Next month, I’m participating in my first food swap. What the heck is that, you ask? I didn’t know either – after a little research, I discovered it’s the new “cottage food” thing to do. Food swapping provides urban gardeners and home canners with a platform for sharing their wares. Local “food crafters” share homemade, homegrown, or foraged foods with each other through one of these swaps. Trades of goods take place between attendees – my canned peaches for your homemade lemoncello.
Why do it? It’s a challenge for me. I like the idea of getting my food crafts out in the public – and it’s a nice way to meet people in the local foodie community (for an unsocial butterfly). I asked my sister if she wanted to participate – and I received the typical sisterly response:
“What if I don’t like anything that others brought? What if my food it better? What if I just want to swap with you? Why would I want to do it? What if I don’t want to trade? I remember when mom made baked goods for the bake sales that hers were always better than the other moms’ treats…
I’m not sure what I’m going to bring yet. I just checked the canned jellies and jam pantry from my recent jamming sessions and there’s not much available – two nectarine-vanilla, three strawberry-black pepper and four Moroccan kumquat. I’m considering baking a few batches of my walnut orange cookies that I created during culinary school. I’ve also thought about canning my preserved lemons (picked from my garden, of course) and salted caramel sauce. I made a chutney for lunch after my mom’s service that I’ve always wanted to recreate. I also want to play around with chocolates and fresh pasta (I just got a pasta roller attachment for my Kitchenaid – and chocolate molds when I was in Italy).
It’s a little nerve wracking (what if no one likes my stuff) and a little exciting at the same time.