Monday, August 31, 2009

Vacation at Home

Thursday at 9:30 am, I frustratedly (stoopid Windows Media Player) ran out of the house and jumped into my Smart Car. I was off for vacation in Philadelphia, my home for 27 years and part of my identity. First stop was Emmaus, PA which is outside of Allentown. I had to pass a childhood favorite summer destination, Dorney Park and Wild Water Kingdom. I was heading to Wizards World of Tattooing and Piercing III to see my friend Ben.

Ben has done 8 out 10 of my tattoos and every one a masterpiece which I am proud to display. This time I was getting a garter belt around the left thigh of the Philadelphia skyline. Living outside Washington, DC in Northern Virginia, I found myself missing the Philly skyline or any skyline for that matter. In the suburbs, you always feel surrounded, I like to aim high in steering and ponder the possibilities in the distance. This is also possible to achieve in a rural setting and this city girl sure has gone county. And I love it, my other thigh will eventually get a farm/rural/cheese related garter belt. One thigh for the city and the other for the country. I will post pics of the skyline tattoo once i get home.

Ben does incredible work and takes his time to get it right. He is excited for a challenge. If you ever need work, see this man. I got into Emmaus around 2, we had lunch and talked design. Got started around 4:30, went to 8:30 with a few breaks. I was on the road to Philly around 9.

Driving from Woodbridge, VA to Emmaus, PA, I went through York, PA where I got my first piercing in 1996. I skirted Kutztown and Lancaster, drove on 30, 309, 222, 476, 76, 422, 202, 29, 363. And there was construction on every road. The whole drive from VA to Philly was a tour through my history. More fun than ever in my little Smart Car with the top down and system thumping. I drove from Woodbridge to Emmaus, to Philly on one $20 tank of gas.

My tattoo is the Philly skyline from the South Street Bridge. This bridge I connect with very early memories. There was a poem written on the side of the bridge, I think it was one word per panel. I wish I had written it down, I don't remember what the words said but it spanned the bridge. The story goes, the gay author wrote it then committed suicide by jumping off. I was heart broken when they covered it up a few years ago. But now the bridge is gone, which I had forgotten about as I hadn't been in town since January of this year and I never saw a sign on the matter.

I did see one for construction at University City which I thought didn't apply to me as I was getting off one stop before but I got caught in it. I got into Philly around 10:30. My dear old friend Erik was putting me up and has a lovely home with Bill and are wonderful hosts. Bill was out of town till tomorrow night. Erik had some Dolce and Carini Sicilian pizza waiting for me. I had it cold and loved it then it was my breakfast all hot and toasty for the next two days. Yum, can't get crust like that in VA/DC.

Friday, was a leisurely morning spent with Erik, then Eric came over. We walked down South Street from 22nd and Fitz. Hit Spool for fabric for a hat Erik was to make which is completed and fabulous. Then we walked up to Rittenhouse, hung in the park, into Anthro and Urban. Then Tria for a cheese related orgy. That experience will wait to be a post of its own. Tria was followed by a stop at 20th & Sansom for some of the best Gelato in the universe at Capogiro. Which we took back to Erik's via cab.

We received a visit from the Fox, then Stein. I went round the corner to visit Lance and meet his new puppy, a Frenchie and see his old Pug. Then Erik, Stein, and I hitched a cab to meet Eric and Stephen for dinner. This dinner will have to wait for a post of it's own. Something unbelievable took place, it is a shocker! Stein, Erik, and I then cabbed it back to Erik's and watched good old Female Trouble.

One reason I could no longer stand to live in the city was because I got sick and could no longer walk everywhere and I got motion sickness so easily. I get sick in the back of cabs, on subways, buses, trains. If you don't know, I have M.S. and started to get sick about three years ago. Doing great these days but the first two years were rough. But that is a different post.

Saturday morning I got up and out to see my Holistic Health Consular, Alex at the Lansdown farmer's market. I highly recommend this lady and I am proud to call her a great friend for over a decade.
But I am not biased, I have been working with her for the past many months and have gotten healthier with her help. And we can work through the distance by phone and email. The farmer's market was great, and we fit the two of us, a checkers table, folding chair and groceries all in my 'lil car. Went to Glen Olden, saw her wonderful husband and two kids and enjoyed a fresh farmer's market salad.

