In Season

Well, three years ago I said we were busy, and that just really doesn’t do the farm life justice. To sum it up, we’ve been SO busy! Life on the farm runs full tilt from early spring kidding through the end of milking in the late fall, and during that time it is simply non-stop. Goats get milked twice each day, babies need feeding, fences need fixing, and of course there’s always something to do with the cheese!

chevre

Brand new fresh chevre ready to be packaged

We’ve become regulars at both the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market and the Cobblestone Farmers Market in early spring. Then, come summer we settle down a little with just the Cobblestone Market running. We’re providing cheese to the amazing J. Peppers Southern Grille in Kernersville and the incomparable Honey Pot in Winston, in addition to small guest markets and events throughout the year such as appearing on the rotating cheese menu at my favorite little artsy-craftsy vintage shopping, wine, and coffee spot, Eclection in Kernersville’s lovely downtown.

We are still the tiniest of tiny dairies, and our number one problem is running out of
cheese! (I know, not so bad as problems go, but still an ongoing problem.) We are raising up our little goatlings as fast as their nibbling lips will go. We run a herd that is between an 1/8 and 1/4 wild Spanish in the bloodlines, so it’s not a kind of goat we can simply go out and purchase. They are home grown made right here on the farm, and like all good things, it takes time.

Fern as a baby

Fern,  a young doeling sporting new horn nubs and nibbling away at clover and green grass

We don’t breed our babies their first year, but let them grow slowly into their size before breeding in year 2. It’s a process getting a doe ready for the milking line, but it really pays off in the end. We raise our kids on milk, and probably too many treats to make fat happy healthy does who know their mothers and sisters and cuddle as families on winter nights. The Wild Spanish in their blood lines contributes to particularly hardy goats with mild delicious milk.

We let them keep their horns. Disbudding requires burning the horn nubs down to the skull on baby goats with either a hot iron or acid paste, and I simply won’t do it. Female goats have horns (which many folks don’t realize), though nothing as impressive as the large curling horns on a full grown buck.

heffe and sticks collage

Our 1/4 Wild Spanish buck Hefe in the lower left, and one of our young doelings, Sticks, showing off her new horn buds in the upper right.

The herd is growing and full of hope and potential for the future. Soon there will be a nip in the air and breeding season will be here in no time. Then the cycle starts again full of big mamma bellies with promises of all the tiny new babies and delicious cheese to come.

Published in: on July 31, 2016 at 10:43 pm  Comments (1)  

The Little Cheese

It’s been a while, but we’re not gone… just busy as bees.

Cheese Cave at Once Upon a MeadowThe building is finally just about finished. We’ve gone from making cheese in our kitchen and keeping it very close to home, to storing cheeses in our very own cheese cave, complete with hobbit door!

We’ve framed, roofed, and dug out massive pits to place water and whey cisterns. It’s been a big family-and-friends affair that has consumed the last 2 1/2 years, but finally, we’re actually coming to the payoff.

We are officially producing cheese from more goats and more milk than we can wrap our frazzled little farm-minds around!!

Photo    Photo

And here it is!  Once Upon a Meadow's Fresh Garlic Pepper Chevre

We don’t have a dedicated farmer’s market yet. We’re still feeling around for the best location for our farm. We’re in talks with Old Salem / Cobblestone, Piedmont Triad Farmer’s Market at Sandy Ridge, and Dixie Classic Fair. We did the Cricket’s Nest Craft Fair last weekend and got an amazing response to our Marinated Chevre. This Saturday we’ll be at the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds, and next week . . . who knows!

If you’re not already following us, and would like to get all those adorable baby goat pictures along with news, market updates, and product information you can follow us in ALL kinds of ways! Just follow the link to take your pick.

Published in: on June 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Eating (Besides Dandelions) in January

I recently noticed that our dandelions are alive and doing well in this year’s balmy January sunshine. I was thinking that this was a sign of impending doom for our normal seasonal cycles, but really, it’s not that strange. In my phenology post I shared how I check my planting dates each year, or at the very least try to be aware of when I WANT to be planting things. In my work-a-day world, it seems my planting is always running behind for one reason or another. Perhaps that’s why I have never had an enormous bumper crop of peas. I never plant them in January when the dandelions come into bloom. I’m always running late and hoping they’ll have enough time to produce before the heat gets to them!

