Save the Date: January 15th, 2013

by Erin Molnar, Program and Market Assistant

What marvelous event is happening on aforementioned date, you ask. Why, the first of Countryside’s monthly Food Swaps. Food Swap, you say? Yes. Food Swap. Allow me to elaborate.

cheesemustard

Homemade Mascarpone: Recipe and Photo courtesy of Not Without Salt
Bourbon Brown Sugar Mustard: Recipe and Photo courtesy of Kaela Porter of Local Kitchen, via Food in Jars

A food swap is gathering of DIY-ers. They bring homemade or homegrown items to trade with other participants. Swappers arrive and display their goods (with samples, if possible) along with a swap-sheet. The following hour is used for browsing and socializing, and for bidding silent auction style for trades. These bids are not contractual, just suggestions. So, if you have brought some dreamy and delicious Homemade Mascarpone that I can’t help but drool over, and I have brought some sweet and zesty Bourbon Brown Sugar Mustard, I would write on your sheet that I would like to trade a jar of my mustard for a container of your cheese. After the browsing hour, everyone checks out their sheets and the negotiations and trading begins! If you sampled my mustard and like it, we go through with our trade. If mustard isn’t your thing, then you can pass, no hard feelings. At the end of the night, you walk away with loads of goodies or quality basics to stock your fridge and pantry. Maybe you will also walk away with new friends or contacts, recipes that you can’t wait to try, or tips and tricks to improve your kitchen projects.

The mascarpone and the mustard are two of the items I am thinking about making and bringing. There are tons more. We’ve started trying to keep track of all of the delicious options on our new Pinterest boards. Here are some of my favorite books to find inspiration. These are mostly books about preserving, but don’t feel limited to that – any cookbook will have recipes for things that would be excellent contributions to the swap.

books

Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan, Food in Jars
Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff
The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila, Eating from the Ground Up
Put ’em Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton
The Preservation Kitchen by Paul Virant and Kate Leahy

If you are feeling especially creative, package up your goodies in a special way. Go ahead and create a brand for yourself! (There’s a pinboard for that too.)

What do you think? Sound like fun?

As mentioned, the first swap will be January 15th, 2013. 6 pm. At Uncorked Wine Bar, 22 N High St., in Akron.

Subsequent swaps will be the third Tuesday of the month and the location will vary.

For more information and to register, visit the Countryside Conservancy website. (I apologize, the Food Swap webpage is not complete yet. I will update this blog post when it’s ready. It’s up!!)

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated. Follow us on Pinterest to get inspired.

Comment below and let us know if you’re excited. Maybe you already know what you will bring, or have suggestions for things to bring? Tell us!

And feel free to contact me at emolnar@cvcountryside.org with any questions, comments or suggestions.

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