Yesterday, Owen and I went shopping for a mature milking doe. (We're getting our baby goat today and she will eventually need a companion.) We drove an hour to look at Stiletto, and fell hard. She's a lovely, mellow Nubian who gives a gallon of milk a day. She is, however, large, about the height of a tall Doberman Pinscher.
After this we drove another hour-and-a-half to look at Dusty, a squat, surly Nigerian Dwarf with freaky, opaque white eyes. She cringed away when we tried to pet her. She has never been hand-milked and her "sisters" give 2 cups of milk a day. No thanks. The only reason to even consider this unfriendly, underproducing goat is that she is petite, about the height of a border collie. Poor Dusty is probably just misunderstood but we don't have time to understand her.
It seems like the answer is obvious: Get Stiletto. And then change her name immediately.
It is slightly more complicated than that, due to her size and my fears of neighbor reaction, but I think that's what I'm going to do, provided her breeder can keep her for a few weeks until our wooden fence is finished. With a wooden fence, perhaps we won't incite every passing busybody to report our illegal goats.
You may question the wisdom of keeping goats illegally. I do. Constantly. But I am about to practice my first-ever -- and probably last -- act of civil disobedience. It strikes me as absurd and wrong that you can legally keep big, chicken-killing, barking dogs in this (or any) town but can't keep two docile, milk-giving, brush-clearing ruminants of the same size, or even much smaller. I am prepared to fight this fight, though I would prefer not to. For one thing, I might lose.
My father came over for dinner after our big day of goat-shopping. I was shocked when he approved my illegal goat plan as he's a lawyer and usually very cautious. I served him Thomas Keller's pepper-crusted tenderloin from Ad Hoc At Home.
To make this, you poach peppercorns in oil for an hour, crush them, coat your expensive steaks, sear, then finish in the oven. Owen refused to eat his steak on account of the "bean things" on the outside, but my father and I thought they were delicious.
Nothing but the best for my lawyer.
For dessert, we had Keller's coconut cake.
Keller says his mother used to bake this cake, and the fussier steps in the recipe suggest the coconut did not fall far from the palm. You have to reduce a can of coconut milk over the stove, which struck me as too much work for what is ostensibly an ordinary layer cake. Worth it! The cake itself is springy yet dense, airy yet substantial, and you can taste the coconut right there in the crumb.