Fact: Goats are Great

Spring is here! Baby Goats, ducklings, and chicks are popping up in every corner of the farm. Though we don’t have any baby goats this year, our plans for Spring of 2020 will be filled with lovely little kids (the four legged ones!) hopping around Fieldway Farm. In the meantime I am absolutely getting my fill of kidding season while visiting my friends goat farm, and preparing our own micro dairy!


Below I drafted up a bit of a crash course in case you are adding some goats to your family this spring-  this crash course leaves out the basics like what feed to get & what supplements to give. Moreso, a couple pointers on what I forgot (or nearly forgot) when bringing home my wee ones.

Goats are fainting, goats are hopping around in pajamas, and goats are even doing yoga. These mighty little ruminants have captured our hearts.

Though she be but little, she is fierce.


They understand humans are a tool, they seek us to feel better, get food, and for comfortable living. They are smart they understand and they adjust. Which brings me to my first suggestion when getting your goats : Have. Proper. Fencing. They are mini Houdini’s in disguise, looking for and greedily taking every opportunity to escape. When you add the smallness of the nigerian dwarf goat – you are really in for a mischievous treat (in the best way!).

The wee ones tend to go where they please

Barnyard goats conjure up the image of a hairy smelly snaggletooth animal chewing on a can. While the bucks are quite smelly, and they do get into just about every grain bag you have (opened or unopened) they are much more endearing creatures than most depictions. Suggestion number two is very important, Keep all grain secure & locked away! ESPECIALLY other animal’s food. Some horse feed has too much copper and will result in belly aches & bloat for your poor goat. We had an unfortunate run in with an open feed room & Rose spent a few scary nights at the hospital two years ago.

Food is absolutely priority

Goats are herd animals, they play, and they love their family. They will absolutely need a companion. It’s best to get two. Starting out, I wanted to move slowly and add one to my farm. My thought was that this lucky goat would live happily with my 12 year old  (ancient) sheep. Baaaaa’d idea. Thankfully I brought home both sisters. So I mentioned goat’s play – they play hard. Head butting and chasing are common occurrences.

Its best to get two.. or three

Sheep, although seemingly similar are absolutely not the same as goats. It’s helpful to think of sheep as the quiet children that prefer quiet activities like reading and puzzles as opposed to their ruff housing neighbor the goat.  Goats are most happy when climbing and getting into trouble. I cant stress enough how much they need props. So something to climb on is important to keep them occupied & out of trouble. Happy (occupied) goat = happy garden


Honestly a children’s jungle gym would be useful for occupying your new friend. If you threw out your childhood tree house I would recommend bring some fun objects into their pen. Pallets, water troughs (upturned), old furniture, logs etc. etc. be creative!

So to recap:

1)Have a good fence system
2)Keep all grain secure and locked (out of reach!)
3)They should come in two
4)Goats are active; get them toys to play on!

I hope this helps you dive into your goat experience a little bit more prepared. These little darlings at the very least will keep you entertained.

If you are at all interested, every one of these kids are for sale, feel free to reach out for details (5 doelings and 6 bucks which will be weathered before they leave)

Late to the Party- (Irish)Soda Bread


This post is a wee bit late to the party. Having just celebrated our lovely green holiday I took a stab at creating the old loaf that usually accompanies the meal— he Authentic Irish Soda Bread. Historically the low cost loaf adorned the poor families and peasant’s table. With minimal ingredients, the loaf is extremely easy (and cheap!) to make, I’ve added currents and other dried fruits to the dough per popular demand in my home (though traditionally they are left out). Ingredients include baking soda, buttermilk, all purpose flour, and salt.


We didnt have buttermilk, so all readers without, no fear substitute is near!

Buttermilk traditionally would be lounging in the refrigerator, a bi-product from making the week’s butter. The perfect recipe to use up said buttermilk is a good loaf of soda bread.

What? You don’t have a couple cups of slightly soured milk lying around? There is a fast track trick that will give you everything you need from buttermilk. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to one cup of whole milk and let sit for 5-10 minutes. The milk begins to slightly curdle and separate, you now have a substitute at your disposal.