I set off for East Norriton with a stop at the Plymouth meeting mall was is a pig in a dress. The Macy's is a joke as are most of the other stores but there is still a carousel. Tried to go to the Bakemister in Norristown which is gone. Got to my grandparents with my arms hanging down. Grandpop was amused by the tiny car. Grandmom was 86 today and a bit more worse for the wear, she had recently started chemo therapy. Had a nice visit and they feed me and wanted me to eat more. It's hard to get Grandmom to sit down when I visit but I offer her help which she never wants.

From there, I went to see an old friend Adam, in Phoenixville which sure has changed. I have been in love with the Colonial theater for ages, been to Steel City it is surrounded by hip trendy restaurants. But I wouldn't mind living in a town like that. It is very walkable, nice Main St., accessable to city or farm, and beautiful Victorian houses. My friend's place had been beautifully renovated with a thriving garden.

Heading back to Philly, I got caught in a storm which I didn't mind but no one else could seem to drive. Going 35 on 76 in the left lane, give me a fucking break. I got my 'lil car to go 60 and the SUV is scared. But Philly was fairy dry once I got into town then it rain 20 minuets later.

Back to Erik's, then down to 13th and Dickinson to Bonnie's Capistrano Bar. Great hole in the wall which I think has been the same forever. It was a friend, Anna's birthday and a great time was had. The only downfall was the cigarette smoke. I am a retired smoker but sometimes I regress. This night, it made me so ill and I wasn't drinking. When I got back to Erik's I had to wash the stench off, got to bed after 2 a.m.

Sunday, woke up late had a big yummy breakfast made with love by Erik. Then I was off to see Laura, another birthday girl. Went to B2, I got a tiny vegan doughnut and an iced blue eyes tea from a blue eyed barista of a certain Philly variety. Him and Laura chatted as I looked for movie times and noticed that a second show was added for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia "The Nightman Cometh" and they went on sale Friday. I was rude and called from the counter and was sad to learn that once again I failed. I hope they come to DC or a miracle occurs. Funny that I had a picture taken of myself in front of their Ad the day those tickets went on sale

Went up to 4th st to Bus Stop shoe shop and Eye's gallery on South. Happily spending money in independent and female own businesses. Then to the Ritz 5, where I worked in 1999. I miss the small art house cinemas. Enjoyed a movie then off to Honey's Sit-n-Eat in the Northern Liberties. I hit Honey's every visit and LOVE their food. Took the lady home to 9th & Porter, then back to Erik & Bill's.

Bill and I took the go cart up to the Art Museum. Walked up the steps and down to the waterworks at dusk, taking pictures all the while. The light of the setting sun was brilliant. In the Waterworks lounge sitting outside looking over the Schuylkill river, I had a glass of Champers from Loire, France and toasted my mother. She would have loved to see what they did with the place. It was so gorgeous by the Waterworks that I wish I could marry Patrick all over again and have it there, white dress and all.

Next was a return trip to Capogiro for more gelato, in total 3 pints and one large cup. Back to Erik's, watched Mad Men, True Blood, then bed. Now here I am, with Bill & Erik's all to myself, sitting on the couch hungry in front of their enormous TV on the computer.

Stay tuned for part II!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Last Friday night, we went to the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse in Arlington, VA. We were there to enjoy Charlyne Yi. You may know Charlyne from her recent film, Paper Hearts with the much better know Michael Cera. But this film is all about Charlyne, who is absolutely delightful. And this wasn’t Charlyne first film with Cera; she appeared in Knocked Up, Semi-Pro, Cloverfield, and 30 Rock. She is not only an actress but a comedian, musician, writer, director, and producer. She is a very honest and endearing person. We had a great time at the show. It was exciting complete with audience participation that was so good you would have thought him a plant. There was original music and a guest Baseball Bat Violinist. It was laid back and fun, reminded me of a middle school sleepover.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Picked these from Kates and they were mind blowingly good. I like my tomatoes with character, they don't have to conform to beauty standards.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Down on the farm

yesterday I spent a few hours at Kate's farm. I got to milk four goats using a milking machine then I finished them by hand. The milking machine was a bit loud but that did not seem to bother the goats. Once you let one of the goats out of the pen, they go running right for the milking table. They jump up and put their head right into the feed bucket. Then we secure their head into the front of the milk stand. The goats are too distracted to notice.

First, I washed their udders and check them for any ticks, scratches, or bumps. Then I turn on the machine and wait until you hear the click of suction and attached the tubes to the udders. While the machine works, I massage their udders. Once the flow has ebbed, I turn off the machine then remove the tubes. You can usually get more milk, so I got to practice my hand milking.

