The Year of the Goat: 40,000 Miles and the Quest for the Perfect Cheese [NOOK Book]

Overview

Many people dream of leaving the workaday world for a life of simplicity and freedom, and Margaret Hathaway and her then-boyfriend Karl did just that. In The  Year of the Goat, you can jump in the “goat mobile” with them 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, you’ll meet a vivid cast of characters. But beware: When it comes to goat cheese, it can be love at first bite.

“Hathaway’s descriptions of the ...

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The Year of the Goat: 40,000 Miles and the Quest for the Perfect Cheese

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Overview

Many people dream of leaving the workaday world for a life of simplicity and freedom, and Margaret Hathaway and her then-boyfriend Karl did just that. In The  Year of the Goat, you can jump in the “goat mobile” with them 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, you’ll meet a vivid cast of characters. But beware: When it comes to goat cheese, it can be love at first bite.

“Hathaway’s descriptions of the various characters they meet—both human and goat—are funny and vivid.”
—Entertainment Weekly

 “Anyone who has watched someone fall in love will recognize the symptoms: It’s sweet; it’s naive; it’s insane; it’s contagious. But what Hathaway and Schatz . . . have fallen for is the idea of raising goats.”
—Washington Post

“Back-to-the-land fantasies aren’t new, but Hathaway gives theirs a modern twist.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Reading Margaret and Karl’s delightful journey reminded me of the ideals that brought many of us at Moosewood together over thirty years ago. . . . And boy did I learn a lot about goats and cheese!”
—Wynnie Stein, co-owner/author, Moosewood Restaurant
 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

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 maître 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. (Aug.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
From the Publisher

"[A] few thousand miles' worth of earnestly documented visits to such goat-focused destinations as halal slaughterhouses, goat chariot races, goat barbecues, and even the experimental goat farms of Auburn, Alabama, "the epicenter of research on goat reproduction", can hardly fail to awaken in the reader a genuine appreciation for, if not the world's finest cheeses, the endearing creatures (human and animal) that make some of those cheeses possible." --Saveur
 

"Hathaway and Schatz's goat odyssey might be a little extreme, but the oddest observation in this charming and uplifting tale is that [they] aren't alone. Hathaway and Schatz end their journey on their own farm. The goats are in pens, but their owners are free." --Forbes.com 
 

"This couple just smiles, and says 'goat cheese'
Major life changes usually have predictable catalysts: a job offer, a divorce, a windfall, or a health crisis. Less likely is something as mundane as a plate of goat cheese, but that's what was responsible for four Alpine dairy goats, a rambling 106-year-old farmhouse in rural Maine, a baby girl, a book, and everything else that's happened to Margaret Hathaway and Karl Schatz in the last few years." --Boston Globe, profile 
 

"Anyone who has watched someone fall in love will recognize the symptoms: It's sweet; it's naive; it's insane; it's contagious. But what Hathaway and Karl Schatz, her fiance (and photographer), have fallen for is the idea of raising goats." --Washington Post
 

"I love Hathaway's description of her goaty adventures ... Hathaway's charming writing style illuminates rural landscapes and quirky, generally likable farmers ... The Year of the Goat is a sunny, optimistic book about a couple chasing an unconventional dream. It shows the back to the land movement to be alive and well and continually reinvented." --Maine Sunday Telegram 
 

... a really charming look into an obscure world -- as is done in movies like Ballroom Dancing, Best in Show, a Mighty Wind and so on. But The Year of the Goat, though occasionally tongue-in-cheek, isn't mocking as those movies are, but rather a very sweet exploration of self- and goat-discovery.
- Nation's Restaraunt News Food Writer's Diary

Reading Margaret and Karl’s delightful journey reminded me of the ideals that brought many of us at Moosewood together over thirty years ago. Margaret Hathaway’s spirited storytelling and off-beat humor not only reawakened my own memories of adventurous times, but revealed that the dream to go “back to the land” to lead a simpler life is alive and flourishing. And boy did I learn a lot about goats and cheese!

