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Operation Goat Coat

You know how Superman flies to the aid of people in trouble?  Well, I’m basically like that with goats.  I’ll drop whatever I’m doing when a goat’s in distress.

That’s how I wound up at my friend Natasha’s farm yesterday.  You may remember Natasha–she’s the one who bought a piglet off Craig’s List.

Well, Natasha also has goats–because apparently she can’t restrain herself around the internet.  And these goats were getting cold, she said.

So I got in the car and drove to her barn as fast as I could.

Together we surveyed the goat situation.

goat small

“They do look cold,” I announced.

And then I waited for Natasha to have a good idea about how to warm them up.  Because unlike Superman, I have no special skills in a crisis.  I’m just really willing to cancel my lunch plans in order to see a farm animal.

“We should make them goat coats,” she said.

“Goat coats,”  I nodded.  “Totally.”

So we ran around the barn with a pen and paper and measured the goats.  Our measurements were. . . approximate.  Every time we were about to decide on the length of a goat or the size of its belly, another goat would head-butt us or start eating our galoshes, and we’d have to start over.

When we had some numbers, we started sketching patterns for the goat coats.

Here’s what we came up with–keep in mind this is goat-specific and will not work on a cow with udders:

Then we started measuring the material and making the coats.  I was in charge of cutting pieces of fleece fabric.  Natasha was in charge of the sewing machine because she was less likely to sew her face to the carpet by accident.

After two hours of what can only be described as one long outtake from an episode of Project Runway: Farm Edition, we had four goat coats.

We were nervous when we walked back out to the barn.   It was snowing and the temperature was dropping.  We were pretty sure the coats weren’t going to fit over the goats’ heads because had forgotten to measure their horns.

But they did!

goats in coatsThey fit perfectly.

gillyAnd the goats did seem less shivery after a while.

And then I left.  Superman doesn’t stick around after he rescues someone, you know?  He gets the heck out of there.  It’s his way of preserving his mystique.

So I went home and made dinner like a normal, non-famous goat-saving person.   And when Scott got home, he was all, “what did you do today?”  And I was all,  “Oh, you know. . . don’t worry about it.”

spinach salad We had pasta and this salad, which is perfect for wintertime.  It’s chock full of toasted almonds and chopped dates, and it’s tossed in a fresh citrus vinaigrette.

spinach salad

Scott didn’t realize it, but we were eating spinach salad because I have to keep my strength up.   You never know when another goat will need your help, right?

Spinach Salad with Dates, Toasted Almonds, and Clementine Vinaigrette  {Download & Print Recipe}
by eggton

Ingredients:

a couple handfuls of spinach

a handful of almonds, toasted in a toaster oven or over medium-low heat in a skillet (but watch them carefully so they don’t burn!)

a few dates, chopped into small pieces

2 clementines (you can substitute tangerines)

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. honey

salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Zest the two clementines, placing the peel in a small bowl.  Squeeze the juice from one half of one clementine into the zest.  Add the olive oil, cider vinegar, mustard, honey, and a dash of salt and pepper, and whisk together with a fork.  Taste the dressing and add more of any of the ingredients to your taste.

