Sunday, March 20, 2011

MPLS Swappers' Inaugural Swap

This is about to be the photo heaviest post I have put up in a long time. You have to see this to believe it. Paul, Jamie and I participated in the first of the MPLS Swappers events this weekend. For those not familiar with the Swappers concept, the MPLS chapter gives this explanation:
MPLS Swappers is a Minneapolis larder swap and social gathering. We trade food we made/foraged/grew ourselves, share knowledge, and have fun!
and puts forth this mission:
Share in amazing homemade food, help build community and empower others to turn their home food production from a hobby to a habit.
The event did exactly that for us! We shared amazing food, got inspiration for new things to make and spent the afternoon with fun foodie people in our community. It was so much fun to swap. We enjoyed sharing our creations with others and getting to leave with an assortment of goodies, all without taking out my debit card.

I brought: 2 bags of dried wild oyster mushrooms, 4 containers of frozen walnut pesto, 2 jars of low-sugar raspberry preserves and 4 jars of chai concentrate. Paul brought 5 jars of his pickles.

Jamie brought pickled pineapple, pickled ginger, roasted vegetable tapenade, and catnip cat toys.

After everyone got set up, our hostess Kim gave us the rundown on the swap format. First, we browsed and sampled the goods up for swapping, met our fellow swappers and ate from the potluck snack table.

The next phase was to write your name and what you wanted to swap on the tags for your desired goods.

Lastly, we swapped! It was a good format, but as is unavoidable with this kind of event, the swapping part was a bit chaotic. I think (and hope) that everyone felt good about the trading. There were some instances where people had to turn down offers due to personal tastes or dietary restrictions, so I hope nobody took it personally.

Here are some shots from the bounty of awesome goods.

Meyer Lemon Limoncello, Pistachio Pesto, Lactose Fermented Bread and Butter Pickles, Strawberry Sauce with Balsamic Vinegar

Some backyard eggs. Surprisingly, these were the only eggs present.

Blood orange marmalade and spicy Guinness mustard were late arrivals and quite popular.

Mixed spices, pickled nasturtium seeds, buckwheat granola

Lavender infused honey and 3 pepper jelly

There was so much more than I am showing you here. There were at least 30 swappers, most of whom brought multiple offerings. I was especially impressed with the selection considering March in Minnesota is generally a time where pantries are getting pretty bare.

Paul and I swapped for these treasures:
pistachio pesto
fresh pasta
plain yogurt
pickled ginger
roasted veggie tapenade
apricot jam
canned apricots
blood orange marmalade
pumpkin maple butter
natural rice krispie style bars
pecan toffee with chocolate
sprouted buckwheat granola
raspberry honey jam

Jamie also had a great haul. I didn't keep track of what she got, but together our stuff filled the dining table! Her pickled pineapple was excellent. It was such a hot commodity that not one of the three of us ended up with any. Luckily, we know how to get the recipe!

We are already talking about what we could make next time and reflecting on what people were interested in and weren't interested in. I am so glad that Kim is spearheading the MPLS Swappers group so we can continue to participate in food swapping.


  1. This is such an awesome recap! I love all your photos, and the way you described the swap. Fabulous! I am linking to this on the MPLS swappers blog. So glad you could be there!

  2. Greetings from Finland! :) I've been reading your blog for about a year now, and (embarrassed to admit) this is the first time I'm commenting on your post.

    My husband discovered your blog when he heard from a friend of his about a Megaman cap that some knitter in the States has created. So, googleing brought me to your blog.

    I really enjoy reading your posts. Love your photographs, and the way you tell the world about your hobbies.

    It's inspiring how much you actually get done, food and knitting wise as well.

    Keep doing the excellent work you have been doing, and thank you for being an inspiration. :)

  3. Hi Elena! I am glad you spoke up and I am glad you stuck around. The Megaman hat has taken on a life of its own! It is fun to see that people from all over the world have noticed the pattern and stopped by the blog.

    Thank you for your kind words. And, feel free to comment whenever you'd like.


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