Wynnie Stein, co-owner/author

 Moosewood Restaurant
 

“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

 

 
"Hathaway and her future husband, Karl Schatz, were citified New Yorkers who dreamed of a life in the country -  "in a many-roomed old house with a wide porch and a big garden."  But how would they pay for it?  Inspired by Ronnybrook Farm Dairy, the pair decide to raise goats. First, they embark on a 40,000-mile odyssey, visiting goat farmers and cheese makers in 43 states.  Hathaway's descriptions of the various characters they meet - both human and goat - are funny and vivid, though occasionally overlong.  This is a book for anyone who's ever imagined going back in time to a simpler life - or anyone who loves cheese."
--Entertainment Weekly
 
 

"Burned out by the rigors of New York City, Hathaway and her boyfriend imagined an agricultural life. Self-described foodies (Hathaway managed Manhattan's famed Magnolia bakery), the couple thought about making goat cheese, and after agonizing about how best to realize their dream, they decided to spend a year researching and visiting goat operations throughout the country. In the Year of the Goat, according to the Chinese zodiac, they quit their jobs and set off, camping along the way. Their travels introduce them to goat conventions and festivals (goat chariot races are the headlining attraction at one), world-renowned chefs and cheese experts, and cheese makers at dairies large and small. Hathaway pokes fun at her naive notions of rural life with a sly humor that nicely balances the naked earnestness of the endeavor. The details of animal husbandry and cheese production will intrigue those interested in foods origins, and many readers, particularly city dwellers, will also be captured by the personal story of a young couples unusually thoughtful efforts to build a meaningful life together."
Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599216294
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 879 KB

Meet the Author

Margaret Hathaway and Karl Schatz recently collaborated on Living with Goats (Lyons Press). Margaret is a former manager of the Magnolia Bakery in New York City and a founding member of the Portland Slow Food Convivium. Karl is the director of Aurora Photos and the former online photo editor at Time magazine. They live in Maine with their daughters, their dog, and an ever-growing group of animals. Their Web site is livingwithgoats.com.
 

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Enjoyable read

    I read this book because we are interested in goat farming. It was hard not to be excited about it after reading this book. It is not a how-to but brought to life the love people have for their goats and the enjoyment that comes from using goat milk to make wonderful things. It gave some good places to look for more information. It was also just an enjoyable, fun read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2007

    A year of enlightenment

    As an animal lover, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and learned much about goats/cheeses. I share many of the ideals of this couple, and in fact, envy their newly-adopted lifestyle. As we get older, we all wish we could have made drastic changes in our lifestyle. I commend this couple for following their dreams at the beginning of their life together. For anyone to call them self-indulgent, is totally out of line. I found this delightful writer to be all-encompasing and quite generous in her admiration of all people, with wonderful virtues to live by.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2007

    Year of the Goat....Naaaaah

    At first glance this book was a recipe for disaster. A yuppie eastern couple, self-indulgent, self-absorbed, clearly the center of their own universe, decide that their trendy New York City life doesn't provide them the values they are looking for, so they embark upon a one year odyssey to investigate becoming goat farmers. Initially the author's writing quality perked the interest and entertained. She can definitely write. But over the course of the book the path to their nirvana led steadily downward. Their foray into goat farming research I found to be disorganized, disjointed, and generally disappointing. What could have been a journey well travelled seemed to evolve into a destination without end, even though the length of the book was on the shorter side. In the movie 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' there was a line where the father, upset about his daughter's engagement to a non-Greek, says, 'How can she do this to me?' That same attitude pervades this book. They feel guilty about a catering decision for their wedding as they visit goat farmers in Appalachia. What does the economics of the goat industry have to do with their marriage ceremonies? Would they decide to disappoint their peers by altering their plans in order to connect with the people in the industry? I became convinced that, regardless of where their reseach lead, this foray into 'goating' was designed in part to provide a subject for their next cocktail party. 'Karl and Margaret didn't go to the Hamptons this year, they went to a goat farm.' Unfair I am sure, but that's the impression I derived from their tale. And while the information about the goat industry was interesting, I felt the industry would be enhanced if they just stayed away. The author can write, the book stylistically was well-written, but a journey where the underlying theme is 'its all about us' and 'where's the Starbucks' turned me off long before the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2007

    For the dreamer in all of us.....

    I thoroughly enjoyed this journey! As a suburban mom with aspirations of a straw bale home and small goat herd/cheese operation myself, I really loved it. I don't get a self-indulgent vibe from these folks at all. Anyone willing to sleep in a tent in 20 degree weather gets my 'committed' award. I think the fact that they are educated people may make some folks color them with the, 'yuppie' brush. I see people brave enough to take the scorn of family and friends to live closer to the land, and more simply with each other. If you love food, and goats, 'my personal faves are nubians!' Heck, even if you don't love goats, if you've ever wanted to break away from your life and live honestly the way you know you're supposed to, these folks are doing it, and I admire it!

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    Posted August 11, 2010

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    Posted May 30, 2011

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