Tales from the road: of goat cheese and farms

This is a story from this summer's road trip.

From San Francisco Joe and I continued our route northward to Applegate, Oregon, a spot not too far past the state border decorated with farms and two-lane roads. It was to one farm in particular where we were headed, a family farm where some of Joe's friends work for the summer.

It was Sunday. We packed the car early and bid adieu to chilly San Fran and our bed - adorned with not one, not two, but three duvets - that we borrowed for our stay.
The day steered us along terribly windy roads miniatured by Redwoods, to a teeny overpriced gas station, and a lone general store that offered the makings of an ideal lunch: a well-stocked deli counter and thick homemade brownies.

This was at the end of June. My three-week mark of life on the road. Cravings had kicked in. I yearned for banana bread, macaroni and cheese - home-cooked meals and a kitchen table where I could enjoy them. I eyed the stack of brownies, wishing I had been the one to make them. Though rich and moist, the brownie failed to satiate. I had an urge to bake, and then devour, a banana bread, still hot in the pan.

I knew immediately that I liked the farm (and this was before I found three ripe bananas tucked into the freezer). We arrived late, and after a tour our hosts presented us with a feast of leftovers - spicy greens, juicy beets, and tiny falafel. Before going to bed they instructed us to help ourselves to anything we found in the refrigerator. It was rare on our journey that a day offered a stocked pantry and refrigerator with all of their contents at our disposal, so I awoke the next morning much as I imagine one does on Christmas: giddy and enthralled with what I would find. It was a day ripe with possibility. And goat cheese.

At the weekly farmers market our farmer friends traded their farmer friends for goods they did not produce on their farm. For our farmer friends this meant goat cheese. Three containers of fresh, local, simply delectable goat cheese. Left in the fridge, relatively untouched, waiting for me. Having gone without cheese for days, I was thrilled, but having never ever before seen lavender goat cheese I was positively beside myself. This was something special and I had to refrain myself from tucking it into my suitcase.

Instead I timidly poked at it with a spoon, cautious to reserve it for its owners, and vowed to incorporate this into my diet once back east again.
Life at that little farm in Applegate reminded me so much of mine at Rincon del Sur, where I stayed in Argentina. It's really no wonder, then that inspiration for a goat cheese meal is derived from my experiences at both places. An easy summer lunch came together one day in Argentina - much as I saw the meals in Oregon coming together - a salad and French omelette seasoned with chive flowers. Light, summery, beautiful, and basic, this seemed an appropriate venue for some lavender goat cheese; I hadn't a clue what to do with it otherwise. To my delight it was spot-on.

Goat cheese with lavender French Omelette
serves 1 
The combination of goat cheese and lavender makes for an earthy yet subtle flavor, one that some say tastes just like soap. I find it so unique and refreshing. It tastes at once pretty and just like being outside, a pairing that I find works delightfully with eggs, which envelope the flavor.  

Before making your French omelette, be sure to check out Julia Child's demonstration. Also see my instructions below.

2 tablespoons goat cheese, or more if you like
1/2 tablespoon dried lavender petals
2 or 3 eggs
salt and pepper
1/2 tablespoon of butter

In a small bowl sprinkle the lavender over the goat cheese, using a spoon to combine, patting and pushing until the lavender is well incorporated.

Crack the eggs into a new bowl, adding salt and pepper to taste, and most of the goat cheese, reserving a little to sprinkle along the top of the omelette. With a whisk, beat the eggs lightly until the yolks are just incorporated.

Heat a small omelette pan, one about 8 inches in diameter, and with a high edge, over high heat. When add the butter and turn the pan to coat the entire surface. Just before the butter begins to brown pour the beaten eggs into the pan and almost immediately begin to forcefully jiggle the pan, moving it towards you and away as the eggs begin to lift and fold over themselves. The eggs are cooked when they are dry and bright yellow, but still soft.

Serve while hot, sprinkling remaining cheese along the top.


  1. Eggs and goat cheese is one of my favorite combos! I usually add rosemary though. I will try to get my hands on some lavender for next time!

  2. And then you continued north to Vancouver to visit your friend Kyle, stopping at the duty-free along the way?