Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hot Swap!

Our second swap took place on Father's Day with unseasonally warm (for San Francisco) weather in a spectacular outdoor setting, thanks to fellow swappers and gracious hosts: Olga, Jim and Mary.

Swap with a view

SF Swappers gals Stephanie and I with Kate Payne
We also had our special guest Kate Payne, original co-founder of BK Swappersblogger and author of Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking there. She talked about her book a little, but even more enthusiastically about how the book tour has enabled her to attend all kinds of house parties and other food swap events around the country and how lucky she feels to meet so many people making and sharing their food, strengthening our food communities and growing the swap movement. She now calls Austin, TX home, where she's one of the forces behind ATXswappers.

I of course bought a copy of her book, got it signed, and cracked the spine as soon as I was home with my feet up. Its subtitle provides an accurate preview: Decorating, Dining, and the Gratifying Pleasures of Self-Sufficiency  on a Budget, but does not do full justice to the contents. It is all at once practical, insightful, personal, accessible, aesthetically pleasing and filled with tons of fun tips anyone can apply to their home. I'm still in the first chapter, but have already been tackling our overflowing pantry based on some of what I've read. Two big thumbs up and a "get thyself a copy" endorsement from this homemaker.

Whether because of the warm weather or the holiday we had a smaller group than expected, but it did make for a casual and intimate event, and it meant almost everyone could swap with each other which was very rewarding – and much less frenzied.

Let's dig in to the food... Once again the potluck tables were chock-full of tempting eats  from prosciutto wrapped mozzarella to scones to seasonal fruit to frittata  and of course mimosas were on the menu.

For the swap, there was a great balance of savory and sweet, fresh and for the pantry.

The list included Candy Cap Mushroom Cookies, Palestinian Hummus, Sorrel Pesto, Trifle, Cha-cha-cha Cherry Chocolate and Chipotle Chili Crumble, Candied Kumquats, Marinated Mushrooms, Smoked Salmon Mousse and Crostini, Dukkah, Garden Fresh Herbs & Radicchio, Raw Honey from Berkeley, Roasted Corn & Edamame Salad, Fruit Leather, Brandied Cocktail Cherries and Lemon Balm Cordial. Yeah!

Artful hummus sampler plate

Candy Cap Mushroom Cookies (foraged from an undisclosed CA location)

Organic Candied Kumquats

Seasonal Fruit Leather Trios

Raw Honey from the Algarden Urban Farm in Berkeley

Want more? You got it! There are photos of all the swap items in a Flickr set here.

In the meantime, I've been enjoying my take-home haul daily and love how the different dishes both bring a whole new repetoire to my kitchen, and inspire me to eat differently and keep cookin'.

June Swap Goodies at home

Our next swap will be in August - we'll announce the date soon so you can mark your calendars and plan ahead.

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