Around the time I turned 11 I was plucked from my rather ordinary, run-of-the-mill suburban cul-de-sac and plopped down smack in the middle of a small rural community of farmers, gardeners, hermits, and weirdos. Everyone on our heavily forested backroad had a smallish plot of land to tend to themselves, and my family was no exception with our newly purchased 2 acres. I'll spare you the details of the amount of work that my parents put into transforming that land into a livable habitat for farm animals; it was a lot of work. Eventually, though, the barns were built, the fences were set, the grass was green, and my younger brother and I were begging for pets. I wanted a horse. My brother wanted a dog. My mom got us a goat.
That goat, her name was Honey, turned out to be pregnant and soon gave birth to twins which we named Biscuit and Butter, respectively. I don't know if my mom ever intended for our goats to have a purpose other than to be pets, and if she did....well, it never panned out. Biscuit and Butter became such inseparable companion pets to my brother and I, it was almost like they were puppies. If you would have told my 12 year old self then that one day I would be slathering my body with goat's milk soap, bathing in goat's milk baths, or groaning with delight with every bite of goat's milk cheese....well!... I would have thought you were a nut job! Goats were pets, nothing more! I think I had somewhat of a notion that some people drank goat's milk, but they were obviously very strange people, indeed.
Here is my brother (the toehead on the right!) holding Biscuit while his friend holds Butter. This would have been 1991 or 1992. Below is my dad with baby Biscuit and one of our many, many farm kittens.
Fast forward 16 years and you will now find me perusing the shelves of my local New Seasons Market in Portland for goat's milk products. I have yet to be brave enough to try straight up goat's milk, but chevré makes it into my cart when I'm feeling rich and extravagant (which ain't often, let me tell ya), and I have totally fallen in love with goat's milk beauty products from Canus, a small, French-Canadian run goat farm in Vermont that originated in Montreal. I've been using their bar soap for about a year now. My favorite is the one infused with orchid oil. It's the sudsiest, most luxurious soap I think I've ever used and leaves my skin so, so soft. And at $2.99 it's a total steal. Then, a few days ago, while daydreaming of a hot bath in the middle of a very snowy day, I discovered they also make a foaming milk bath. It was a milky dream come true and the fragrance left on my skin afterward was perfectly subtle and fresh.
I'd love to go back to living in the country someday many years from now and you can bet I will have lots of little goat buddies running around making their milk into lavish soaps and cheeses for me. For now, though, I'll stick to the products by Canus!
I think my childhood experience with my pet goats really makes me appreciate my $2.99 city slicker soap a whole lot more. If you get a chance, try it and tell me what you think!
P.S. What do you call an unemployed goat?