I know it's silly to be sentimental about something like a milk strainer, but I'm nuts that way: I've had that thing ever since my parents sold us our first milk cow in 1968. They threw in the strainer with the cow, and although I've had several periods of cow-less-ness (how's that for a word?) since that time, I can't bring myself to toss it. It's a good thing, since at this point I'm using it again. Lord only knows how old it is. I only found out yesterday that this type strainer was made to set atop the old milk cans, back when any small farmer could milk a couple of cows and sell the milk for cheese-making and the cream for butter-making. If you checked out the entry I linked above, you saw the pictures of the way I use it, which is exactly how my mom showed me.
I Googled "milk strainer" last night and found that they can still be purchased, although the new ones are not made exactly like this one. Most of them are stainless steel, smaller, and come at a high price. I don't plan to buy one, but I was curious. You know, just in case the day comes when that metal thing falls apart. I wouldn't invest a lot in something to strain milk because, at my age, even if I live another twenty years (God help my knees if that happens), I know I am liable to stop milking cows at any time, either out of necessity or out of weariness.
I made an interesting little side trip in my Internet travels yesterday; I stopped by Ebay, and found out the old milk strainers are labeled "vintage" and are used to make things like lamp shades. Really? I have to say, that made me smile when I first read it. I've seen some ugly lamp shades in my time, but I think a metal milk strainer would out-ugly all of them. I found one strainer almost exactly like mine with a buy-it-now price of $42, except the part I need even has a fancy little knob to hold onto when you place it down in the strainer!
I don't suppose I could get them to sell me that part and keep the rest of the strainer for a lamp shade (yes, I am still smiling at the thought of a lamp shade).
I think if I am VERY careful, I can make that poor old piece of metal in my vintage item last me as long as I need it. Here's hoping.