Despite the little bursts of yellow here and there from the dandelions, it is going to be quite a while before anything else much will be sprouting for the dinner table. Garlic scapes and green onions are still a little ways off. The last of the goat cheese curd came out of my freezer last week  to make alfredo sauce and marry with blackberry preserves to turn whole grain toast into something so much more than a mere breakfast side.

In fact, winter root-time is still in full swing at our house with the occasional side of hand-picked pinto beans. Roasted Rosemary neeps (turnips), mashed neeps, scalloped neeps, and baked neeps are still a major part of dinner. For some reason I never get tired of them. Sweet neeps (rutabagas), beets, and sweet potatoes make delicious sweet delicacies for getting those vitamins and minerals that can be lacking in the modern diet, and warm the soul (even if your body doesn’t need quite as much warming as usual this year).

Storage apples are a long lost tradition throughout apple-growing regions of the world. Some of the old-time favorites are falling out of modern favor because they’re not so stunning at first bite from the market. Before there was international shipping of fruits from places of eternal summer there was the root cellar, and if you’ve ever tried a Red Delicious apple after a few months of sitting, you’ll know why there are two different kinds of apples. I will NOT eat a mealy apple. Sauce it perhaps, but eat it straight? I think not.

Storage apples were much prized varieties because they either held their own well, or actually improved with storage. Lately Arkansas Black apples have been appearing in our local grocery stores and no one around here is particularly awed by their slightly starchy and mellow flavor. Tuck one away in a vegetable storage bin however, and about this time of year you have a beautiful dark red (nearly black) treasure waiting. Varieties such as the Winter Bananna work this way. They do not seem worthy of their fame at first bite off the tree, but put them away for a cold dark winter day, and you’ll be amazed at what treasures can be found in an appropriately cold and reliably damp basement. There is no better pie than one you know you made from the ground up. It sounds silly, but it’s true and made even better by the knowledge that you couldn’t just pick the ingredients up in your backyard for another 6 months. The bounty of summer is  relished in winter.

Last but not least, no winter diet is complete without the jars! Summer’s abundance is just that, abundant. We have extra to share, to sell, to give away, and to pawn off on unsuspecting visitors who leave their car doors unlocked. There comes a time in every summer, where it is no longer polite to offer zuccini to your friends or neighbors, for they are most likely the ones that left those grocery bags of zuccini hanging on your doorknob yesterday.

We freeze a lot of zuccini and summer squash, and in truth, a lot of summer’s bounty can be preserved quite well by freezing. However, that in no way replaces my jars of summer salsa, blackberry jam, home-canned peaches, and apple butter. Sure those things COULD be frozen, but who wants to eat previously frozen salsa. It’s SUPPOSED to come from a jar, and why freeze apple butter when the process so lends itself to sealing into those beautiful jars. There’s a comfort in looking at full shelves in a kitchen that is doubled if not increased exponentially by the connections those jars make for us. In those jars are the days we plowed, harrowed, planted, watered, weeded, staked, watered, watered, and harvested those treasures.

Then family and friends prepare. The preparing is almost as important to the emotional process as the eating is! Friends and family gather around the big apple butter pot, peeling, slicing, grating, and tossing in a little of this and that until the caramel aroma fills the space and we’re all intoxicated with the cinnamon scent of fall, heavy with the memory of summer and the anticipation of the *suck-POP* of opening a jar on a cold winter evening by the fire. THAT is eating in December, January, February, and in some places…on well into what southerners see as spring.

Living in the modern world, I never actually have to worry about getting down to just a cellar-full of moldy potatoes and a hunk of stale bread. There are plenty of colorful delights waiting for me just down the street at the local grocery. I really savor the occasional orange in winter and I sure can’t pull one of those out of my root cellar, but even with the modern convenience of year-round availability, we all know that the best eating must follow the seasons. A February tomato is NOT the same as a July tomato, and the time for fresh asparagus only truly happens once per year. We all miss the spring with its promise of something new. Green onions, give way to strawberries, then cantaloupe, watermelon, and fresh peaches. It’s coming, and perhaps sooner than we think. This heat wave we’ve called winter is passing, and I have proof. So here’s to good eating for today and the hope of fresh-eating for tomorrow. My daffodils are getting ready to bloom 🙂

Published in: on February 4, 2012 at 11:54 am  Comments (1)  

Apple Sweet Potato Bread Pudding

Somehow, even before the weather produces the first fall nip of the year, we all know it’s coming. I don’t know whether it’s a slight change in the leaves, a slight coolness to the breeze, or just a change in barometric pressure, but just before the actual season arrives I start longing for pumpkin, apples, and sweet potatoes. No foods make me feel snuggled up for cold weather like that great fall trio, and here we marry two of them to bread pudding for the most comforting side dish/dessert I know.

