Do you remember a time when the morning wake-up call was the clink of milk bottles on the doorstep? When you left out the empties and the full bottles delivered in their place by the milkman would form an inch or two of cream around the neck? When the milk tasted like milk?
Elaine Weir does. She's the mum of an enterprising Co Down farming family who are part of a quiet revolution to put real milk back into our fridges. On the Weir farm in the foothills of the Mournes near Rathfriland they're serving the milk from their dairy herd direct to the public. And the lengthy queues in their yard for that day's fresh supply testify to the huge public appetite for whole milk with a taste and richness you won't find in the supermarket.
"This is not shop-bought milk," she explains. "Processing standardises milk, but every dairy farm's milk is different, with qualities all of its own. We pasteurise our milk on the farm but nothing is put in and nothing is taken out."
However, this is no exercise in milking stool nostalgia. It's a very 21st century operation that taps into the growing desire for locally-produced, high quality products by delivering it with user-friendly technology.
A typical day at the Weirs' farm begins at 5am when Elaine's husband Nigel gets up to milk their Ayrshire cross herd. About 95% of their output still goes to a large dairy processor but it's what happens to the remainder that's interesting. This milk stays on the farm, undergoing a two-and-a-half-hour process of pasteurisation which destroys any bacteria by gently heating the milk before it is transferred to a cooling tank.
The customers start arriving from 7.30am. In the yard stands a shed housing two vending machines - one to dispense glass bottles and the other to dispense milk. Payment for everything is contactless. Once you've bought your bottle (£2.50 for one-litre size, £2 for 500ml) it's yours to keep, and you can use it again and again after a dip in the dishwasher, although Elaine says you can bring any litre or half-litre container you want.
The second machine supplies the milk, which ranges from £1 for a litre of regular milk to £1.50 for a litre of flavoured milk. The flavoured milks are the fun bit - there's the standard strawberry, chocolate and banana flavours, but also a weekly special that could be salted caramel, mint chocolate or Irish cream.
"The milkshakes are very popular with the young," said Elaine.
"But we're getting customers of all ages. When we started out I thought our main customers would be people who remembered how milk used to be, but we're finding quite a mix of older people, young families and teenagers turning up."
And the all-important question: what does it taste like? My first sample of Weir's milk was a litre of vanilla flavour. Cold, sweet and rich, it was like drinking liquid ice cream. The entire litre completely disappeared within minutes.
Other customers are similarly impressed. Comments left by purchasers include things like "totally delicious", "a taste of childhood", "amazing".
The Weirs are not the only family selling milk direct to the public this way - there is a small but growing number of farms from the north coast to the Ards peninsula doing the same, following a trend that has been spreading across Europe for some years.
"The response for us has been phenomenal," said Elaine. We never envisaged the demand would be so great. From day one there have been queues in the yard."
This new method of bringing milk to the public may be a long way from the days of the doorstep pinta, but it does bring us closer to how it's produced, gives support to hard-pressed, hard-working local farmers, and reminds us all how real milk used to taste.
For information on location and opening times, visit facebook.com/weirfarmsrathfriland