I guiltily added the raisins to the dough, I couldn’t help it, I love them! And my family voted for the dried fruit. I will absolutely be replicating the recipe when currents are back in season and I don’t have to resort to their dried little raisin cousins.


Soda bread obviously is not made just for St. Patrick’s Weekend, usually this hearty bread is made to endure a few days of sitting on the counter, or a sit down meal or two. I am hoping to inspire others to set their next feast with the very easy homemade bread! I grabbed the basis of this recipe from Imen McDonell’s cookbook Farmette. Check out other traditional Irish cooking recipes on her blog: http://farmette.ie or pick up the gorgeous cookbook yourself!

Ingredients:
1 ¾ cup of whole milk
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
3 ½ cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp of salt

Directions:

  1. Set the oven to 450*
  2. Pour milk in seperate bowl and mix in the tablespoon of lemon juice gently, let sit for 5-10 minutes (until you start to see some separation)
  3. Sift flour, baking soda and salt together
  4. Create well in middle of dry mixture and add buttermilk (flour your hands!) Begin to combine wet and dry ingredients by hand
  5. Flip mixture onto floured surface and knead the dough
  6. Knead and form dough into one inch disk
  7. Slice an X on the top of dough, to continue tradition, allow dough to breath and ward off bad omens
  8. Butter clay baking stone or pizza stone (baking sheet will also work)
  9. Put in oven for 15 @ 450*
  10. Reduce oven heat to 400* and continue to bake for 25-30

Enjoy!

Snowed in Scones ft. Maple Syrup & Bourbon


This weekend I had every intention to make a batch of fresh farmhouse butter. Raw milk from my favorite farm had been sitting in the fridge for the greater half of the week. Alone with the condiments it started settling and separating into heavy cream and skimmed milk.

But snow-filled Vermont seduced me. I hope you are careful, she could seduce you too. Whispering in your ear, stay inside, wear the comfy clothes, melt into the couch, swaddled in plush blankets. Consume all the comfort food. The only issue (not an issue) was… no comfort food was readily available. Waking up to snow falling in every direction was the perfect excuse to stay put. My stomach started rumbling so I made a batch of “Snowed in Scones, ft. Maple Syrup & Bourbon”

No eggs? No problem, we didn’t have them either

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cups Heavy Cream
¾ cup of sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 cups all purpose flour (I use King Arthur’s)
1 tbsp of baking powder
8 tsp butter (1 stick)
2 tsp of salt

For the maple-bourbon glaze:

2 tbsp Maple Syrup
2 tbsp (or to taste) bourbon – I used Knob Creek’s maple bourbon
¾ cup of confectionary sugar
2 tbsp Heavy Cream
2 tsp butter (melted)

The best glaze! Boozy & sweet



Directions:

-Take 1 cup of heavy cream, place in the freezer for 10 minutes

-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

-Whisk together: flour, salt, brown sugar, white sugar (whatever you choose), baking powder

-Melt the stick of butter

-Mix the butter and chilled heavy cream with a rubber spatula (not with whisk)

Use spatula instead of whisk to combine dry & wet ingredients

-Mix wet mix with dry mix until the dough is somewhat solid & pulling from the sides of the bowl (its okay if its still not one solid dough-still using rubber spatula)

-Flour you work surface

-Empty mixed dough onto flour surface

-Begin to pack the dough together gently, creating a disk that is about 1 inch thick


-Divide the dough into 8 triangles


-Place each scone to be on a well buttered pan

-Brush each scone with heavy cream

No brush? Just dollop of heavy cream and smooth with spoon

-Bake for 15- 20 minutes

-While waiting for that to cook, clean up your mess and make the glaze!

– Mix with fork:

2 tbsp heavy cream, confectionary sugar, 2 tsp of melted butter, maple syrup, bourbon to taste

(Adding more confectionary sugar if too liquidy and more liquid if too thick)

-Begin checking the scones at 15 minutes, every oven is different

– Take the scones out once getting golden on the edges

-Allow to cool for 10-15 before icing ( I put the glaze in a zip lock baggy and snip off the tip to create an impromptu icing baggy.

-Grab your oven mit, phone, and scones… run to the best lighting in the room to take photos before your hungry boyfriend steals them all, enjoy!  

