Saturday, November 26, 2011

An Evening of Swapping - October Swap Recap

Welcome! Check in! Eat!
For our October swap we tried something different.

Instead of meeting during a bright, sunny Sunday we gathered for an early evening weeknight swap. Maybe we were influenced by the change in seasons, or maybe we just wanted to mix it up...but it definitely delivered a festive, lively atmosphere.

Conversation at the potluck table
A blue moon ago  before we had held even our first food swap event  Patricia Algara contacted us and offered to host a swap at her edible landscaping/art sculpture workspace in the Mission.

We met with her and visited both the Foodscaping office and her permacultured urban farm in Berkeley where we met bees and chickens, learned about mushroom spores and more. If you were at the June swap, you might have even been lucky enough to take home some of her delicious honeycomb!

Anyhow, as these things go it took a while for us to sync up our calendars and actually hold a food swap event in her space  so the fact we made it happen made the evening special as well.

Swappers setting up and sampling
As always, the potluck table filled up with items as exciting and different as the swappables. We indulged in salads, quiches, savory dips, baked goods and more.

We drank wine and lavender lemonade (and even mixed the two for an herbal white wine creation).

A lot of swap talk
We chatted amid candlelight instead of the sunshine, and it was still glorious.

Of course, throughout all this time, we were also setting up our swap stations, cruising through the tables to sample and ogle all the homemade goodies.

Each swap has been very different in terms of what people bring, but there seem to always emerge certain themes, and this time it was: jam & kimchi! Lots of both, but of course each quite different and unique. One kimchi was meant to be eaten fresh, another strongly fermented. And the jams, jellies and marmalades ranged the realm of fruits and spices and flavors.

Kimchi and empanadas

Assorted jams & jellies

We also had pie crusts and chutneys, salt rubs and pancake mix, tomato paste and spicy sichuan oil, fruit butters and infused liqueurs, kraut and pickled radishes, biscotti and empanadas. And that wasn't all!

Teas, doggie suds and boozy marinara

Kombucha mother & hummus

Pancake mix with jam for two, granola and muffins

Cranberry relish

Biscotti, butters and preserves

Salt rubs, marmalades and more

Swap discussions

Patricia's take-home

My swap scores

A month later, I am still enjoying my krauts and kimchis, have one pie crust and the marinara sauce in the freezer, am slowly sipping my teas and liqueurs, and haven't even cracked any of the jams yet! Stay tuned for what I'm going to do with those though...grand plans, grand plans I tell you.

Photos are a mix of my own and Patricia Algara's (thank you!). To see more, go to the Facebook gallery here.

Update: You can also read about this swap on The Bold Italic, and see some of their photos here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A few good things

Today was an excellent day for food swaps!

First, fellow swap cohorts (Kate Payne of ATXswappers & Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking, Bethany Rydmark of PDX Swappers, Emily Ho of LAX Swappers, Meg Paska of BK Swappers, and Kim Christensen of MPLS Swappers) launched a fantastic swap resource, Food Swap Network, a worldwide place for swappers  and swappers to-be  to connect and share ideas, information, resources, news and inspiration. The site design is attractive, clean and easy to navigate, but individual swap groups are still uploading their information, so expect to see this community grow, and grow, and grow.

Especially with the help of great features like this showing up in places like the December issue of Martha Stewart's Whole Living Magazine!

How awesome is this?

And since SF Swappers is linked to from the website listed in the magazine, as my co-host Stephanie said, "so that means we're one degree of being in Martha?". Yes, that is exactly what it means!

So now you're all super pumped for the December Holiday Food Swap, right? Tuesday, December 13th from 6:30-8:30 pm. Stay tuned for full details and the registration link on Tuesday, November 29th.

Until then, Happy Turkey Day. I hope you have much to be thankful for and are spending the holiday with those you love, enjoying delicious homemade food!