Put the spinach, dates and almonds in a large bowl.  Drizzle a little dressing over the salad and toss gently.  Taste it and add more dressing, salt or pepper to your liking.

~~~

These two are not allowed to get a pet goat of their own until they learn to share a little better.

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70 Comments Post a comment
  1. did the goats eat their coats yet? Goats like a tasty clothing snack – I almost lost a fav shirt at a petting zoo once….

    January 18, 2013
    • The goats NIBBLED their coats. When we put the coat on the first goat, everybody was interested in it. Even the sheep. The sniffed and nibbled, but then they seemed to leave them alone. So far, all coats are intact. Your t-shirt was probably better made than our goat coats. That’s probably why the goats at the petting zoo figured yours was worth eating. Ours. . . not so much.

      January 18, 2013
      • hmmm well it was the 70’s and my ever so stylish peasant blouse was made of cheesecloth – perhaps they thought it was real cheese LOL

        January 18, 2013
        • Ha! Excellent explanation. Maybe the beads dangling off it, or the mirrors embroidered into it, caught their attention. 🙂

          January 18, 2013
          • Hah – you know there was all sorts of shirring, embroidery, lacy trim and a handkerchief hem – irresistible to goats and hippies the world over 🙂

            January 18, 2013
  2. Freaking adorable!!! Also, that salad looks amazing.
    xx

    January 18, 2013
    • Hee hee. Aren’t they cute? The one at the top and then again at the bottom is named Gilly. Such an awesome name for a goat.

      January 18, 2013
  3. LOL, this post, and those coats, are too cute! Welcome to the Goat Rescue Club! When I was a teenager a friend who had a farm called me in a panic because one of their goats had gone into labour and no one was home to help her. The goat was in distress because she was having twins, and my friend was panicked! I rushed over and helped deliver those precious little kids and my friend let me have one. I named him Gord and visited him on her farm many times that summer. I miss him!

    January 18, 2013
    • Woah. You are way more advanced than I am when it comes to goat rescues. WOW. I can’t believe you delivered goat babies. How did you guys know what you were doing? Did you, like, google it? Also, Gord is a good name for a goat.

      January 18, 2013
      • Thank you, I was quite happy with the name I’d chosen even though my friends laughed at it.
        I have no idea how we knew what we were doing!!! I don’t think Google existed at the time (this happened in ’97 or ’98), but she had helped with other deliveries and I just tried to keep her calm. We had to pull out the second one (well, I did), and that’s why I got to keep him!
        btw, I’ve also rescued a drowing raccoon baby and had to administer CPR! NOT mouth to mouth though lol, so if you ever need tips… you just let me know 😉

        January 18, 2013
  4. a #

    I don’t know – that goat didn’t look especially cold to me. He looks like he has a nice, warm winter fur coat. But if it amuses you to make goat coats, have at it!

    January 18, 2013
    • Yeah, that wasn’t a good picture of a cold goat. That one didn’t look cold, but it was one of the better pictures I had. It was hard to get them in focus. The two little white goats were actually shivering. They were a lot smaller. And they huddled together for warmth. THEY were the ones we made the goat coats for. But when we put the goat coats on those two, the brown one (whose name is Gilly) kept inspecting the coats on the other two, and started head butting us and bleating. As soon as we gave him a goat coat, he stopped being obnoxious. He even strutted around in front of the chickens with it on. It was pretty hilarious.

      January 18, 2013
  5. The pups are learning to share and you are making coats for goats – that rhymes – love the hot pink coat – ha! Love it – great post! Happy Friday:)

    January 18, 2013
    • The hot pink coat is my favorite, too. It’s like the goat’s saying LIFE IS SHORT. WEAR MORE HOT PINK.

      January 18, 2013
  6. Um this totally just made my friday. GOAT COATS!! Oh, and I love your precise drawing of the coat plans.

    January 18, 2013
    • GOAT COATS! I can’t stop saying it. Have a good weekend, Courtney!

      January 18, 2013
  7. How adorable! This is one of the best things I’ve heard this week. Possibly month. CUTE. I love goats too.

    January 18, 2013
    • Aren’t they cute, Teresa? I just love how the boy goats butt at you but not super hard, so it’s more funny than anything else. It’s almost a polite “hello there!”

      January 18, 2013
  8. Those goats look like superheroes! Especially the one in pink. Super heroic goat coats. You’ve cornered a market, I believe.

    January 18, 2013
    • The one in pink is named Gilley. He wasn’t supposed to get a goat coat at first because he’s a pretty big goat and he didn’t look that cold. But when we put the coats on the smaller, younger goats, he got jealous! Seriously. He inspected their goat coats, rubbed up against them, and then started head-butting us and braying (or whatever you call a goat noise) until we gave him the one we were trying to put on a piglet (unsuccessfully). Then he seemed happy and he went back to eating hay. It was crazy!

      January 22, 2013
  9. I love goats, even with their weird square shaped pupils. The one who now has a blue coat is definitely smiling in the picture. You made a goat smile! That’s a superhero talent for sure. Just be careful, though, because it’s only a matter of time before they’ll want their horns bedazzled, then the chickens will want to accessorize and pretty soon you will be starring in Project Runway: Farm Edition for real!

    Love the post and the salad looks delicious (and healthy)!

    January 18, 2013
