Food Swapping and Nerves

This one day, on Twitter, I heard something really cool. There was a “Food Swap” movement coming to Boston. My interest in Boston Food Swappers was piqued. If there’s one thing I love more than cooking, it’s being able to share my treats with others. And of course, knowing that they love what I’ve made, but discussion of that little bit of ego-tripping is for another time.

After the initial excitement over the news, I got nervous. The rules were simple & clear: bring something that you’ve grown, made or foraged (yes, foraged) to swap. No restrictions on amount or size of items. Like I said, simple. Right? Yeah, right.

My first swap event had me in all sorts of anxiety and panic. It’s such a great concept: trading amongst neighbors, building a community of food lovers, being able to get rid of your garden excess without going to waste, and exploring new recipes and culinary opportunities.

But… what if no one likes what I make? What if my poor friends and family members that I force my cooking on have just been faking it?!

Pickles (Recipe from: Eat.Live.Blog)

So I put on my big girl apron and got it together. I had a foolproof pickle recipe from Eat. Live. Blog and then some brown bananas, organic apples and carrots that I could turn into some kind of sweet bread as my “Hail Mary”, just in case the pickles didn’t work. Six loaves of vegan carrot-apple bread and six jars of spicy dill pickles later and I was ready to go. Still nervous but on my way.

Vegan Carrot-Apple Bread

Once at the swap, the anxiety started to disappear bit by bit. First, I wasn’t the only one with that completely insane fear. Second, the selection of foods to sample and “bid” on was unreal. And last, the chance to talk recipes, canning tricks and growing garlic? I was in food geek heaven.

An hour or so later, the actual swapping took place, a little bit of silent auction and a little bit of bartering. And at the end of it all, there were no pickles or bread left. It was all gone and my bag was filled with a whole new set of treats: fudgy brownies, lemon meringue tarts, blueberry caramel sauce, lemon curd, mini lemon muffins, strawberry jam, Irish stout, raspberry jam, mint chutney, fresh baked bread and homegrown garlic, cinnamon sugar muffins and scones.

One thing’s for sure, I better pick up my running mileage. Because I know I’m going back for more swapping fun.

Stout and Pickles -- Dinner is served!

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