13 Lucky Winners

When the recipe starts with two quarts of goat milk and ends with ‘keeps up to a week in the fridge’, it might be trouble. There’s no way I can go through even a pint of goat milk in a week: goat milk on muesli? No thanks! How about some nice goat milk french toast? Splash in your tea? Sorry, no. Maybe it’s the persistent nausea I’ve had for the last week+ (obviously I’m not going to tell you about persistent nausea at the same time I’m telling you about head tumors. I want you to be amused, not worried,) but goat milk is a tough sell when there’s cow milk around.

The recipe I nicked from Homesick Texan starts with two quarts of goat milk, adds a ridiculous two cups of sugar, some cinnamon sticks and a vanilla bean, and then moves through nearly two hours of stovetop stirring and simmering. Spending a large chuck of the afternoon hovering over clouds of evaporated goat milk did nothing to relieve the nausea.

At the end of the stirring, though, you get about a pint of cajeta: goat milk caramel. Dark brown, thick but barely pourable, smack-yo-mama-sweet cajeta. Wanting the whiff of authenticity but also knowing that I do not enjoy that whiff when it is goaty, I concurrently made a half batch of dulce de leche: the same recipe as cajeta, but made with cow milk. That’s right, math majors, I am now the proud owner of 3 cups, a.k.a a pound and a half, of caramel. (And if you’re thinking that goat milk has got to be at least 10% solids, and didn’t I say 2 cups of sugar?, and surely if it’s pourable it couldn’t have reduced the liquid content to zero, let me stop you right there and admit that my tasting spoon was not a demitasse spoon. Yeah, testing both recipes in a well-controlled environment might have yielded two and a half pints. See also: I’m nauseous.)

What now?! I’m sick to death of caramel, and even more sick of goat stank, however mild, and although I have a number of acquaintances and a medium-sized handful of friends here in Hamburg, not more than a few are of the ‘try my super sweet goat milk sauce, it’s good on apples!’ variety. I actually packed some in a jar to take to the family that runs the apple stand at the weekly farmer’s market on my street, but I chickened out when I realized that the patriarch of the family farm wasn’t there, and I would have to explain the nature of the beast in German to the daughter well enough for her to explain the concept to her father. “It is a caramel, a sauce made by reducing milk and burning sugar, made with goat milk. It is Mexican.” –> “And then she said that it was from Mexico and something about burning and goats.”

I would suggest that a manageable quantity of cajeta is about an ounce and a half, which means that after distributing two jars and with one more spoken for, I have six more days to find 13 lucky winners. Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

Anyone want a care package?

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