    • Bwahaha! Horns bedazzled! You should actually write that up and try to sell it to a reality show producer. I can see that happening. Maybe it should be an off-shoot of the Jersey Shore? Like, Snooki inherits a farm?
      Ugh. I’m might puke all over myself, but I can’t stop running with this. Can’t you just see her explaining how to paint a goat’s hooves?

      January 22, 2013
      • I think you may be on to something! As long as she has to shovel manure, it might just be worth it.

        January 22, 2013
  10. jadedapothecary #

    Very funny! I’m so happy to have stumbled across this. Recipes and little adventures in life? Too wonderful.

    January 18, 2013
    • I’m so glad you stumbled upon it, too! I love writing here because it makes me go out looking for little adventures so I can have fun telling everyone about them. 🙂

      January 22, 2013
  11. jenny_o #

    Those goats definitely look happy now. I hate to see animals in distress. Or even if I think they are in distress. Even a little. So I’m cheering for you and your friend. Well done.

    January 18, 2013
    • Thanks, Jenny. I’ve been waiting to help an animal in distress ever since my pet goldfish flopped upside down in his tank when I was in kindergarten and I could do nothing about it. 🙂

      January 22, 2013
  12. stephbo93 #

    I volunteer to put horses in jammies every Tuesday night at a local therapeutic riding program. Your goat coats look an awful lot like horse jammies. Great job!! And I’m also a little bummed that Seymour is looking more grown up and less like a puppy. 😦 He and Thunder are still the two cutest pups on the interweb though!!!

    January 18, 2013
    • Steph, that is amazing. Is it hard to get a horse into its jammies? I am so curious.

      My sister-in-law-to-be is studying to be a counselor and is really involved in therapeutic riding. I’ll have to see if she can hook me up with something similar!

      I can’t believe how big Seymour is either. We feel like we didn’t enjoy his tiny puppy stage enough, and then we woke up one day and it was over!. He must weigh 50 lbs. now, and he’s not even a year old. He still sits in our laps wherever we are. On the couch, in bed, outside–everywhere. He is such a lovebug. (An enormous one, to be clear.)

      January 22, 2013
      • stephbo93 #

        Some horse jammies are harder than others, but for the most part, it’s pretty easy. I think the horses are just grateful to be warm.

        I wish our furry kids could keep their baby faces forever, but alas, they do get older. At least you have tons of cute baby pix!!

        January 23, 2013
  13. Ouida Lampert #

    You never fail to entertain! Thank you.

    January 18, 2013
    • Thanks for always having a kind word, Ouida. Cheers!

      January 22, 2013
  14. Ginger Cobl #

    Awesome goat coats, I’m very impressed! Where were y’all when I needed chicken hats?

    January 18, 2013
    • Forget chicken hats– I want to make you some chicken PAJAMAS.

      January 22, 2013
  15. Devry #

    Hahahahaha! Maybe you should give the spinach to the goats. 🙂

    January 18, 2013
    • I wonder if they would eat spinach. Probably, right? Gah, I should have thought of that.

      January 22, 2013
  16. renata #

    The goat seems very happy . Great job !

    January 19, 2013
    • Hee hee. Thanks for stopping by, Renata!

      January 22, 2013
  17. I was just thinking the same thing, Devry! The goats would love that spinach salad. And if they are full, maybe they won’t even consider eating the coats.

    When are you applying for Project Runway, Katherine? I think you might have stumbled on a new career path. Or perhaps for your Etsy store? You can sell custom made goat coats along with the batik leopard print tunics and belts.

    January 19, 2013
    • I have an important question for you, Stacy. When one sells batik leopard print tunics, should the belts ALSO be leopard print? Or should they be a solid color, or maybe ZEBRA PRINT to really spice things up? Where does one go for answers to such elevated style questions?

      Perhaps I’ll email Gwyneth Paltrow.

      January 22, 2013
      • You offer them all, and let the buyer make their own rash and possibly ill-advised combinations, of course! What do we care, as long as they are buying, buying, buying!

        January 22, 2013
  18. Farmyard Mother Teresa. Next: socks for chickens (don’t their feet look cold?).
    Thunder (under her breath): Keep growling or we’ll have to wear neon!

    January 19, 2013
    • Chickens DO look like they have cold scraggly feet. Maybe I should make them socks with a little hole for their claws so they can still scratch around for food.

      It’s that kind of genius that’s going to set me apart from the mediocre chicken sock designers, don’t you think?

      January 22, 2013
  19. I love you! My man and I were recently traveling through northern India, and I kept saying I thought the monkeys looked cold and needed sweaters. And then onto the street wandered an old goat in the nicest blue sweater-vest I’ve seen in a long while. We love our “goat in a coat” photo. So happy to randomly find this post:)

    January 19, 2013
    • Wow! Do you recall how the sweater vest attached itself? We didn’t use velcro or buttons because we worried that the goats would nibble them off. So ours just tied under the tummy instead. But we debated it. 🙂

      Did you have a wonderful time traveling? I used to travel a lot and haven’t gotten the chance of late. I am jealous, but so glad that you found the website and took the time to write! Cheers, Katherine

      January 19, 2013
  20. oh holy lord can i PLEASE have that goat in the pink goat coat? I was just thinking…i don’t know…i mean, i have a yard. also, grass. I would love an alternative to cutting that grass; lawnmowers are so pesky and loud.
