I never liked goats.
Maybe it started in my younger days with that Biblical passage about the shepherd separating the “good” sheep from the “wicked” goats Or maybe it was their weird eyes. Whatever the reason, I just didn’t like them. I always dreamed that once I had my farm, I would raise a few sheep, sheer them, spin the wool, and make a blanket or two. So raising goats never even crossed my mind.
But our new farm came with a couple of goats, which we renamed Laverne and Shirley, so I was going to have to be OK with them. Laverne is a brown and white Boer/Toggenburg mix and Shirley is a brown and white Boer with floppy ears. I was a little nervous the first time I walked into the barn to meet them, what with all of my goat preconceptions floating around in my head. I thought they would be standoffish and creepy and maybe even mean. But instead they were curious and friendly...and funny. Especially Laverne, who boldly walked up and looked me straight in the eye, with her big beautiful weird eyes, as if she were trying to figure out if we would be friends or not. After a few minutes, she got so excited that she literally bounced off of the walls of her stall a few times. So I took that as a “yes.” Shirley, on the other hand, stood quietly behind Laverne and nervously looked at us, not sure what to make of these new humans who had suddenly appeared. After just a few minutes with those two, I was more than OK with them -- I was smitten! And I was ready to embrace my new role as goat owner.
Lavender is wonderful for sachets and soap and lotions and salves and wreaths...but cooking? As much as I love lavender, it certainly wasn’t the first thing I reached for to flavor my recipes. Sure, I had made lavender lemonade and lavender shortbread, but that was the extent of my lavender culinary experimentations. So when I heard that the wonderful Nicole Callen from Norwood Lavender Farm and Chris Mulder from Barn Owl Nursery were offering a "Cooking with Lavender" class, I had to sign up.
The class took place at the Barn Owl Nursery, where, because of a pretty intense rain/wind storm the day before, the power was still out. So we all huddled together in Chris’ drying room with her pellet stove blazing and the sound of the generator in the background, and on a cloudy cool day in April, our culinary horizons were expanded.
Hello! My name is Pam Reynolds Baker and I am a mom/wife, English teacher, writer, and lavender farmer who lives in Dundee Oregon .