Cook Space Brooklyn

Tucked away on the second floor of an old building in Prospect heights is a former widget workhouse. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Moving to New York City has led me on a wild goose chase in search of a community or space to meet like-minded individuals who love food, support local business, and are growing themselves. Whether that be their own blog, new career path, or just new cooking skills.

Michelle Mannix was on Cherry Bomb radio a couple weeks ago. Episode 195 “It Ain’t Easy Being a Small Business Owner” grabbed every bit of my attention as I was marching to work about two thursdays ago. https://radiocherrybombe.simplecast.fm/03ed888c During the episode Michelle opened up about her first two businesses, her culinary expieriences, and why she opened up a culinary studio. She’s tackling something completely different, but oddly similar with this venture. Cook Space Brooklyn is an experience https://www.cookspacebrooklyn.com

Somehow Cook Space captures the happiness of walking into your regular cafe to grab the necessary scones & coffee. It’s familiar and cozy while at the same time exuding elegance to impress any and all guests you wish to entertain. This was the right space, and instantly I started growing. You know, that feeling when you are so incredibly sure of each step you make. And somehow a glow is radiating around you, you’re smiling, and it’s because you’re in a happy place. Its temporary, of course. You all too soon are transported back to the cold streets of Brooklyn running after your Uber that stopped a few blocks too far away.

An aspiring small business owner myself, I wanted to absorb every word Michelle spoke. I am/ was that person frantically writing notes & quotes of this special woman’s insights. She knows this city, she definitely knows food, and most importantly she knows people. Michelle understands closing doors and opening new ones, and trusting the process of growth. Just what my Monday night needed. Tuesday I launched Pitchfork and Pearls. thank you Michelle.


Completely renovated and redesigned Michelle and her team have breathed life back into the room. Upon walking in you are treated to a wall of cooking utensils, copper pans and Dutch ovens adorning the original widget board, the only object remaining from the former workshop. Cookbooks organized by color fill the bookshelves.


As you move deeper into the room, there is a cabinet without doors keeping all the flours, spices, grains, open to view. Each ingredient just waiting to be plucked for the recipe that lies ahead of you.


The studio is spotless, stainless steel with the coziest of accents that separate this working kitchen from a conventional space.


What used to be the building’s elevator shaft is now the ‘dining room’ where students sit down to enjoy their culinary creations. It’s beautiful, cozy, and absolutely what I have been looking for.


Space to cook is coveted real estate especially in this city. Finding an outlet for kitchen creativity is equally desired. No strings attached, Cookspace has a mission to get people more comfortable in the kitchen. Unpretentious and completely dedicated to creating a comfortable environment for learning and growing cooking skills. Termed culinary studio on purpose, Michelle wanted to inspire people to make cooking a practice, just like yoga or working out. I advise you make one of these workshops apart of any and all NYC visit itineraries.

I grabbed a ticket to Michelle’s Seize your Day planning workshops for last Monday, March 4th. She mentioned something about this workbook during the podcast and I figured it would be a great excuse to try the place out.The class came with her new 12 week planner (you can buy on Cookspace Brooklyn website). Though I won’t share too much just yet, I am feeling myself apply deeper intention to the day, getting more out of each coveted 24 hours. Will report back at the 6 week mark.

Voyage to Medoc, Voyage to Mimi!

My rendition of Mimi’s Chateau…anticipating this trip (queue the 8 year old on Christmas morning squeal)

Mimi Thorrisson Manger Workshop- How I am making this work

Taking the voyage to Medoc, France is a dream. An expensive dream. Pitchfork and Pearls started with my own version of a vision board. Not necessarily cutting and pasting images from magazines (haven’t gotten there yet) but writing down goals that would propel me forward in this journey. Mimi was not on the top of the list. And I say this to bring reality to the conversation, I chose simple little goals that would be attainable in a few week, maybe a couple months, non threatening and totally in my comfort zone. I had just bought the new IPad Pro- which to me was a BIG splurge- and was feeling drained financially. As the list of goals got longer the visions got bigger, because 1) why not- no harm in day dreaming 2) its was FUN! Stretching my mind to open to the endless possibilities was invigorating. Physically writing them down was propelling them forward. That list is important and I will absolutely share with you. See how the goals JUMPED.

