For the last few weeks, I’ve been helping Emily Paster organize the first (as far as we could tell) Chicago Food Swap. I have to admit that although I thought a food swap sounded like a great time, I wasn’t entirely sure how it would happen.
Would people haggle?
What would people bring?
Would there be chaos? Mayhem? Black Friday Pepper Spraying?
The chances of a food fight were pretty remote, when my daughter expressed interest in jumping in to the exchange with Reindeer Rice Krispie treats, I brought her along for the fun, thrilled that she was so excited. A few other kids cooked and came as well, adding a wonderful young foodie element to the event.
On Sunday, one by one, the attendees carefully walked down the wooden stairs of Pretty Little Things, the adorable handmade gift store hosting us in Forest Park. The card tables we had set up in the empty basement quickly filled up with a varied assortment of edibles, incredibly creative goodies like ginger martini syrup, strawberry balsamic jam,caramelized onion focaccia, and a heavenly buttered rum concoction that was meant for drink mixing but tasted amazing on crackers.
Some people brought one item, while others, like Angie, brought a whole assortment of bars, cookies, and decadent treats.
The must have accessory for the swap turned out to be a giant basket. Both Jessi and Angie came prepared to hall away some serious food finds. I’ll be shopping for a fun basket myself as I gear up for our next swap in February.
Food swaps have been popping up all over the country, letting cooks exchange recipes and ideas. If all of this sounds like fun, organizing a food swap in your town is easy to do. You’ll need:
- A location
- An Invitation via Facebook, blog, or email
- Swap Cards for bidding
- and a large basket to bring everything home!