|My nod to my German family heritage: my very first Obsttorte|
As always we had a diverse group of old friends, regular swappers and newcomers. We tried out a theme for the first time: family. In celebration of the upcoming Mother’s and Father’s Days, we thought it apropos to ask people to share their culinary histories, taking inspiration from their heritage, sharing secret family recipes, or making foods that have become new traditions in their current families.
It seemed folks had a lot of fun with it, and on the swapping block we had Claire's great-grandmother's sweet watermelon pickles, Vanessa's grandmother's potstickers, Stephanie's mom's crockpot chili, Christina's English childhood Shepherds Pie and more. For the potluck, I made my very first Obsttorte, a German fresh fruit torte — one of my mom's staples she makes for all kinds of family occasions. And one bite of Stephanie's Curried Cashew Tofu brought me back to college days circa 1990 as it was inspired by her former boss, the chef owner of the venerable Whole Earth Restaurant on UC Santa Cruz' campus where I regularly ate. Yum!
|Curried Cashew Tofu, made by Stephanie, inspired by Bella|
Here is the full list of swappables...c'mon, admit it — kind of makes you wish you had been there, right?
Thai Pandan-Coconut Sticky Rice Candy with Palm Sugar, Popo’s Potstickers, Aromatic, Orange & Lemon Bitters, Cordials, Vin d’Orange, Hempseed ‘Ranch’ Dressing, Mom’s Crockpot Chili, Candy Cap Cookies (made with wild harvested candy cap mushrooms), Lemon Curd, Pulled Pork, Salad DeOliveh (Iranian potato salad), Mango Hot Sauce, Serrano Honey Lime Sauce, Slow-Roasted Balsamic Strawberries, Mrs. C’s Sweet Watermelon Pickles, Spiced Kumquats, Indian-Spiced Kumquat Chutney, Honey & Rose Water Preserved Kumquats, Chocolate Pudding, German Pretzel Rolls (Laugenbrötchen), Enchilada Sauce, Maureen’s Creamy Mac, Shepherds Pie, Organic Chard from the garden, Lemony Raspberry Bars, Apple-Banana Chocolate Bread, Sage & Chive Flower Pot Cornbread, Strawberry Blood Orange Marmalade Infused with Rosemary, Coconut Manna, Coconut-Pistachio Manna, Espresso & Plain Brownies, Dried Mango Dipped in Chocolate, Edible Flowers Dipped in Chocolate, Garden-fresh Organic Super Spicy Mustard Greens, Meyer Lemons, Kale, Chard & Herbs, Green Garlic Crackers, Lemon & Red Pepper Crackers and Caper & Sea Salt Crackers
|Produce from Patricia's Algarden|
|German Pretzel Rolls & Chocolate Pudding by me (photo also by me)|
|Jessie's bright Lemon Curd|
|Two flavors of Francine's Hot Sauce made with her mom's hot chilis|
|Samples of Diana's Slow-Roasted Balsamic Strawberries|
|Cordials, Bitters & Vin d'Orange by Lea|
|Chocolate Dipped Flowers & Fruit by Carey|
|Salad DeOliveh by Pamela|
|Enchilada Sauce by Yesenia|
|Gorgeous recipe cards for two types of Coconut Manna by Penna|
|Assorted tasty Crackers by Micah|
|Turkey & Pork Potstickers by Vanessa|
|Three types of Preserved Kumquats by me|
|Hempseed 'Ranch' Dressing by Stephanie|
|Watermelon Pickles by Claire|
|Shepherds Pie by Christina|
|Pulled Pork by Herb|
|Candy Cap Cookies by Olga & Jim|
|Lemon Raspberry Bars and Apple-Banana Bread by Amy|
|Maureen's Creamy Mac|
|Madge's Sage & Chive Flower Pot Cornbread|
|Brownies by Kira|
Once again the swap was hosted by Patricia in her mixed space Mission locale; it is now the office for her newly launched landscaping business and as well as home base for Zomadic. The swap boasted one of Rob's awesome zome structures this time, which provided a groovy space for socializing while still keeping an eye on the swap table scene.
|Potluck chatter in the zome and beyond|
|Swappers getting to know eachother|
|Deep in conversation|
|Framed by the zome|
|Eyeing swap items|
|Sampling and bidding|
|Poised to get to a bid sheet|
It was another hugely fun swap, and as always I wasted no time cracking into my new larder items. Interestingly there were a number of things that paired together naturally. I put up no resistance.
|My swap take-home treats (photo by me)|
|Garden fresh chard was the perfect bed for my potstickers (photo by me)|
|I hardly wanted to cut into this cornbread... (photo by me)|
|but my bowl of chili was begging for it! (photo by me)|
|These brownies were so rich and chocolatey, milk was a must (photo by me)|
A couple weeks later I'm still getting inspired by and feasting on my swapped goods. So tell me swappers, how have you been mixing up what you brought home to your kitchens?
Big thanks to fellow swapper Vanessa for the majority of the photos above (unless otherwise noted, she took 'em!). Check out the rest of her awesome gallery here.
Our next swap will be in June, so tap your culinary creativity and start thinking about what you're going to bring now.