Bleugrass Chevre - Astonishingly Good and Creamy Goat Cheese
When I first visited Miller Trust Farm, where Bleugrass Chevre originates, I thought I might be stepping straight into the charming website owner Susan Miller created when she launched her business. The website, the saucy wink of the "bleu" instead of "blue" -- all come to life in the simply wonderful place where Susan tends her goats and makes her beautiful cheeses. Honestly, the word "gambol" comes to mind when one meets the goats -- and that's not a word that pops up often.
The Bleugrass Chevre providers -- the goats -- met humans on the 2009 Lexington Farmers Market farm tour as if we were friends bearing gifts, nuzzling our pockets, looking at us with their big sweet eyes, and making Susan's self-described snicker-inducing leap into goat farming seem the sanest decision any capable food writer could make. Susan bottle feeds each kid, using nature's programming to convince the goats that humans, not their caprine mamas, are the source of all sustenance. While Susan is bottle-feeding the kids, she makes luscious creamy soft goat cheese, and sometimes goat feta, from their mamas' milk.
It's hard to know quite how Susan, even with help, has enough hands and hours to do all these tasks, given that the kids now arrive by the dozens, each needing a meal every couple of hours around the clock for several weeks. Yet the creamy cheese keeps coming, in multiple flavors (garlic-chive, cracked black pepper, chipotle, and sometimes chocolate or Bourbon-smoked black pepper).
For times when nature turns off milk production, Susan recommends thinking ahead and freezing some extra chevre. Unlike some cows' milk cheeses, the chevre freezes and thaws with no change in texture or taste.
I haven't seen a list of which farms will be on the 2010 Farm Tour on for Saturday, July 31, but my advice is this: Don't do what I did and schedule a vacation that will take you away from central Kentucky during the one opportunity we have each year to visit our farmers where they live. In addition to the tour this year, the Market plans a big dinner, which Susan Miller (with yet another available hand) and many others are planning. Here is information the Market shared in its most recent e-newsletter.
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