Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kidding Around

Please pardon the pun in the title - I really couldn't help myself.

Recently I decided to break out of my comfort zone and start trying to make new, like-minded friends (and maybe meet some eligible bachelors with similar interests too?). I found out about Slow Food Austin and liked the sound of them. I signed up for their mailing list, and when a tour of Pure Luck Farm and Dairy in Dripping Springs, TX, came up on their calendar, I jumped on it.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a mortal fear of goats. It dates back to a petting zoo incident when I was four, when I was surrounded by a herd of what seemed like menacing goats at the time, one of whom took it upon him (her?) self to eat my shirt. If you've ever been four and felt hairy goat lips nipping at your back, you can understand why this led me to burst into tears and scream, "Mommy! Mommy! He's eating me! He's eating me!" And thus a lifelong phobia was born.

Fast forward 20-something years to my wedding day at a small ranch house that had - you guessed it - two goats on the property (in retrospect, a bad omen). I never saw it, but several people reported that the goats got loose on the dance floor before the ceremony began. I can only guess that they planned to take a chunk of Alençon lace out of my dress and further scar me for life. 

Obviously, goats have it out for me.

Despite what was clearly a decades-long plot by the global goat cabal to take me out, I decided that 30 years old was quite old enough to be afraid of domesticated livestock. So I pulled on my big girl panties and headed out to Pure Luck determined to conquer my fear of goats - or die trying.

I wasn't expecting my foes to be so damn cute.

This one was the social butterfly. She wanted to meet everyone.
The farmers and cheesemakers took us on a tour of the farm, from the milking room to the cheesemaking operation to the pen with the kids. Most of the owners live on the farm, and it was really neat to see people who clearly love their work so much. 

Goat kisses.

This one scared easy, but she was pretty darn cute too.

All the goats were sweet, and not one tried to eat me or my clothes (although I did see that one had learned how to untie shoelaces, and she happily went from foot to foot, tugging on the ends of laces until they came undone, and then moving on to the next pair nearby).

Then we ate the cheese...

Pure Luck feta dressed with olive oil and fresh herbs from their certified organic farm.
Our hosts provided about four different kinds of cheese to sample with herbs, quince paste, Round Rock honey, and sun dried tomatoes. John Antonelli of Antonelli's Cheese Shop brought ciabattas and cold beer to go with the tasting too.

And then, because our hosts hadn't been generous enough already, they sent us home with goodie bags.

The Saint Maure was definitely my favorite. But really, I'm not a girl who turns down cheese of any kind.
I had some of the extra-aged Hopelessly Bleu and June's Joy on a whole wheat pita for dinner when I got home. I'm saving the Saint Maure for another day (or night) when I can really savor it. I'll definitely be seeking out Pure Luck next time I'm looking for a goat cheese, not only because I know how much love and care the owners put into raising the goats and making the cheese, but also because their cheese is just damn good.


Amy in Austin said...

Great post, awesome pictures! I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't tried their cheese, though I have heard nothing but great things! Good for you for breaking out of your comfort zone. Sounds like it was worth it.

LT said...

I'm so glad you've come over to the goat side! Those are the kind I want to own someday- super cute and friendly. I'm really missing all my favorite cheeses (goat, bleu,feta) while pregnant, but I can't wait to try this brand. Thanks for the recommendation!

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