Monday, July 25, 2011

Don't Let 'Em Get Your Goat!

Last week, I paid a long overdue visit to my friend, Paula Tarver, who raises goats and chickens in her backyard. I’ve wanted to see the animals for some time now. Coincidentally, it was milking time for the nanny goat, and she was udderly ready!

Paula Tarver milking Eve

The goats were amazingly tame and friendly, enjoying a good scratch on the head and back (just like dogs). This up-close exposure to these very interesting animals caused me to ponder more upon goats.

The Tarver Milking Setup

Goats will eat just about anything in their path and I know a number of families in the country that raise goats to manage the brush levels on their ranches. When I was young, we sang songs during road trips, and one of our favorites was “Bill Grogan’s Goat”. To jar your memory about this infamous goat, click on the video below:

Ever heard the phrase, “get your goat”? It’s an idiom that originated in the early 1900s in American literature, which means to make annoyed or angry. According to The Phrase Finder, an alternate explanation of the phrase's origin stated that goats were placed with racehorses in order to keep them calm. When an evildoer wanted the racehorse to run badly, they would “get your goat”. However, there’s no evidence to support this latter theory.

Allergic to cow’s milk? Try goat's milk! Many individuals who are allergic to cow’s milk may be able to tolerate goat's milk and goat cheese. (However, people with lactose intolerance may still be unable to drink goat milk.) Although research studies have not been able to prove exactly why goat milk may be more easily digested by people allergic to cow’s milk, some studies indicate that cow’s milk contains certain alpha-casein proteins, lacking in goat's milk that can cause allergies.

Goat's milk has also been found to contain anti-inflammatory compounds that may benefit individuals suffering from asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic ear infections and eczema. Goat's milk is also an excellent source of calcium, riboflavin (Vitamin B2), potassium and protein!

Photo by Melissa Schneider
One of my most favorite cheeses is goat cheese. I love to crumble goat cheese in my salads. The tangy, interesting flavor of goat cheese is not as overpowering and sharp as blue cheese can be, and has just as many uses.

Photo by Melissa Schneider

The first time I ever tried goat cheese was on a gourmet pizza! Knowing all the benefits, we should all eat more goat cheese. Try sprinkling it on your soup or bake it on top of a sliced tomato. Yum!

For those meat eaters, there’s always goat meat, also known as cabrito or chevron. The Onion Creek Ranch, near Buda, TX, specializes in raising meat goats, the Tennessee Meat Goat™ in fact. Although I haven’t personally indulged, I am always “game” for new meats and foods. Click here to read about a great-sounding Cabrito Guisado recipe!

“Don’t approach a goat from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any side.” –Yiddish Proverb

“He who lets the goat be laid on his shoulders is soon after forced to carry the cow” –Italian Proverb

“If you put a silk dress on a goat he is a goat still.” --Irish Proverb

No Goats, No Glory, Y’all!

1 comment:

  1. We were often served goat meat when I was on the mission - it is very tender and flavorful when cooked correctly... it literally melts in your mouth!