Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween Nacho Cheese Dip with Goat Cheese

This is my favorite nacho sauce made fun for Halloween! The chili powder turns the sauce a bit yellow, so adding blue food coloring makes it green.

2 cups fresh goat milk
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup fresh goat cheese
3 tsp onion powder
3 tsp salt
2 tsp chili powder
blue food coloring
In a medium pot, heat goat milk and cornstarch over med high heat, stirring constantly until thickened, about 5-8 minutes. Add goat cheese, onion powder, salt, and chili powder, and continue to heat and stir until cheese has melted and sauce has smooth consistency. Milk or water can be added if mixture becomes too thick. Remove from heat and add blue food coloring a drop at a time until desired shade of green is reached. Serve warm or cold.
This sauce is also great with veggies, or stirred into rice or pasta.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Rice Pudding

3 cups fresh goat milk
1 cup cooked pumpkin puree (canned) 3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup long cooking rice (not minute) 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash cinnamon
dash fresh grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 310 degrees. Prepare a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil. In a medium bowl, mix together milk and pumpkin until blended, then pour into baking dish. Add all other ingredients, stirring briefly. They will sink to the bottom of the dish. Place uncovered in the oven and bake for 3 hours, stirring every 1/2 hour during the first hour, and once again during the second hour. Serve warm or cold.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Goat Cart for the Astoria Regatta Parade 2015


Every year I have kept dairy goats, there have been baby goats.I usually sell them, even though they are always very cute.When there are male goats to sell, I always tell the buyers, that they can be used to pull carts. This year I decided to try cart training myself!

I had several very cute male goats that were altered, becoming 'wethers'. One really stood out by being a little stronger, smarter, and cuter than the rest.He is named Alert, for a Coast Guard Cutter docked here. I worked with him the most, but it turned out to be a better herd leader than a harness goat. He is always first to the pasture, smelling and looking around to make sure it's safe for everyone, and sounds the alarm if there is movement in the bushes (usually just me).

There are two wethers close to Alert's size, Jack and Ace. Since they aren't leaders with Alert around, they were curious, and interested in the the cart. I made the little cart from old bike wheels, some new steel parts from the hardware store, and some scrap lumber. My mom sewed the harness straps from some polyester canvas with strips of goat feed bags to strengthen. The little stand that held my sign just sat on top of the decking. I couldn't resist little ties so they looked cute for the parade.
Since they were 4 month old babies at the time, we just practiced a few minutes each day, pulling the cart on the road turnout by my house. The parade route was just one mile long and luckily they got through the whole route, though the last few blocks took some coaxing! I am so proud of them!

Once they are a little bigger, I hope to train one or both to a larger harness I have for a small pony's cart.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Bedtime Stories

My friend Liam Dunne invites me to be on his radio show "Bedtime Stories" on KMUN 91.9 from time to time. Usually I read stories other people have written, but this time Liam challenged me to write one myself. So, this story is about life in the country where I live, Astoria Oregon.


 Jack's Chowder

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, there lived a country boy named Jack. It is a well known fact that country boys know how to do a wide variety of things and make the best of what they have. This is something Jack really liked about living in the country.

One late summer morning, Jack was delivering some firewood to the smoke house in the town of Astoria so they could smoke their fine salmon. It was a beautiful day, so Jack decided to take a walk along the Columbia River, which is the big river there. Astoria is a very old town has many fancy Victorian homes overlooking the river, and Jack's friend Tyler lived in one of them. Tyler happened to see Jack walking along the river and joined him for his walk.

Tyler talked about all the new things that were going on in town, new shops and his art gallery opening, and Jack told Tyler about the new shed he'd built to keep his firewood dry and how he was looking forward to digging for razor clams later that day.

Tyler mentioned the last catch of razor clams Jack had brought him and  the delicious chowder he made from them. Tyler continued, saying "you know, Jack, I have a friend named Sara who is coming to visit tomorrow. I think she would be very impressed if you made some of your chowder. She said she is bringing the entire cast of her new tv show."This sounded impressive to Jack. He agreed to make chowder for them and set off to gather the ingredients right away.

Jack drove his farm truck to the beach and took out his bucket and clam shovel. The tide was very low, a minus tide, and so there were lots of other people out on the beach digging too. Since the razor clams at Fort Stevens beach are plentiful, Jack dug up his limit of 15 clams in just an hour. "What a feast this will make" he thought. Then he started to think about what Tyler had said about Sara and the entire cast of her show. He started to worry that maybe there would be lots of people and he should make a very big batch of chowder. As he was thinking about this however, he forgot to watch where he was walking and tripped over a piece of driftwood sticking up out of the sand. He fell and tipped over the entire bucket of razor clams. He was able to grab hold of three, but most of the clams quickly dug down in the sand and were gone. The tide was quickly coming in, so there was no time to dig more. "Well, three will have to do. They are good sized ones at least."

Jack put the bucket with the razor clams in his farm truck, and noticed several people walking into the forest near where he was parked. He said to himself, "last week's rain must have brought up some mushrooms. I know a good spot where they grow well." He drove just a little further to the South Jetty, at the far end of Fort Stevens Park. He took a large paper bag and started out into the forest hoping there would be many. He walked for quite a while, and though there had been many mushrooms, they were either already picked or half eaten by deer. Discouraged, he started back for his truck. On the way back he did find a few nice chanterelles he missed on his way in. "I am lucky to find these. These are nice quality, and will add to the flavor of my chowder," he thought.