For this dish you’ll want pie-type apples. If you cook your apples and they fall apart into something that looks like applesauce (very delicious apple sauce I might add) then they were not pie apples. Pie apples hold their shape during cooking. Some common examples include Fuji, Gala, Honey Crisp, and Granny Smith. There are also lots of WONDERFUL heirloom apples that have been preserved specifically for their awesome contributions to apple pie. Opalescent, Sweet 16, Porter, Yellow Transparent, Smokehouse, Spartan, Esopus Spitzenburg, Duchess of Oldenburg, and most of the Limbertwig-types are among the many many MANY great pie apples you can find at local farmer’s markets.

Ingredients

  • 1c plain yogurt or sour cream (you can use vanilla yogurt for this, but do yourself a favor and use full-fat and full-sugar yogurt or you’ll be sorry)
  • 1c whole milk (or 1/2 and 1/2 if you’re feeling decadent)
  • 3/4 c brown sugar (adjustable  for the sweet/sour of your apple variety)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 TBS baking powder
  • 1 TBS vanilla
  • 1tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2c peeled and chopped pie apples (2-3 medium apples)
  • 2c peeled and chopped sweet potatoes (1-2 medium potatoes)
  • 4c bread cubes

Topping

  • 1/4c melted butter
  • 1/3c brown sugar
  • 1/4c flour
  • 1c oatmeal, chopped pecans, or other nuts
  • zest of one orange

Place chopped sweet potatoes in a microwaveable bowl with a lid. Fil 1/3 of the way with water, set the lid on loosely with room for escaping steam, and microwave on high for 4-5 minutes to begin softening sweet potatoes.

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 1qt casserole dish or large cast iron skillet. Combine yogurt, eggs, milk, sugar, baking powder, cinnamin, ginger, and vanilla in a large bowl. Toss in sweet potato and apples , stir gently, then incorporate the bread. Using a large spoon, turn ingredients over in the bowl untill well coated and evenly mixed. Pour into baking dish.

Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle topping mixture over the pudding. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes untill the potato cubes are tender and the pudding has puffed up and browned. For an extra crispy topping, you can increase the temperature to 450 for the last 10 minutes of the bake.

Published in: on October 24, 2011 at 10:20 pm  Comments (1)  

Building a Building

I got up a little earlier than usual to throw some biscuits in the oven for the guys since I had to work today while they were framing. I thought I had actually gotten up before them. I put in the biscuits, started the coffee pot, and then slid my pajama legs into my boots to go drive hay out to the bucks, feed the chickens, and see to the general morning chores.

Harold and GregOutside, it was cold, dewy, and gray, but there was an end wall up on the dairy building. How did I sleep through the sawing? My dad and his brother got up at 3:30 this morning and used hand saws so they wouldn’t wake anyone with the power tools. They cut all the pieces by hand for the end wall and waited till I pulled out in the truck to feed the goats to start hammering so they knew we were awake and that the echoing hammer strikes wouldn’t wake anyone up.

Should I feel like LESS of a farmer because they are so much more hard core than me? We were still up before it was Matt and Jon catwalkingfully light, but they were using halogen lights on a stand to hand saw wall studs in the dark! I think perhaps this only points out that they are insane and not that we are slack. I hope. Whew. I wonder how nuts they were when they were our age!

Either way, at the end of day two, (thanks to a LOT of friendly help) all walls are in place, all of the giant trusses have been lifted to the top, and half of the trusses have been erected into place. Tomorrow we’ll stand the second half of the trusses and lay the decking for the roof. We’re still more than a few weekends from being finished, but we’ve come a long way from the little goat pen that was once there instead.