Apologies for my handwriting

Hmph, I should briefly introduce Mimi Thorrisson before I go on. Mimi, her husband Oddur, 8 children, 14 Fox Terriers, and one Italian Pointer Monte Critso reside in Medoc, France. The Bordeux region, you may have heard of it once?or twice, probably in a wine store. Author & food blogger Mimi shares her excuisite life in France. Inspiring and dropping jaws in seasonal cooking, her travels, her entertaining techniques, and her incredible workshops. Find her on Manger, her food blog, or pick up her book A French County Kitchen. Miss Mimi also has quite the tantalizing instagram account…and if that is not enough many many posts reside on Pinterest gifting you windows of the fascinating life she leads. Ahh yes back to goals.

After writing Mimi’s name down on my vision list I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Visiting France in the summer like so many other lucky glamorous folks, taking so much more from this event, more than a simple vacation. I daydreamed about using this material to create connections, grow strangers into friendships, and picking up more and more inspiration along the way. Addicted. So I emailed Mimi thinking 2020 would be the year of Medoc & Me, & her 14 terriers, maybe I would even go home with a pup.. (heh okay keep your goals in check miss) Email sent, 7 hours later I get a reply from Mimi herself. Yes most of the workshops were full, there was a seat open in a new workshop that might be right up my alley (I told her my goals & my very unique (ha) interest in farm to table food because 1) why not give her the low-down, she knows her workshops best 2) She may not even respond, the least this email can do is get my goals in writing again).

Whoops- guess 2020 goals might just have to happen sooner than expected. Putting these bad boys in writing… was dangerous. So I replied with, let me make sure this can work financially and I will get back to you very soon. I knew if this was going to happen it needed to be smart decision. No room for buyers remorse.

Can I afford it? It would be tight. Is this bettering me & my business, my future livelihood. I 100% believed that it would and so the answer was Hi Mimi- I’m in. Because plans began in January I had time to pay in increments. ½ of the workshop fee now to reserve my spot. Flights & lodging would have to be done in a couple paychecks. And I was going to make it work.

As February comes to a close I am feeling tempted to splurge on warm weather dresses and Brigitte Bardot outfits for the Bordeaux region. I am reminding myself that those aren’t in my goals, my vision list. I will look the part just perfectly when wearing the clothes I have now. I mention this because a shopaholic at heart this might urge a reader to keep their goals in check, writing down ideas and visions that propel you forward, clothing is definitely not optional in this world, but it certainly will not take you to the places you want/ need to go (not for me anyway). Style will develop, transform and leave you like a one night stand. I am toning it down to only investing in staple items when need be. Grow the vision but be sure to not focus on what one is wearing (my personal weakness ladies & gents!)

So this is just the beginning to my next chapter & I am oh so grateful for it. I feel beautiful trips like these need to be broken down into real terms. I do not have deep funds to pull from & make these trips happen. Instead it is a very real budgeting system. Stripping down my ego, spending less. Cleaning out my brain of the luxuries crowding our vision daily (belive me- nyc can be crippling at times) and getting down to the basics. Simple meals can be just as exquisite, just stretching a dollar. Breakfast, stewed apples and plain yogurt, (ah my favorite!) what’s for lunch? Sweet potato brought from home. Keeping the grocery bills lower, the material goods at 0 spending and growing my brain. If this is on your radar, you’re going to make it happen! But there will be sacrifices. Sacrifices that grow you.

I brought this up to my mom when I guiltily explained my next adventure (guilty because I wish she could come with me! She absolutely is my best friend!) and she reminded me of growing up in Vermont, though beautiful it is an expensive place to live. Mum and her friends would do “no spend months” where groceries, gas, and of course monthly payments are the only items you are spending money on. No special dinners out for no reason, no splurges at the mall, and certainly no online shopping. Home, work, grocery store, home, it may seem drab at first but you soon will fine ways to brighten your simple world up. She said she was always so impressed with how much savings there were that she would challenge herself to an extra month of savings. So that’s what I’m doing!

Thanks mom, you truly are always right.