I milked into a bowl but seemed to get most of it down my arms and on my glasses. I have gotten much better at hand milking. Kate left me alone down on the farm while she ran an errand. I was left with the task of putting a goat back into the pen and bringing out another goat. I got the first got in but then two more came out. Meanwhile, my bowl of milk was left unattended and the momma cat claimed it for herself. All the milk I managed to get by hand went to the cat and her nine week old kittens. This simple act seemed to inspire all the kittens to nurse their mother.

Eventually I was able to get all the goats back in the pen and was able to get the goat I needed out. The last goat to milk was the biggest, she is the only Alpine goat on the farm. When I first let her out, she went right into the barn and got into some feed. Once I put more food in the milk table's feed bucket, I had her attention and she knew where to go.

Soon it will be breeding season and Magic the billy will be able to do his thing. He is a cool looking goat that has a mohawk going down his back. But he is stubborn and would let he get a decent picture from the right angle to highlight his mohawk. But we will meet again and I am excited to see some new born baby goats.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Figs Figs everywhere!

The Occoquan farmer’s market has been offering a very special summer treat, fresh figs. My husband, Patrick, loves fresh figs and detests dried figs. For the past two Saturdays, I have gone to the farmer’s market and bought countless figs. We wrapped some in salami and Patrick would unwrap them and eat them separately. I am not such a purist and found the figs wrapped in Columbus artisanal finocchiona to be delicious. The combination of salty pork, buttery fat, and sweet juicy figs was an indulgence for my taste buds.

I love ice cream all year around but in summer feel the need for something cold and creamy on a nightly basis. My ice cream cookbook had a recipe for fresh fig ice cream. I had to give it a try and it was amazing. Even Patrick, the fresh fig purist loved it! I love short ingredient lists, this one was only two pounds of figs, water, sugar, cream, lemon and its zest. The combination created another wonderful color, a nice rich purple with a not doubt about it fig flavor.

I may love the colors of August, the pinks, purples, yellow, and green but I hate the heat. Fall is still my favorite season but some things only come in the heat of August. Fresh figs are a wonderful and rare treat. The fig season last about a second, are difficult to ship when fresh, and they stop ripening once they have been picked. The current food industry seems to love to pick things green them expose them to chemicals to force ripening. Or they expect the fruit to ripen in transit, the dark interior of a truck cannot produce the same sweetness as being in the sun.

It is sad to say that most people don’t know what a fresh fig looks like. We know them only as Fig Newtons which are filled with corn syrup and preservatives. Fresh figs are sweet, juicy, with an interesting texture. The combination of the skin, flesh, and seeds give it a bit of crunch. Figs are soft, delicate, and sensual. Inside they have a pink center that gets yellow toward the purple skin.

As long as the farmer's market has figs, I will buy them. They are a versatile fruit which makes the August heat more bearable. Maybe I'll try to make fig cake, or a gluten free fig newton, and what is figgy pudding?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gold Star Dinner

What's for Dinner? That ageless question. Often it's leftovers and sometimes it's better the second night. Patrick made some Borscht and we agreed it was missing something. I didn't want to go to the store so I was forced to use what was in the house. We had some corn, which I am a junky. We also had some tomatoes from Kate's, some quail eggs from her friend, and some fresh cream from our cow share.

I added some cream to the borscht and used my trusty stick blender making it all nice and frothy. I took the corn off the cob and pan fried it, it's too hot to roast them in the oven. I mixed the warm corn into the cold soup and it was ready to serve at any time. Look how fun, the fuchsia soup and yellow kernels. Beautiful and delicious and even better when eaten with cornishons.

After some difficulty, I removed four ramekins from their box and added some lovely farm fresh butter from the cow share. It has the richest yellow color and all natural. I nuked the ramekins to melt and coat with butter. I sliced and salted the tomatoes and placed one slice in the bottom of the ramekin. Then I cracked three quail eggs into each ramekin and added one slice of tomato then topped it off with cream. Baked them off for a few and added some panko and baked it again to toast. These were delicious, tender eggs very well cooked in my book. The tomato was nice but molten hot and my mouth was a tad impatient. Patrick has a mouth of steel and always finishes eating well before me.

It was a dinner promptly served and over by 7. Quick, easy, fresh, and delicious. I felt very proud of myself and inspired by my ingredients. Have I been watching too much Mad Men turning me into Betty homemaker?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cheese Plate!