Next Saturday, October 8th, we’re presenting a dairy workshop with Buffalo Creek Farm on how to navigate state and local dairy regulations through the North Carolina Department of Agriculture at the Forsyth County Center 1450 Fairchild Drive in Winston Salem at 10AM. Then we’ll be back home putting on shingles. The goats are looking forward to getting back into their barn which requires that we finish up with the building and the new fence for that area.

The turkeys look like a full blown Thanksgiving dinner wandering around the yards patrolling for bugs and asking to have their feeders filled AGAIN! They’re eating machines this time of year and keep their areas miraculously bug free. They’ve been venturing out of their usual yards to check out the construction and see what all the noise-making is about. We’ve been getting verbal requests for the last few remaining turkeys that are still unclaimed for Thanksgiving this year, but it’s going to be first-come first-serve for whoever puts their orders in online. We have few of both large and small birds left for order. If you’re one of those who keep telling us you want a turkey for Thanksgiving, you better go put in an order before someone else gets your bird! When they’re all spoken for, that’s it until next year. They sure do look juicy on their morning hunting trips through the leaves when we’re out and about carrying hay and filling waterers. Don’t get left out. You can claim the best turkey you’ve never had on our order page. I’ll change the link when we’re sold out, so if it works, there’s still a bird for you 🙂

Published in: on October 1, 2011 at 8:51 pm  Comments (2)  
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When Squirrels Steal your Nuts . . .

The Peanut Family Tree

Peanuts, semi-appropriately called “ground nuts” (because they are a lot like nuts but grow underground) are actually not nuts at all. Peanuts are legumes and so group more closely with limabeans, pinto beans, and black-eyed peas. In truth, peanuts are beans that we eat like nuts instead of steaped in pots or with the fat of a delicious ham. They are high in oil like other nuts and high in protein like other beans, which raises them among the “nut category” to the lofty position of being a squirrel’s favorite food in the whole wide world.

So, on to the question at hand. Squirrels are digging up our peanuts at a rate of about 10 feet of row per day. They scurry between the rows, dig at the base of the plant, and eat off the developing peanuts leaving the plant standing in its place. It has been suggested that we use safe traps to get rid of them, but that now poses a problem. The best thing to use to bait squirrel traps is a peanut (since they love them so much), but what do you use to bait squirrels if your trap needs to sit in the middle of a garden-full of peanuts?

Published in: on September 30, 2011 at 1:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Strong Foundations

From a little “home base” goat paddock with sprinklings of discarded hay and fallen pines to a construction site destined for culinary hopefulness, we’ve been watching our little patch of earth change this season. We’ve put the kids back in with their moms for good this year. We aren’t able to give the little girls their own field since we had to take down fences for the heavy machinery. The kids were spending the night with their moms and getting their own fresh field during the day to graze so that we could milk the does before bedtime. Now they’re together all day as well. No one seems to mind at all. The kids sleep and graze happily with their moms day and night as opposed to only snuggling up for bedtime in the barn.

It’s been a great year for our friendly farm turkeys, and the chickens (though they took a break for about a week before hurricane Irene hit the coast) have been working like champs. They’ve all grown rapidly, always being interested in a tasty morsel that could be lurking in the grass, hiding behind the next log, or concealed in a farmer’s closed hand. The turkeys actually look like a full grown meal now, and we still have two months left to go!

The heavy equipment has been in and out of the back yard for over a month now. Large bulldozers putting in an independent septic system and recycled asphault driveways meet the giant ditch-witch and myriad miscellaneous bobcat-like movers. The plumming and slab went in first with tapered drains that prove their effectiveness as they pool rain water over the still-plastic-sealed drains waiting to be opened for business. Our RAFI grant pretty much covered the price of the septic system and the slab. The rest is up to us. Now the block layers are constructing the heavy walls of the cheese cave, cheese processing room, and milking rooms of the building. Once that is completed, our work truly begins. We’ve been taking evening walking tours through the developing walls imagining what this room will look like, or how that one will feel once it’s completely closed in. We will be framing the rest of the building, hanging fifteen doors and even more windows, and lifting the 26ft trusses by hand onto the top where we’ll lay plywood decking, and install our own roof. Then there’s insulating, drywall and dairy board installation, and painting to be done, exterior siding to put in place, and cheesemaking and milking equipment to bring in and arrange. After that,  it will be time for cheese! Those of you holding your breath to share in the overwhelming amounts of cheese we make here and aren’t allowed to share with anybody, the time is coming. Soon we will be inspected, officially legal, and selling, and THAT, my friends, is what this construction project is about!

