‘n Pikkie te kan koop. Dit hou nie op nie: eksamentye op universiteit het my ma vir my ‘n blikke kondensmelk gestuur… as motivering om hard te swot. Kondensmelk bly die wenner, né


  7. Now that you remind me, I can clearly recall punching holes in condensed milk cans. It was a great treat when i was young. I wonder if I would still like it now. If it was on a bowl of tinned peaches, I probably would. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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