I love a nice crisp pan fried plantain with a bit of Maldon sea salt. If you have never tried Maldon, go out and find it and fall in love. It is flaky, organic and has been made the same way since 1882. I must admit that we have 4 or 5 kinds of salt on hand at any given time.
The farmers market on Saturday had a very specail treat to offer, fresh figs. My husband loves figs but will only enjoy them fresh and pure. We bought all the figs the vendor had left a half hour before the market closed. I kept some fresh but took some and pan fried them then wrapped them in Serrano, artisanal finocchiona, and peppered salami. I loved them,the combination of sweet and salt and rich melting fat.
The cheeses were my herby goat cheese made earlier this week, Garrotxa, and Quadrello Di Bufala. Garrotx is a Spanish goat cheese from Catalonia. This cheese is semi-firm and has a compact texture. The rind has a velvety grey mold that invites petting but not eating. This cheese is aged for four months and has a mild nutty flavor.
The cheese I am most excited to talk about is Quadrello Di Bufala. There doesn't seem to be much information available about this cheese which is made from the milk from Water Buffalos. This cheese is an Italian wash rind that is often compared to Tallegio. Quadrello is not as strong or pungent as Tallegio. TheQuadrello paste is soft and creamy and he rind was firm and crunchy which played nicely with the buttery paste. It had a nice minerality and salt with a savory flavor. Much more interesting than your typical Brie.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sparkle Sparkle

It seems I have been hitting the sauce rather hard this week. It is very unusual for me to enjoy alcohol four times in one week. But, whenever I imbibe sparkling wines are my favorite followed by Loire whites. I try to enjoy quality at inexpensive prices.

I picked up a bottle of Cava Brut Rosado Torre Galatea, pictured on the left, when I was working at Pane E Vino in Lorton. It came in a nice red box crawling with golden ants. Why ants? This Cava was inspired by the Cava Rose from Castillo Perelada that Salvador Dali would offer his guests in Portlligat. Castillo Perelada created this wine and Salvador Dali decorated the bottle. The wine is made of Garnacha 25%, Monastrell 25%, and Pinot Noir 50% which is fermented for a second time in the bottle and aged for twelve months. The color was that of a bright ripe strawberry and it smelled like flowers and cherry pie. This wine was full flavored but not heavy and did not show many bubbles in the glass but had a nice bubble in the mouth. I have always been a fan of Dali and feel honored to enjoy his wine. I can not get enough of this wine!

At 11 dollars a bottle from Mom's Apple Pie in Occoquan, the Marcato Durello Brut is a wonderful everyday sparkling wine. This wine comes from the Alpone Valley in Italy near Verona. I was lucky enough to visit Verona and found it to be a very old and romantic town. I find it fitting that this lovely sparkler came from such a romantic place. This Brut was dry and minerally with notes of citrus. It had a nice acidity but did not find it to be a good of a pallet cleanser as the previous Cava. It is made of 85% Durella, 5% Pinot Noir, and 10% Cardonnay and naturally sparkled in tanks.

At Mom's Apple Pie I also picked up a small bottle of 2005 Kluge SP Blanc de Blanc brut. This is a sparkler from Charlottesville, VA which made me dubious of its deliciousness. I was pleasantly surprised as I have been disappointed by Virginian wines in the past. This exhibited a strong apple flavor with a clean finish. It is made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes in the methode Champenoise. It was an enjoyable novelty which I would pass on in the future.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

mushrooms in my garden

I used to hate mushrooms until I was backpacking through Europe and ate anything that came my way. I eat them at least once a week and take a Reishi vitamin supplement. It is amazing how many different mushrooms exist. I was thinking about growing some mushrooms but nature seems to have take over. However, I do not intend to eat my backyard mushrooms but would love if anyone could identify them.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Cheese Making Wednesday

Wednesday started out with three gallons of milk, two cow and one goat. I decided to make a Pyrenees style cheese with the two gallons of cow milk. I had made this cheese at the end of last year and was very pleased with the results. This is a pressed cheese and must age for three months. I decided to name this cheese "Kim goes to the Pyrenees" as it was my friend Kim's last night in town.
I have a separate fridge for my cheeses which has been empty lately. When I went to take my new wheel down into my cheese "cave" I found it was full of water. It is a mini fridge and has a stupid little ice box which melts and leaks. I had to buy equipment to override the fridge's thermostat to enable the temperature to get up to 55 degrees. Whit the fridge being 55 degrees, the ice box will never freeze up and I wish I could turn it off.
The goat milk became chevre but I tried to flavor the milk as it set. I filled a tea ball with herbs and added it to the milk with the starter culture. Then I left the chevre to set for twenty-four hours then drain for twenty-four hours. The result was a very herby tasting cheese without any chunks of herbs.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cheese Plate!

