Summer has been a whirlwind for us, but if I had to say this summer had a theme, it would have to be: GOATS!
I have always thought goats were cute. I have always thought goat cheese was delicious. I have always loved buying goats milk soap and lotions. I have always thought it would be fun to own goats......Oh how WRONG I was on that last one! I did not realize how truly stinky goats could be. My father-in-law decided on a whim that he needed to buy goats, then all of a sudden they appeared. Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six.... but SEVEN little goats. They were very cute, but they ate everything in sight, would nibble at your fingers, and ohhhhh boy that acrid smell. Took 6 months before I could eat my beloved goat cheese again. Needless to say, the goats found a better home, maybe I would consider having two or three in the future in a much larger enclosure. Some had very sweet temperaments.
I need to devote a whole essay to Belle Chevre in the future on this blog. Belle Chevre is a Goat Cheese Creamery that is in my hometown in Alabama. They sell it at Costco!
My husband's dad's house has four different varieties of fig trees in the backyard. With all the rain we have had this year, this has been the largest fig crop we have ever seen. We had stuffed pork chops filled with goat cheese and figs many many times. Delicioso! For the last pack of Belle Chevre that was in the fridge, I made this up and it turned out amazing. You could do the same appetizer by melting a jar of fig jelly and adding in 1 tablespoon of vinegar to make it more tart and then topping with black pepper and chopped rosemary to taste. Below is my recipe for quick fig chutney. We used half black mission and half brown turkey figs. Great appetizer for summer parties! It was gone in 20 minutes.
Looking Down from the tall Porch: Those are fig trees in the background.
QUICK FIG CHUTNEY
3/4 pound of fresh quartered or diced figs
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar (we used Fig Flavored White Balsamic Vinegar that was Alessi Brand)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tablespoons water
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
Simmer the first five ingredients together until figs are really tender and reduced. Put on top of soft goat cheese. Then cover with black pepper and rosemary and serve with crackers. This is great stuffed inside a butterflied pork roast! Wrap it so the filling makes a spiral.
Optional: Chutney with more of a kick: Add in additional 1/8 cup of vinegar, 1/2 finely chopped vidalia onion and 1/8 tsp ground cloves with first five ingredients to simmer.
This keeps in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 weeks, but it of course it cans nicely.
Check these out, we use the raspberry a lot in salad dressing.