Goat's milk & bitter almond soap
Marie-Ange Prud’homme had a name as long as the long journey that had brought her and a hundred “filles du roy”, or King’s Daughters, across the ocean to New France. Marie-Ange was very different from the other girls. She was skinny and certainly did not have a constitution that colonists would have described as "hardy." Indeed, it was her extraordinary abilities as a yarn spinner and her desire to settle a new land that got her a spot on the boat. As the daughter of farmers who raised Nubian goats in Haute-Savoie, she harboured the secret desire of breeding goats in her adoptive land. Luckily for her, a man known as “bon Jean” noticed her and took her as his wife.
One night, Marie-Ange woke with a start, certain that she’d heard bells. Were they attached to the necks of the goats she dreamed of owning? Still exhausted from her day, she went back to sleep. At dawn, like every Thursday, she went to trade her sacks at the market. That morning, a man paid her four sacks of food instead of the usual three, saying that that was what her quality of her work was worth. Back at home, she discovered that one of the sacks contained lovely fresh almonds. Without hesitation, she quickly gobbled up fistfuls of the nuts, which brought back memories of her mother’s kitchen and the smell of hot sweet rolls. She was in heaven!
The following night, he heard the bells again. The moment her feet touched the floor, she greedily returned to her sack of almonds. To her great surprise, the almonds had transformed into shiny coins! And that is how bon Jean and Marie-Ange became the proud owners of a herd of goats and lived in good health thanks to the countless benefits of goat’s milk.