Tuesday, August 23, 2011

If I can't have Penelope . . .

My mom is forever telling stories about growing up in White Salmon, WA. Sliding down the mud hill and stripping on the deck. Riding her horse through the formal dining room lead by her Grandpa while her mother's mouth hung open. Dipping and plucking hundreds of chickens. Raising baby goats for the dairy down the road.

Penelope. I've always wanted a goat named Penelope, just like Mom had.

I'd keep it like a dog, I tell myself. Then I hear myself and know that I shouldn't have a goat. My delusions about what a pet goat would be, combined with our small city lot and penchant for traveling on the weekends, make keeping a goat out of the question. For now.

However, that doesn't mean I don't look for every opportunity to surround myself with goats.
Not too long ago, OUR TOWN agreed to let me write a piece about internationally recognized goat breeder Dr. Laurie Acton of Tempo Farms and Liz Alvis who is launching Portland Creamery.

Goats and cheese? HEAVEN!

The dairy is up and running. Alvis is pumping out the chevre. The results are incredible.

Chevre is a soft, fresh goat cheese. Goat dairy has smaller fat globules making it easier to digest and more prone to absorbing flavor. That's why some goat milk and cheese can taste really bad and other goat milk and cheese can blow your mind. Alvis's chevre is of the second sort.

This fledgling chevre is not yet readily available in stores so be sure to check out  Portland Creamery to keep up with this burgeoning biz and find out where you can get a taste.

In the meantime, Alvis passed on an incredible recipe.

"I love ginger snaps with stout. I love gingersnaps with chevre." said Alvis. The recipe some how works with the tang of citrus, snap of ginger, and warmth of deep brown beer.

Orange Pistachio Chevre with Ginger Snaps and Stout
from Liz Alvis
This is the sort of recipe that doesn't really need measuring. Just go for it!

 1. Put a lump of chevre (about 8 - 10 oz) and add about 2 tsp orange zest. Mix and let rest in the fridge for about 1 hour to infuse cheese.

2. Shell a handful of pistachios (about 1/3 cup). Alvis prefers them whole but you could also chop them.

3.Add pistachios to the chevre and orange zest mixture just before serving. Mix and serve with ginger snaps and good cold stout.

One more goat picture. Just because.


  1. What an aromatic and lovely flavor combination!

  2. It was so delicious Tiffany - for mouth, eyes, and nose. Liz is a genius!

  3. What an amazing and interesting combination of flavors, sounds fantastic!

  4. Sounds amazing! Would be good with an aromatic white wine also!