Archive for May, 2012

Week Five of CSA

This week’s share is an interesting one:

Beets, Onions, Cilantro, Strawberry Jam, and Eggs

The big problem is the beets… I have never liked them, so what can I create that will make them tolerable?

Please, please, please leave me some suggestions! Or, better yet, come to Lynchburg and take them off my hands.

~Amber Joy


They grow up so fast…

This time last year I was settling into my house (that I rent). This meant I could FINALLY get a cat.

This is Tani one year ago:

She was a tiny little cat – scared but dying for some love. She had been dropped off at the humane society with a batch of kittens, so not only was she dealing with being abandoned she also had to deal with having her babies weaned and being separated from them. She also had an upper respiratory infection and had to get fixed so she could be adopted, so she was really put through the ringer in the matter of weeks.

This is Tani one happy year later:

She’s at a healthy 7 pounds – a perfect weight for her frame. When I adopted her she was just under 6. She meows ALL THE TIME, and she LOVES to eat. I call her a proximity cat – she hates to snuggle, but likes to be near. In this picture she’s vying for my attention by the kitchen. She’s not allowed in, so she stays at the frame showing off as I cook/eat.

I am so glad for having a cat of my own – Happy gotcha day, Tani!

Somewhat related, a year ago I saw a few baby fawns run through my backyard. I didn’t get a photo then, but just last week I looked out my window to see this:

I LOVE the fact that there are deer near my house, and am so happy to have finally captured two of them! They just grow up so fast!

~Amber Joy

Week four of CSA

Sorry this is so late – our house got hit with a storm last week, knocking out the internet. It’s all fixed now, and actually faster than it was before, which is nice. Here’s week four (last Tuesday):

Cabbage, Lettuce, Arugula, Strawberries, and Sugar Snap Peas.

No fancy recipes needed this week – it’s all delicious just as it is (plus I let the people I share the CSA with take the cabbage).

It’s good to be back online again:)

~Amber Joy

Week three of CSA

First of all, I’d like to report back on the Real Simple recipe I was interested in trying. I made it for lunch today, and it was DELICIOUS. My only complaint is the chickpeas were a bit dry, but I blame that on the fact that they were out of a can – totally not my fault as the chef.

Turns out that sautéed Swiss Chard is super delicious – way better than the chips I made last week!

I cooked it for myself and my roommates, and all three of us deemed it a great success. It’s a definite make again and again recipe.

Now for this week!

May 15 – Golden potatoes, (the biggest) Cabbage (I’ve ever seen in my LIFE), Cauliflower, Apples, and Broccoli

That cabbage is bigger than my head, probably times two. Unfortunately, I don’t like cooked cabbage AT ALL, nor do I like coleslaw, so I guess I’ll be eating it raw… One way my mom served cabbage to me when I was growing up was one leave folded in half, with peanut butter between the halves. Sounds super weird, but it’s a favorite of ours. I actually had it for dinner tonight! Everything else is normal food, so no special recipe goals this week except maybe one from Real Simple – Mac and Cheese with Cauliflower.

Have a delicious week!

~Amber Joy

Summer break -or- Where did all this time come from?

Last week I was studying my rear off every minute of the day. Suddenly, I have time to spare.

Honestly, I don’t know what to do with myself!

I have a summer ‘to do’ list, but don’t want to tackle anything on that list in the first couple days of break.

I want to read, but my eyes are still in recovery mode and only allow for a couple of chapters at a time.

I work, but only a couple of hours each evening.

So, I turn to you, my reader, to offer suggestions of things to fill my time. I want little tasks that are fun, free (or relatively cheap), and when completed, leave a feeling of satisfaction.

I may or may not take your suggestions, but reading them will at least give me something to do!

~Amber Joy

Finals, Spring 2012

Here’s how I survived Finals, Spring 2012 (If you have any desire for prints, re-use, etc. please notify me. Being my photography, I own the rights, and do not want anything reproduced without my permission.):

Tani quickly realized I was going to spend 90% of my awake time at my desk, ignoring her, so she survived by spending a lot of time snoring on my lap as I studied. When she wasn’t on my lap, she was on a decoy paper I had on my bed (as in a sheet of paper I WASN’T using for studying).

Speaking of Tani, I had dreamed up a project that would prevent her from sitting on my alarm clock, changing the volume, etc. I wasn’t going to actually complete it during finals time, but I was antsy one day, and got ‘er done.

One of the evenings when I was simply sick of studying I took a quick break to head over to Old City Cemetery, in hopes there would be raindrops of roses, since it had just showered. I was in luck.

This wasn’t my only trip to Old City Cemetery – another day I went in hopes of swinging. Again, I was in luck!

When the two weeks of torture were finally OVER my roommate and I treated ourselves to pedicures.

The sunset tonight wrapped up these past two weeks in a beautiful way.

I am so glad finals are DONE and I am free for the summer.

Now I’m off to catch a late movie at the dollar theater!

~Amber Joy

Weeks one and two of CSA

I am a part of a CSA here in Lynchburg from Lynchburg Grows.

What is CSA, you ask? It’s Community Supported Agriculture – for a set period of time you get weekly amounts of fresh, pesticide-free food from local farmers. This helps out local farmers, and also gives your tummy a treat. It’s also super fun to get ingredients that you have never heard of, forcing you to stretch your culinary skills and palate.

I’ve joined Lynchburg Grows, which is a company that grows their own stuff and also networks with several local farmers, giving us great variety each week. It runs May 1-October 31, meaning I have 27 weeks of this deliciousness to look forward to!

Each week I plan on posting a picture of my goods, and possible recipes/outcomes.

Here are the first two weeks:

May 1 – Spring Onions, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Fresh Eggs, and Strawberries

May 8 – Fresh Eggs, Kale, Strawberries, Swiss Chard, and Gouda!

Because of finals I haven’t experimented much with these ingredients, but have made swiss chard chips, which are actually pretty good!

I’m planning on making Chickpeas with Chard and Pan Roasted Tomatoes from Real Simple this weekend. I’m excited!

25 more weeks!

~Amber Joy