The other night I assembled a lovely little cheese plate from my local Wegman’s for my husband and I to enjoy. If you have never been to a Wegman’s, it is well worth the trip. It is a great place to people watch and is often packed so don’t go if your in a hurray. The Wegman’s in Northern Virginia will often transport me to New Jersey, so many lost white people. More important is their selection, prices, and location. It is the supermarket closest to my house and I have figured out all the short cuts.

Wegman’s has a decent produce section with organic options and will occasionally stock things you have never seen. I picked up some fresh fava beans still in the pod last week and they were delightful. I only wish they had more local produce as this is Virginia and there are farms aplenty.

They also have a huge ready made food area which I wouldn’t bother with as that stuff is filled with preservatives, MSG, and dextrose which may be fine for the average healthy adult. The seafood counter is nice with many wild options and country of origin labels. I must admit that I love Wegman’s hippie section which is where I find my yummy Glutino gluten free crackers, carrot juice and coconut water. I also frequent the bulk foods for nuts, seeds, and grains.

I was in the mood for something sparkling, which is very often and Wegman’s has a very nice wine selection. This of course would not apply in Pennsylvania and I did not understand the benefit until I moved twenty months ago. Shopping for food and wine together is wonderful and convenient. I selected a Cava, which is the Spanish equivalent of French Champagne and Prosecco is the Italian version. The bottle of Cava set me back a whole $8.99, mega stores do tend to have the lowest prices. The Label reads “Pere Ventura Brut Nature Tresor Sant Sadurni D’Anoia”.

I am not really sure what all that means but it tasted fabulous and was a great bang for my bucks. It was crisp, mellow, had citrus notes and a good quality and quantity of bubbles. This was served well chilled before we began eating our cheese to cleanse and open the pallet. Later in the evening I added some of my home made peach sorbet and it was a delightful combination. This Cava stands up on it’s on and pairs nicely with rich creamy cheese. It also mixes very well with fruit and juices without any odd flavors and tastes.

The cheese counter at Wegman’s is the best supermarket cheese counter. Yes, I like it more then Whole Foods because of price, selection, and location as there is no Whole Foods convenient to my locale. I think some of their decisions on which cheeses they exclude is a bit ridiculous especially when you consider they only recent banned High Fructose Corn Syrup. Cheese is a very special, delicious, and nutritious food which should only be enjoyed in limited quantity. When I eat cheese, I think about the cheese and don’t just melt it on some shit. I think Velveeta, cheese in a can, and indivdual wrapped cheese slices are abominations.

Some cheese buying tips, never buy anything that has been sitting in plastic for more than one day. Cheese is living, well the bacteria in it are alive and delicious, plastic wrap will suffocate your cheese. Depending on the cheese, you would be better off using tin foil, wax paper, Tupperware, or the wonderful Cheese paper which is made for that exact purpose. Cheese is best cut to order or in an individual round and is best eaten within 3 days of purchase and always severed at room temperature. If using plastic wrap, your cheese will stay fresher for a longer period of time if you change the plastic wrap every time you open the cheese.

Now you must be wondering, “What cheese did she select to pair with that tasty Cava?” I picked one individual round of Vermont Butter & Cheese’s Bonne Bouche which is a four ounce round of goat cheese that is coated in ash. This cheese is creamy in a chalk like manner without any chalky taste. It tastes bright, fresh, not too salty or goaty and has citrus notes. This is an artisan cheese with a semi soft texture which has been molded uncooked. This last part means the cheese has not been cooked or pressed, it is scooped into molds. Bonne Bouche is modeled after Selles-Sur-Cher from the Loire Valley, which is my favorite region of France.

Many cheeses will be coated in ash or have an ash line such as Morbier or Humboldt Fog. I have used ash in my own home cheese making experiments. The ash will often be vegetable ash and is often created from burning grape vines. Sometimes the ash is activated charcoal. Coating a goat cheese in ash will dry the exterior and protect the interior from harmful intruders.

