"If providence did beards devise,
To prove the wearers of them wise,
A fulsome goat would then, by nature,
Excel each other human creature." - Thomas D'Urfey

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Letter

Dear God,
Hello. It's me, Marigold. I know. I'm just a soggy little goat - a mere speck on the Great Plasma TV of Life. But I wanted to talk to you about kind of a sensitive subject. You see, God, I know that You are all-knowing, all-seeing and infinitely wise. You are all things, to all creatures, and all that (and a bag of Peanuts, if I may say so.) And as such, You are known by many names like, well, God, The Creator, The Universe, The Force and even The Great Yahoo. Oh, wait. I think that was Yahweh.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make, here, is that You've been around a loooong time. You've seen, well, everything. So what I want to talk to you about is this whole 'aging' thing. It happens to everyone. And when one ages, well, one sometimes begins to experience a few age-related issues. Oh, there are lots of examples, like that car you follow for miles on end waiting for it to turn that never does. Why? Because the driver simply 'forgot' the signal was on. Or like Boo - she's the oldest of our group. How many times have I seen Boo start to pick up a dropped Peanut, forget what she was doing, and wander off, only to turn around and exclaim, 'Oh, look! Someone dropped a Peanut!' Of course some of that is due to the fact that Boo is a Nubian. In retrospect, perhaps that isn't the best example. But, I mean, this stuff even happens to the goatmother. Time and again I've seen her walk into the barn carrying an armload of hay, stop, look around, and say, 'Now, why did I come in here?' See? It happens. And it is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

So, God. Far be it from me to point out the obvious to anyone as omniscient as Yourself, but I just felt like if I didn't, well, no one would. And let's face it, You are one REALLY old dude. I would never deign to convey disrespect. After all, You made the Peanut. But in light of what I've said, I'd just like to point out one thing: God, I think you left the faucet running.

Your sincere, albeit waterlogged, friend,
Marigold

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise ...

Guess what? It's raining.

Really? Surely not.

No. I'm sure. The roof is leaking.

But I thought you've already had enough rain for the century - maybe even the millenium.

Apparently not.

Have you looked? Are your hooves starting to get all pruny???

No. Webbing. Webbing is starting to grow in between.

You don't say. Well, cheer up. Summer has to arrive eventually.

I can't wait. The Peanuts are soggy.

Oh. Well perhaps then they will sprout. You know, grow some Peanut plants.

You are far too optimistic.

Marigold, "In the long run the pessimist may be proved right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip." - Daniel L. Reardon
.

Oy.



Thursday, May 12, 2011

Broken News

Sadly, only 8 members of the team reported for training this morning. We can not be sure what happened to the 9th member. I swear, all 9 were present and accounted for last night. Perhaps there were unknown injuries sustained during yesterday's incident. Perhaps it was just meant to be. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we just can't change Fate's mind. "Fate is not an eagle, it creeps like a rat." - Elizabeth Bowen.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Breaking News

Team reunited. Film at 11 ... or maybe not because this newscaster's hittin' the hay.

9-1-1


So, yesterday, this year's baseball team arrived for Spring training. Yep. There were 9 as usual. They passed the day doing aquatic calisthenics, but this morning, when the goatmother came out to the barn, only one, lone, adult Mallard graced the banks of McQuackie Field. No doubt this was the assistant coach, so the goatmother proceeded to look all around, but the team was nowhere to be found. Hmmm. Sleeping in, I guess.

The goatmother went on to more important matters, like handing out Peanuts, when all of a sudden the Mighty Quinn broke loose with a round of 'there-is-definitely-something-there-and-you-better-get-the-hay-over-here-and-look' kind of barking. The goatmother dropped her bucket and ran halfway down the pasture to where the Mighty Quinn and Cabra were. Lo and behold, Coach Mom was on the other side of the fence with the team. What they were doing so far away from McQuackie Field is anyone's guess, but the goatmother ushered the Mighty Quinn and the Cabrarator back up to the house. Then she went back to open the gate so the coach would have a clear path to the field.