Published in: on September 11, 2011 at 10:03 pm  Comments (6)  
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Tomato Basil Salad . . . Caprese?

To me, the ultimate Italian phrase, second only to a hearty “Mangiamo!” (“Let’s Eat!”), is “Tomato Basil.” Alright, probably every person of Italian descent  or with any knowledge of Italy at all would disagree on that point, but where would soup be without tomato basil? And let’s not leave out the other basil-dependent tomato-based necessities such as spaghetti sauce, lasagna, and pizza. (And what is life without bruschetta?) Tomato-Basil is a summer match made in heaven. The tomatoes are ripe, the basil is escaping into the yard as if it were an uncontrollable weed, and the heat turns our minds to cool and refreshing dishes such as salad. Salad? Oh yes. The tomato-basil combination is not just for soups and hearty sauces of the cold and blustery months but is also perfect for adding a flash of Italian culture to  beloved southern traditions such as tomato salad. You can even add soft fresh goat cheese or mozzarella for a divine variation of the classic Caprese Salad dressed to impress and all seasoned for the ball.

Tomato Basil Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 medium, firm tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 small yellow onion thinly slivered
  • 8 large fresh basil leaves, slivered or shredded
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Balsamic vinegar for drizzling
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 oz (at least!) of fresh goat cheese or mozarella torn or chopped into bite-sized pieces (optional)

Combine onions, tomatoes, and basil in medium serving bowl. If you are making  a Tomato-Basil Caprese salad, add your cheese being careful not to squash fragile fresh goat cheese into a paste. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the salad gently with your fingers or turn it over carefully with a large wooden spoon to coat evenly.

Here I used our fresh goat cheese mozzarella with garden-ripe heirloom and Roma tomatoes, a huge handful of Genovese Basil, and a Wallawalla onion.

Tomato salad can be served cold, room temperature, or slightly warmed. The effect is remarkable at each temperature.

Published in: on August 16, 2011 at 8:29 am  Comments (2)  
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Ready . . . Set . . . Grow!!!

Bulldozer hard at work on day 1 of the building

I can’t really explain how farming makes me feel. For one, it sure makes me think my body is awfully old. I am ever so happy to announce that the last fence paddock of the summer is complete and currently being evaluated by the milking

does and their kids. Putting up fence is about the most taxing thing we do on a regular basis around here. There’s still a lot of building to build, but that’s a one time thing as opposed to continuous fencing. The bulldozer is hard at work just behind our backyard. We pulled up all of that hard-earned fence for the paddock behind the house, put up a temporary shelter for the goats down in the woods, and the bulldozer started scraping away to build a surface for the dairy building. Right now it’s just a huge area of red clay where there used to be grass and an occasional tree. Eventually it will be a milking parlor, commercial kitchen, cheese processing room, office, packaging room, and cheese cave. It’s hard to believe looking at it right now, but in another year there will be cheese aging in that very spot.

We pulled the bucks out to another pasture in anticipation of the stinky rutting season just around the corner and moved the turkeys onto the field where the does had been. It’s great to finally be setup to rotate. The difference between what we know needs to be done and what we’ve been setup to do has been a real thorn in our collective sides, and that thorn has just been removed. We can’t run water all the way out

Goats on new pasture

Tasting the brand new field.

to the last field, so we’re filling 55 gallon drums with water and driving them up to the field until we get the huge 275 gallon water tank installed up there. Finding the adapters to go from the tank’s large mouth down to a hose fitting was enlightening.  The combination of parts, doo-dads, and gizmo’s the two Lowes staff finally assembled were brilliant, inspiring, and creative all at once. I deserve absolutely none of the credit. I just PVC cemented them together when I got home and there it was, the miracle of human ingenuity at work. The goats don’t care if I drive them water or pipe it to them, but I’m happy not to be flipping 500lb barrels of water over the back of my truck to fill their trough.

