CSA Week 1

Last week we finally got our first week of produce from the farm share. I have been dreaming about a CSA for a very long time so I'm still pretty giddy about it. It was something we had to plan ahead for because the up front price feels like a ton but Taylor and I both feel like it truly is an investment in our community specifically and a chance to put our money where our mouth is. That said, it is definitely going to be a challenge to use everything and not let it go to waste. I know that we will be using things we've never purchased before, simply because they felt so foreign. I also realize that working at a school and not having children gives me a lot more flexibility to cook more. I know it's not forever but I'm loving it while we have it. I'm hoping to document our weeks and some of the things we make. Not as a way of being showy but a source of encouragement to pick up that semi-foreign bok choy or the mustard greens and try something new. 

Week one included broccoli, mustard greens, kale, chard, mint, and the most beautiful eggs. My very favorite food blog Dishing Up the Dirt is a pretty dang amazing resource because you can browse by vegetable and get ideas based around that single item. 

Collard Green Wrap with Hippie Sauce

Collard Green Wrap with Hippie Sauce

Veggie Fried Rice (An excuse to use up anything in the fridge)

Veggie Fried Rice (An excuse to use up anything in the fridge)

The quiche was absolutely amazing and the spaghetti definitely looked better than it tasted. I haven't used the mint yet and I'm trying to use up the rest of the greens that are semi-wilted at this point. That said, looks like we'll be having a frittata for dinner.  That's a wrap on week one!

Joshua Tree National Park

Perks of working at a school definitely include Spring Break. We cashed in some airline miles we'd been saving up and made our way to California. It was a total blast and such a good compromise for a trip. We spent half of our time at Joshua Tree and half of our time in Los Angeles getting to explore. It's funny because I really wanted time in a new city but ended up loving our time in Joshua Tree the best. 

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Time in Joshua Tree was definitely not without its kinks. We weren't able to get to the park until after 5 that Monday only to find the "ALL CAMP SITES FULL" sign. Luckily there are several private campsites nearby and we were able to find a spot on the first go. We packed up the next morning and drove around several of the sites until we found the nicest Canadian family leaving and grabbed their spot at Jumbo Rocks. Spring Break at the parks is no joke and it was SUCH a great feeling to grab a spot actually IN the park since most of it is first come first serve. 

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Joshua Tree is so beautiful in the strangest and most unique way. It was my first real time to go to the desert and it was INCREDIBLE. Also, the Cholla Cactus Garden is insanely beautiful. Essentially, scientists don't understand why they exist or how they've survived to have a relationship with nature in the desert. They don't "appear" to be valuable but they've become an integral part of the ecosystem. TAKE THAT, WORLD. Something doesn't have to be beautiful to have worth. It doesn't have to be perfect to have value. If that's not a beautiful lesson, I don't know what is 

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10/10 would recommend. We had such a blast exploring new territory and appreciating scenery that was literally unlike anything else we'd ever seen before. Joshua Tree, I love ya!

For the Love of Food (and other ramblings)

I get pretty geeky about food as it is but the release of Andrea Bremis' cookbook may have thrown me over the edge.  I have been looking forward to this release for MONTHS. Yes, literally months - ask my husband. 

I love her passion and the way she makes it so accessible. She creates the most beautiful and nourishing recipes and I'd be lying if I said I weren't a little obsessed. It's definitely been a source of inspiration to think outside the box and try new things. Her cookbook released today and it was so, so worth the wait. It's so beautiful and I can't wait to try some of the new recipes. 

The journey of loving good, whole food has been a somewhat winding one. In the last two years I've learned that I really, really love vegetables and eating things that have ingredients I can pronounce. I still google all the time (what is kohlrabi? how do you peel a rutabaga?) but it has been the most fun to learn about foods that seem completely foreign and yet are some of the most wholesome things I can be putting in my body. We definitely still eat some junk and I definitely still love ice cream. But we are learning to ask more questions and choose our food more thoughtfully. We purchased a CSA from a local farm and will get our first box in May. We'll be getting weekly produce along with eggs and flowers from a farm that is 2.3 miles away from our house (yes, I mapped it). Not only that, the farm donates half of their production to fight food insecurity in NWA. I'm convinced Fayetteville might be one of the coolest places in the world.

In the words of Michael Pollan, "Shake the hand that feeds you." I'm so ready.