As Bonne Bouche ages, it will become creamier. This particular round tasted very fresh, bright, and was creamy with a drier texture. It wasn’t as smooth and creamy as chevre but did not have a high moisture content which will give it a drier texture. Cheeses will lose moisture as it dries which is why aged cheeses are so hard. Bonne Bouche is aged form seven to forty-five days. Unfortunately, I do not know when my round was born but it tasted like a teenager. Not young and not old as I expect the round would have been creamier. If it had been aged for seven days, shipped on the 8th, possibly put out to sell on the 11th, maybe I bought it at 13 days old or more.

The other selected cheese was Tomme Crayeuse which is a cow’s milk cheese from the Savoie region of France. It is a semi-firm cheese with a mottled and yellow rind. The rind is edible as most rinds are but you never want to eat a rind that is wax, wood, or leaves. Flavors tend to be more concentrated at the rind. This cheese tastes creamy, nicely salty, smooth mouth feel, with savory mushroom and earth notes. The smell is pungent is stronger than its flavor. I enjoy smelly cheeses as they tend to have more flavors. My general rule is if a cheese smells like pee, don’t eat it.

Tomme Crayeuse came into the world in 1995 to rival Tomme de Savoie. I have not found a Tomme de Savoie that I have enjoyed which may be due to the age of the wheels but even when I was working at an excellent cheese shop, Cheesetique, I was never impressed by its flavor as it was too mild and reminded me of bad Swiss cheese. I have never been let down by Tomme Crayeuse and was always a favorite recommendation. I love to see the creamy interior of this cheese bursting out of its rind letting you know it is ripe and ready.

The Tomme Crayeuse and Bonne Bouche paired wonderfully with the Cava. The cava did an excellent job of cleansing the pallet and waking the taste buds. I also enjoyed the contrast of the goats to cow’s milk cheese. Crayeuse was earthy and the Bouche was crisp and bright. This cheese plate gave my husband and me some time to sit and relax before dinner and talk about our day and feel luxurious as we indulged our taste buds.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

First time milker, long time drinker

Last week I visited my friend Kate's goat farm in Nokesville. She is an awesome women with some wonderful goats. The goats are very happy as Kate often lets the mommas out to run through the woods and eat whatever they like. Goats love to eat poison ivy and drinking their raw milk will give you an immunity to poison ivy which is very helpful as they get covered in the ivy. Goats are wonderful lawn mowers. The goats eyes bright and white, their coats are soft and shiny. I only wish I could remember the breeds. I know most of the are mixed breed and....
Goats like to butt heads with each as a sing of affection. I have know some people who do much the same. The mommas and babies have very strong family bonds. It is sweet to see the babies following their mommas. The males are separated and only good for one thing and they have a very strong smell. One of the baby goats has been sick for a few weeks and doesn't seem to be getting any better. The other goats will pick on the sick one and deprive it of food.
First we brought out a goat who had been having some toe nail rot issues. We, and when I say we i mostly mean Kate and I watched. First Kate shaved down the goats ankles and I shaved one which took me three times as long as it took Kate. Kate used a solution to clean out the toes or shall i say hooves. Goats have two big toenails that can spread apart quite far and sometimes a spongy mass of dead tissue can accumulate and get infected. After cleaning the area we clipped some toenails and I did one all by myself. If you give a goat a bucket of food you can do almost anything to them without much protest. Kate also checked her udders for any tics or scratches. If there was any issue, she applies iodine.
Then she brought out a different goat and I got to try my hand at milking for the first time. The goat was very calm and enjoying her food. At first I had no luck and Kate gave a teet a try with success. Then I tried and after some squeezing was able to get some nice strong streams of milk to flow. I had no luck with the other teet but wasn't trying to get a gallon of milk, this was only practice. I managed to get a nice amount of milk for the hungry cat to enjoy. That recently had some kittens and was just wandering around the yard looking for food.
Aside for goats and cats, Kate also has two dogs, chickens, quail, a beehive and a productive garden. She hopes to train one of the dogs to herd the goats and this dog really seems to need a job to do instead of chasing cars. I am very excited to learn about goats and farming from Kate.
I met Kate at the Nokesville farmers market last year and loved her bacon and shallot chevre. Once she had enough milk o spare I started buying milk from her and making my own goat cheeses. I love to give her samples of my cheese which she seems to enjoy.
Can't wait to get back to the farm and get my milk on!