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The Year of the Goat: 40,000 Miles and the Quest for the Perfect Cheeseby Margaret Hathaway
Synopses & Reviews
Many people dream of leaving the workday world for a life of simplicity and freedom, and Margaret Hathaway and Karl Schatz did just that. Feeling like something was missing from their city lives, the couple began to dream of an existence that was closer to the land and became captivated by the idea of themselves as . . . goat farmers. Realizing that they knew little about goats, and even less about farming, they gave themselves a year to explore the world of goats and decide if that was where they belonged. In The Year of the Goat, the reader can jump in the goatmobile” and follow their adventures as they ditch their big-city lifestyle to trek across forty-three states in search of greener pastures and the perfect goat cheese. Along the way, the reader is introduced to a vivid cast of characters—including farmers, breeders, cheese makers, and world-class chefs—and learns everything there is to know about goats and getting back to the land. From the largest goat auction in Texas to a small Indiana dairy, from a Tennessee barbecue cook-off to a tasting session with New Yorks premier maître fromager, the couple pursues all things goat. But readers beware: when it comes to goat cheese, it can be love at first bite.
"'Hathaway and Schatz were happy living together in New York City — Schatz was Time.com's picture editor, and Hathaway a former manager of Magnolia Bakery. Still, they wondered 'what sort of people' they'd be if they lived in the country, and in this offbeat memoir Hathaway narrates their search. The idea of raising cows wasn't affordable or appealing, but goats were intriguing, especially since their cheeses were so tasty. Before long, the couple decided to leave New York for a yearlong 'goat odyssey,' searching out everything 'goat' that struck their fancy. Starting in New York with a tasting session with matre fromager Max McCalman, they traveled the country visiting goat farms, auctions and shows. While they had a lot to learn — how to milk goats, how to trim their hooves — they were also trying to find a model lifestyle for themselves. Eventually, they realized they wanted a farm with some vegetables and some animals, but not so many that the farm would become a factory. More than anything, they wanted 'a modest life' surrounded by people they loved. Back-to-the-land fantasies aren't new, but Hathaway gives theirs a modern twist by emphasizing 'terroir,' the idea that 'food is rooted in the land,' and of connecting 'the palate to the place.' Local-eating, slow-food activists will find much to chew on here.' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
From Maine to Arizona, and back again, Margaret and Karl and their dog, Godfrey, travel across America in search of green pastures, simple tradition, and the perfect goat cheese.
About the Author
Margaret Hathaway is a freelance writer and aspiring farmer. A former manager of the Magnolia Bakery in New York City, she is a founding member of the Portland Slow Food Convivium, as well as an active volunteer with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners' Association. She lives in Maine with her husband Karl, her daughter Charlotte, their dog Godfrey, and an ever-growing group of animals.
Karl Schatz is the former on-line photo editor for Time Magazine. He is currently the operations manager for Aurora Photos.
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