Our hens' little eggs

The egg hens are just beginning to reliably lay. They still haven’t quite mastered it yet, but they’re getting the idea. We’re pulling about a dozen eggs out of the nest boxes each day. The eggs are all either very small, or large and double-yolked. The two yolks keep the eggs from being able to produce a chick, so that’s no good for the hens. They still need some practice, but they’ve figured out where to lay and how to maneuver through their perch house to get to the nest boxes. They should be very proud of themselves. The eggs aren’t big enough to sell, but they taste great. We’re eating a lot of egg white omelets with garden-ripe tomatoes, home-grown oregano, our own walking onions, home-made feta and chevre, and a very special ingredient native to the Once Upon a Meadow Farm, chanterelles.

Chanterelle mushroom

Chanterelle mushroom patch at the farm

Our farm is home to at least three patches of chanterelles. Two of the patches are pretty small, and we don’t pick from them much to let them release spores and grow. One of the patches, however, just behind our bee hives is amazing. Chanterelles are supposed to be one of the most delicious mushrooms in the world only coming in behind the morel mushroom, which is also native to NC, and the truffle. Some species of chanterelles have a very faint apricot aroma, while others have a more woodsy character. All chanterelles put up mushrooms in the spring, and are very very simple to positively identify. There is one non-edible mushroom that looks like the chanterelle. It’s called the Jack-o-lantern because it glows green in the dark. Chanterelles sprout in the spring and summer, while Jack-o-lanterns sprout in the fall, and (of course) glow in the dark, so it’s very easy in this case to tell which mushroom you’ve found. Plus, even if you’re wrong, a Jack-o-lantern mushroom will make your stomach unhappy, but that’s about as bad as it gets.

We’re all excited and tired of the latest heat wave. We are SO glad fencing is done for the summer and that we now get to turn our attention to the building. The floor drains, concrete slab, and septic tank should be going in very soon. Then we’ll be doing the framing, roofing, siding, and finishing of the rest for ourselves. It’s almost breeding season again. We’ll be making plans for the bucks by looking at previous years’ kids, milk and medication records, and body condition scoring. Plus it’s about time to start looking for this winter’s hay. It’s never over. One cycle runs into the next, and we try to do better each time as the year rolls by and turns into preparation for the next one. Right now every day is hot, but it’s also exciting and new. Later ever day will be cold, new, and exciting. Then it will be hot again. That’s about all that never changes. The rest just takes us along for the ride.

Published in: on July 28, 2011 at 10:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Bacon-Wrapped Figs and Goat Cheese

This sounds like a dish that could frighten off the faint of heart, but don’t be scared. Even the most picky eaters at our house (you know who you are) were absolute fans at the first taste. The saltiness of the bacon, the creaminess of fresh goat cheese, and the heavenly sweetness of figs all marry together in a mouthful of bliss. “Blissful” may actually not be a positive enough word to describe this dish. These little bites are absolutely DIVINE.

Figs can potentially produce two crops each year. The breva crop comes in the spring, but the main crop (which is heavier and of better quality) ripens in August in NC. Figs are only available fresh for a very short time in the summer here. Their shelf life is extremely short since figs tend to ferment quickly in our climate. If you can find fresh figs preseve all you can by freezing or drying in a dehydrator. There is too much humidity to sun dry them here. Fresh figs are a delicacy and add a real juiciness to this recipe (which we make fresh in August), but if you rehydrate dried figs you will get an increase is sweet intensity that is also a real treat. Our pictures here are from the last of our dried figs. We’ll be back to fresh figs in August.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces chevre (fresh, soft goat cheese)
  • 12 fresh figs (dried will work if that’s all you have)
  • 12 strips bacon
  • 4 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 1TBS honey
  • 24 tooth picks

Combine balsamic vinegar and honey in a small sauce pan and heat while stirring on medium low to reduce mixture. When the syrup coats the back of a spoon so that it leaves a clean line when swiped with your finger, remove from heat. If using dried figs, soak them in the syrup until they are plump. Slice or separate chevre into 24 portions. Cut figs lengthwise into halves and press one portion of chevre into each. Cut bacon strips in half to make two shorter pieces of each. Wrap each piece of fig with one half-length strip of bacon and secure with a toothpick. (Toothpick is optional and depends on how well your bacon is cooperating.) Place wrapped fig-halves in a baking pan and cook at 475 until bacon is cooked through. (~15min or so) Remove from oven and drizzle honey balsamic mixture over the figs. To get the most out of the slightly melted goat cheese, serve while still warm.

Published in: on July 17, 2011 at 9:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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