Jack drove home wondering how in the world he would make enough chowder for his friend and an entire cast of a tv show with just three clams and some chantrelle mushrooms. He passed his neighbor, Mary, who had dairy goats and he knew goat milk would make the best chowder. As luck would have it, she was out in front of her house trying to convince a naughty goat to go ino the barn for milking time. Jack stopped and asked, "Hi Mary, do you have extra milk today?" "Yes", she said. "I have a good two gallons because I'm almost finished milking. I just have this one last goat to milk." So, he followed her back into the milking room only to discover one of the goats had knocked over the entire milk bucket.
"Goats! Well, this last goat only gives a few quarts, but her milk is the best, so that's the good news." Jack was grateful the naughty little goat gave a good half gallon, but still worried if it would be enough for Tyler, Sara, and everyone she was bringing with her.

Once home, Jack put the milk and chanterelles away, and set about preparing the razor clams for chowder. As he worked, he glanced out the kitchen window to see that the blackberry vines along his driveway were covered with ripe berries. "That's what else to bring," he said to himself. After carefully putting the clams away, he set out along his driveway and then the main road with a huge bowl and picked blackberries until it was nearly dark. His bowl was very full, but he saw a few more of the most perfect berries just a little out of reach. He set his bowl down on the side of the road and managed to reach them. Just then, a big blue 4x4 truck came roaring around the curve in the road, and drove right over the whole bowl of blackberries, crushing them under the big tires. Jack shook his head. "This is not good, but the blackberries from this last vine are the best, so that is good."

The next day, Jack set about making his chowder. In his best stockpot, he put the goat milk, the Chanterelle mushrooms, and the razor clams, all chopped nicely. He added a huge sweet onion from his garden, and some potatoes his neighbor brought by. Jack added the finishing touch, some fresh herbs from his window sill, and gave the chowder a little taste as the scent of the chowder began to be so delicious. "There isn't a lot, but this chowder is very good, and making the very best with what you have is the country way."
With that, he carefully placed the stockpot of chowder and small basket of blackberries in his farm truck, and off to town he went, very, very carefully.

Once he got to Tyler's Victorian, he expected to see at least a dozen cars, because every time he thought of Sara's tv show cast, he had imagined more and more people visiting. But, there was only one small car. He walked up the steps and Tyler opened the door to help. Jack walked inside to find just Tyler and his friend Sara.

Jack looked about. "Hi Sara, nice to meet you, and welcome to Astoria! I am confused. Tyler said you were bringing your tv show cast?"
"They are all here," said Sara, smiling, holding up a small tablet computer. Sara's internet show was animated, so her entire cast fit neatly in her hand. Jack began to smile. He had worried there wouldn't be enough chowder for everyone, and now there would be more than plenty, because animated characters would have no use for his chowder.

Sara, Tyler, and Jack all sat down with big bowls of Jack's chowder, and some fresh bread Tyler bought in town that morning. Sara had brought some ice cream, which was perfect with the fresh blackberries for dessert. They talked and talked over their wonderful dinner about Jack's adventures in finding all the ingredients, and Tyler and Sara agreed it was the best they had ever tasted.

Sara was so impressed with Jack, decided she should make a new character for her show, and it must be a county boy named Jack, who knows how to make the very best out of what
there is!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Gluten Free Blackberry Cobbler

That moment when you realize your favorite goat has been eating blackberries out of the bowl as quickly as you have been picking them. Similarly, that moment when your favorite goat girl sees the purple on your chin and says the blackberry service is over. Dang! (Dang!)

I did manage to pick enough blackberries out of reach of my goat Jelly for a nice cobbler.

Gluten Free Blackberry Cobbler

3 cups fresh blackberries
1 cup sugar

1 cup brown rice flour
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup fresh goat milk
1/2 cup goat butter or olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9"x2"deep pie dish with olive oil or coking spray. In a medium bowl, place blackberries and sugar, stirring to mix, and set aside. In another medium bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Place flour mixture into the pie dish and spoon the blackberry mixture over the top. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the crust is well browned. Serve warm or cold. Tastes great with vanilla frozen goat milk yogurt.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Penny Wise Goats

There is a thrift store in Warrenton the next town over named Penny Wise, it supports a mental health charity. The lady who runs the store, named Pat is sweet and teases me about how long and curly my hair is.

Pat sells my soaps in her shop, and in turn I donate two dollars from every soap to her charity. I knew I would have quite a few babies for the year so to help a little more I decided to raffle two of them with the winning ticket drawn on the opening day of Sunday Market.

The tickets went really fast and we noticed the market manager was buying quite a few. It turned out for the best because she won the goats and was happy to win them. So off they went to live in her backyard with a very nice view and be completely spoiled rotten. As it should be.

It was also good news for Pat and the mental health charity because we raised over $400 and still she teases me about my hair.

Elsa's Goats

My original herd of five goats was getting older and not producing as much milk as when they where younger. That"s okay, they've given us a lot of milk and kids and deserve to relax awhile. But, there was still increasing demand for milk and soap.

I talked to my friend Elsa from whom i had gotten my original goats. She said she had too many goats, some of which where ready to freshen, and that she would loan them to me to milk. I thought one would be okay, but when she brought the goat over she brought another five goats!


It was a little crazy at first to have this many goats and even more so when the babies arrived. Once i got organized i finely had enough milk for my costumers.

Sweet Toggenburg does from left to right: Darling, Crinoline, Jenny and Special. And Pudding, also a Toggenburg came a few weeks later.