As the goatmother approached the fence, she thought she saw something move. She did a double take, and focused her peepers to where she thought she'd seen the movement. Ayiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!

Squad 51, this is Rampart! Informant reports youngster caught in fence. Please respond!

Rampart, this is Squad 51. Jaws-of-Life required to free victim. A short delay in communication while we make a run to the barn. (Oy. The goatmother running again. Will wonders never cease?)

Rampart, we have the Jaws-of-Life and are proceeding with caution ... Rampart, we have freed victim, but Coach and rest of team nowhere to be found. Please advise.

Squad 51, I see no recourse but to return victim to McQuackie Field.

Rampart, victim returned, but is running about helter-skelter and peeping wildly.

Squad 51, return to doling out Peanuts. Please.

By the time the goatmother finished in the barn, the wild peeping had ceased and the victim was seen on the banks of McQuackie Field with the Coach and the assistant Coach. How they plan to reunite the team remains a strategical mystery.

"I'm a rescue man.
I've trained to be a rescue man.
I like being a rescue man!" - John Gage, paramedic, 'Emergency'.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Cause

You know, since my last post I've been thinking. After all, it is what I do best. Anyway, I have been considering the plight of the egg. You may recall that the recipe the goatmother recently made called for 'beaten' eggs, so I started perusing recipes and found that indeed, this sort of occurrence is of an epic nature. I might go so far as to say it has reached epidemic proportions. Recipes all over the world are calling for eggs to be 'lightly' beaten, 'slightly' beaten, 'well' beaten and even 'stiffly' beaten. And this kind of behavior has been going on for centuries. Why has no one ever noticed? Oy.

As a result, I have decided to establish an organization which will endeavor to bring to light this travesty. The name of this organization shall heretofore be known as Goats Opposing the Abominable Treatment of Exemplary Eggs, otherwise known as G.O.A.T.E.E. We shall ask that eggs be treated in a more ethical manner such as 'gently folding'. Water boarding shall be absolutely prohibited. Eggs don't know anything worthwhile anyway.

I know. We all have to eat, you say. Ah, yes. But do we not have a responsibility to do that in the most inoffensive way possible? I mean I try to be as gentle as possible when it comes to getting The Holiest of Holies, The Blessed Peanut, down the old hatch where it belongs. So please. I beg you. Join me. Go forth armed with knowledge. Spread the word. The humble cackleberry deserves our devotion to cause. "However much I may sympathise with and admire worthy motives, I am an uncompromising opponent of violent methods even to serve the noblest of causes." - Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Cheesy Cheesecake Trick

I have always heard that you ought to be careful what you ask for. Well, I know, now, that this bit of advice is indeed true. In fact, it has become my new mantra. You may recall that I was a bit miffed in my last post, since the goatmother had neglected to offer me even a taste of the delectable chocolaty, Peanutty goodness that she made in her crock pot. Okay. I admit it. I complained rather vociferously. Maybe even loudly. Perhaps a bit ad nauseum. All right, obnoxious. I was obnoxious. Still, in my defense, it did involve Peanuts and the goatmother simply should have known. I mean it isn't like there's any question as to whether or not I like them. In fact, when it comes to the goodiferousness of the groundnut, there's just no sense in hiding any lights under any bushels, now is there?

So it happened that the goatmother decided to make yet another dessert in her crock pot. And, since I chose to bemoan my plight so laudably the last time, she decided to give me a taste. I was delighted. My efforts had paid off - the squeaky wheel and all that! You go, Marigold! So when I saw the goatmother coming toward the fence, baggie in hand, I was there first. No WAY was Ella getting MY bite after I had worked so hard to get it here in the first place. Imagine my complete disillusionment when the proffered bit met my mouth and didn't taste anything like a Peanut. It would seem that the goatmother had decided, this time, to make a Crustless Lemony Cheesecake. The first bite was already there and down the hatch faster than a speeding Peanut, but I can tell you that not another bite crossed my lips. Nor the lips of anyone else, for that matter. I mean NOBODY wanted to eat that stuff - not even Boo.

Oy. I learned my lesson. 'Thou shalt not be indiscriminate in thy complaints.'

