Monday, January 18, 2016

Fuzzy Goats

In the rarefied world of goat shows, the participants are clipped, groomed, and bathed (and probably powdered) before stepping into the ring.  The purpose of all this pampering is to give the judges a clean view of the goat's body lines and conformation of a doe's udder.  The coat can hide a multitude of sins.  I prefer my girls au naturel, referred to by the cognoscenti as "fuzzy goats."  My girls have their beards intact and their hair comes and goes with the seasons; thick in winter, thinning out when summer heat arrives.

Only once was a goat of mine clipped.  The prior owners of the AGA-registered Lady Lucinda (my first goat) asked to take her to a local show to see how she measured up.  They took her overnight to get Lucy ready for her close-up and let her bag fill to dripping so as to best show off her attributes (her teats were as big as yams).  I'm sorry to say that Lady Lucinda did not place well, and I had to console her later, telling her I'd never put her through that humiliation again; she was just fine as-is by me.  Worse, when she came home, she'd caught a case of the goat equivalent of kennel cough and needed shots of penicillin.  I hardly knew my girl without her beard and with a clean-shaven udder.  When the hair on her udder was growing back, it was like snuggling with a man with a three-day growth of beard, doggone prickly!  Teats are always smooth, but the bag itself can get pretty hairy.  It's important when milking not to painfully pull a hair; a drawback to a fuzzy goat.

Trying to get a fire going with green wood took all day yesterday and the house was cold.  It was a grey, drizzly day and some comfort food was in order.  Ham hocks and lima beans, and to go with, a loaf of Black Forrest pumpernickel bread.  I really do like the physical process of making bread by hand; kneading the dough is very satisfying, but I'm not adverse to taking advantage of the bread machine, either, especially when I had to keep an eye on the wood stove and couldn't spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  This particular recipe gives such rich flavor with rye, whole wheat, and white flours, cocoa, molasses, and a healthy helping of caraway seeds.  The finished loaf has a crunchy crust and tender interior, a perfect accompaniment to the creamy beans.

A steady, heavy rain came in the night and continues this morning.  Waking in the dark, I discovered that the power had gone out at some time; the flashing red digital numbers on the clock were a dead giveaway, but obviously the electricity was back on.  Still half asleep, I wondered if it were too early to get up; I try to sleep in until at least 4:30.  The cellphone was in the other room.  Hmmm.  I know, I'll turn on the television and that will tell me the time.  One should never push buttons on the remote in the dark (don't ask why I didn't turn on the light).  Working with a flashlight (still not awake, obviously), I managed to screw up the television so now get nothing.  Sigh.  Stumbling out to the kitchen to make coffee, the battery-run clock announced it was 3:30 a.m.  It's going to be a long day, and the fuzzy, soggy goats await.

1 comment:

Kathryn Williams said...

Oh Holy-Fricken-Moly...I HOPE you get a nap - or naps today!!