Thursday, April 25, 2013
Why I'm Pro Food Swap
Last Sunday I attended another food swap hosted by From Scratch Club. I LOVE these swaps. I know I saw it every month but it is just a ball to taste so many fun treats and meet new people and see new takes on old ideas. They're awesome and really give you such a powerful sense of old fashioned community that is nearly lost in today's society.
I can't stress enough how much I love going. I get comments every single time I post on them that folks don't think they have one in their area.
Um...so there's this fancy pants new thing called the internet. Google or my personal favorite, Swagbucks, can help you solve that mystery. I'm guessing though that you do have one in your area. Because my area is the last to get everything. We just got a Trader Joe's and it doesn't even sell wine. Seriously. Here's a short list of things that everyone else has that we don't (note that I know I am exaggerating....a little): Whole Foods (though it's coming!), Nordstrom (it will never come), Ikea (also never coming but I am OK with that), Publix (OK so not everyone has it but everyone who does knows it's by far the best grocery store ever and my Florida girl self misses it weekly), high end retail (so you can buy things like Tory Burch Revas at an actual story? Up here you buy them online. Stores sell Crocks and clogs and little else here in the North Pole.), and the list goes on.
But we have a food swap. A few, actually!
So if we have them, chances are high that you probably do too. You just need to look. And you should. Go without swapping just to see what it's all about one month. Just for fun.
Above is what I brought to swap.
It included 30 vegetable/fruit plants and four jars of strawberry chipotle jam (recipe will be up tomorrow). Included in my plants (all non GMO) were several varieties of heirloom tomatoes, purple tomatillos, pineapple tomatillos, several varieties of peppers, eggplant and ground cherries. I had them organized into sets of three but in the end I just told people to pick any three they wanted. I was so prepared that it became confusing for everyone else- ha. It was fine. The jam is awesome!! It's sweet and spicy, but not too spicy. Oooh doggy it's a winner.
Below you see that a few others were trading plants (I actually came home with both a plant and seeds). But I think I was the only one trading three at one time. Honestly I wasn't sure people would want them and I started waaaay too many and needed to ensure I didn't come home with all of them. I am out of space!
Out of 30 plants, I came home with six. Plus one that was new to me from the swap and a set of seeds. But they don't count. I also came home with one jar of jam. I was offered a swap but it was my last jar and I really sort of just wanted it for myself. And so it came home with me!
Above you see homemade grape soda, coconut chutney, scones, plants, jams and curry tofu.
So you know how you have to grow into some foods? Well as a kid, I liked tofu. I grew up with a lot of Asian influence and I thought soft tofu with honey was better than ice cream for several years. Ate it all the time. The older I get, the LESS I can stand it. Regardless of texture and cooking method. I think I used up my "I like tofu" years as a little kid. Needless to say, I passed on attempting to swap for that particular trade.
Below is my haul.
Two kinds of kefir (apple cider- which is my fav and cherry), almond butter, spiced tonic (yum!), a Thai peanut sauce of deliciousness, fig nut bread, a horseradish pant, two packs of homemade salmon ravioli and heirloom Long Island Cheese Pumpkin seeds (I wanted to grow this variety but didn't buy the seeds. It's a pale orange and big but flatter pumpkin that I think is stunning but also, I'm told, tastes wonderful. I have like no space to grow this but I'll figure it out.) Oh plus four large mason jars that were just given to me without a trade.
Only at a food swap are you able to leave with 30 extra plants that you can't bear to throw away because you worked so hard to care for them and come home with this variety of deliciousness!