    I’m going to lose it over how cute that goat is. Nice work on the goat coats, by the way; you saved some lives this day.

    January 19, 2013
    • I will ask Natasha if you can have the goat in the pink coat. But you should be forewarned that he is the MOST head-butty of all her goats. Just something to keep in mind…

      January 22, 2013
  21. First food blog I’ve found written by a super hero! All in a day’s work eh?

    January 19, 2013
    • Don’t I know it, Sally. I’m EXHAUSTED. 🙂

      January 22, 2013
  22. Laura Flickinger #

    I’m so glad to know that someone else appreciates goats! We used to take our Kindergarteners to a farm where there were pygmy goats. Every year, I’d contemplate taking one of the babies and putting it in my bag to take home. Goats are awesome! Seeing those goats all warm and cozy just makes my day!

    January 20, 2013
    • Laura!!!! I can’t believe it’s you. It makes me so happy to be in touch with you again. You were such a huge, wonderful, lovely part of my childhood. I wonder what aspects of my personality you affected when you babysat, don’t you? Like, maybe I’d be different in small but meaningful ways if you hadn’t been there. I mean, we already know that we both love goats. Maybe I got that from you? 🙂

      love, Kate

      January 22, 2013
  23. Heroic, clothing designer to barnyard animals and a great cook – I bow before you in awe!

    January 20, 2013
    • I see your bow and I raise you one trip over my own feet, landing in a barnyard mud puddle!

      January 22, 2013
  24. Anna #

    Well THAT’S one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen!

    January 20, 2013
    • Hee hee. Those little goat faces could make anything look adorable, I think!

      January 22, 2013
  25. this makes me want to rush out and get a goat (in a coat), but I don’t think my dog would approve 🙂 And that salad looks delicious, might be on the menu this week!

    January 21, 2013
    • I am curious as to how my dogs would react to a goat. They’d probably try to play with it, and it would probably head butt them all over creation. Natasha has two Great Pyrenees and they live with the animals on the farm. They get along great with all of them, especially the piglet, who tries to sleep ON them for warmth. It’s the cutest thing.

      January 22, 2013
  26. I don’t even know what to say. This post makes me happier than Kanye West ever could.

    January 22, 2013
    • This makes me think it’s time Kanye started a line of goat-coat inspired clothing. You know, bright pink capes and stuff. I wonder I he’s going to start a line of infant outerwear when Kim Kardashian has his baby. Things like baby stilettos.

      January 23, 2013
      • YES!! (Actually, now I’m thinking Kanye is going to make me pretty happy this year…)

        January 23, 2013
  27. Sometimes when you write, I think you might be my soulmate. You know, in the least creepy way a stranger on the internet can say that to someone… but seriously… “Natasha was in charge of the sewing machine because she was less likely to sew her face to the carpet by accident.”

    January 24, 2013
  28. Anna #

    Just saw this and it made me think of your goat coats: http://www.tastefullyoffensive.com/2013/01/shetland-ponies-wearing-sweaters.html

    January 25, 2013
  29. Karen Asner #

    As a founding member of the Huron County Goat Club, I completely understand the goat fascination. Which is, by the way, the same reason I cannot to this day eat goat cheese. It tastes exactly like goats smell . . .

    January 26, 2013
  30. How are you living around goats after NYC? Amazing!!

    January 30, 2013
  31. Mary Ellen Silver #

    The coats were made of fleece (POLYESTER) Right? They’re not eating that stuff!!!, but give them some plant substance like cotton and they’ll nibble it right down… 🙂

    March 19, 2013
  32. tina #

    A friend pointed me to this page because I volunteered to knit little sweaters for a friend’s chickens. Two friends at work were talking about getting chickens. That night I dreamed that I was raising chickens too. I had 4 chickens in my dream – their names were Nick, Nack, Paddy and Wack. I can’t raise chickens and my friend does not name her chickens. If you ever have an opportunity to make four goat coats and the goats do not have names, would you pretty please name them Nick, Nack, Paddy and Wack? Thank you for your consideration.

    March 20, 2013
    • Mary Ellen Silver #

      Blessings to you for caring so much about all the animals… Several times, I’ve pulled this up to read it again — and lift my Spirits. Thanks for all you do.

      August 6, 2013
  33. Diane Mendoza #

    Don’t know if anyone has mentioned this already but people who spin wool on their spinning wheels like sheep that have been coated so we don’t have to pull out all that hay and weeds and stuff. Anyway, I really am impressed with your talent and fashion sense!

    March 24, 2013
  34. Mary Talley #

    The not grown up yet white goats look to be milk goats. I used to have a pet one at my grandfather’s farm where he had a sizable herd of “brush goats.” Some types of while milk goats do not get as thick & long a hair as the brown one in your picture. No wonder they were cold. Also, they all just HAVE to have whatever each other has. They’re hilarious.
    All we grandchildren played w/them; whenever we went into the woods & pastures, they would follow us everywhere. Papa said he had a whole herd of spoiled, rotten goats. (He did.)

    What goat video were several people talking about at the Smitten Kitchen.s blog after the Dulce de Leche recipe? I’m dying to see it. Also, I can’t understand how all many people could have so many different results w/the DDL recipe !! What’s your take on that?

    Thanks, Mary

    PS. Going to make this spinach salad tonight. Sounds delish. Thnx.

    February 5, 2014

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