I don't think the goatmother ever understood. "What is wrong, Marigold?" It's a taste. You wanted a taste. And besides, this one might actually be okay for your figure - unlike that last one."

Anyway, out of pity, and because she did at least pay attention this time, I'll post the recipe here for you. Maybe you'll like it. Who knows?


Crustless Lemony Cheesecake

Makes: 8 servings (a hapless dream)
Slow Cook: 2 hours 15 minutes to 2 hours 45 minutes on High (Since you cleaned the barn last time, this time maybe take the goats on a walk-about. Or, if you are mad at Ella, take a nap.)

Ingredients:

Non-stick cooking spray

12 ounces cream cheese softened (You can use the fattening stuff, but the goatmother used the reduced fat. She says she is going to try 'fat-free' next time. I am not sure if she means herself or the cream cheese, but from the looks of things, probably the cream cheese.)
1/2 C. sugar (The goatmother used 1/2 and 1/2 sugar and Splenda.)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice (Okay. Now I understand where the 'pucker' came from. Oy.)
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour (Of course you do this on purpose. It says to. Go figure.)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. sour cream
3 eggs lightly beaten (Why would you want to beat up an egg? This seems inhumane to me, but what do I know. I'm just a goat.)
2 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
1 C. warm water

Fresh raspberries (optional)
Fresh mint (optional) ('Optional' this and 'optional' that. What's wrong with Peanuts on top? Then they wouldn't need to say 'optional'.)

Directions:

1. Lightly coat a 1-quart souffle dish or casserole with cooking spray. (Okay, did you actually think the goatmother is sophisticated enough to own a souffle dish? She found a crockery bowl in her cupboard that would fit inside her crock pot and still hold 1 quart.) Tear off an 18 x 12 inch piece of heavy-duty foil; cut in half lengthwise. Fold each piece lengthwise into thirds. Crisscross the foil strips and place the dish in the center of the crisscross; set aside. (I know this sounds like Boo wrote it, but trust me. All will be revealed.)

2. For filling, in a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, flour and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well mixed. Beat in sour cream until smooth. Add eggs (no doubt crying for mercy by now), beating on low speed just until combined. Stir in lemon peel.

3. Pour mixture into the prepared souffle dish (Or, if you are not so couth, the prepared bowl); cover tightly with foil. Pour the warm water into a 3 1/2 to 5 quart slow cooker. Bringing up the foil strips, lift the ends of the strips to transfer the dish to the cooker. (No matter how you try, you need four hands for this. I can't help you. I don't have any hands. You'll have to call the goatfather to help you.) Leave foil strips under dish.

4. Cover and cook on high-heat setting for 2 hours, 15 minutes to 2 hours, 45 minutes, or until the center is set. (Or maybe you could bring a portable DVD player to the barn so the goats could watch 'The Men Who Stare At Goats'.)

5. Carefully lift with foil strips to remove dish (Oh, goooat-faaaather .... ); discard foil strips. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours. (Okay, I could wait this long, but I don't think just anyone could. Twenty-four seems like an awful long time to wait.) To serve, spoon cheesecake into dessert dishes (or a baggie if you are offering it to your goats. Or, if you have to call the dogs to eat it because the goats refused. Dogs will eat just about anything.) If desired, garnish with raspberries - (or PEANUTS.)


Nutrition Facts -

Servings Per Recipe - 8 (not in this household); Calories - 253 (Okay, it is much lower if you use the lower fat or non-fat cream cheese, and the 1/2 and 1/2 sugar and Splenda. Hey, you could even use 'Egg Beaters'. That way somebody else has already beaten up those poor little buggers and you didn't even have to get involved.); Total Fat - (g) 19 (See previous comment.); Saturated Fat - (g) 11 (Ditto); Cholesterol - (mg) 131 (Previously Pummeled eggs from the store contain less cholesterol. They have had the 'cholestecrap' beaten out of them.); Sodium - (mg) 159; Carbohydrate - (g) 15 ; Protein - (g) 6; Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet (which we have previously established absolutely NO ONE has.)

So there you have it. I hope you enjoy it more than I did.
"Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.