Sunday, May 15, 2011

MPLS Swappers Does it Again

After the first MPLS Swappers food swap, I went a little food crazy. I left the event inspired to come up with all sorts of eats to swap next time. With 2 months between swaps and plenty of amazing food bloggers constantly publishing new recipes (see the links on the sidebar for a few of my current favorites), I developed quite a list of options. By the time the May swap came around, Paul and I had:

6 bottles of ginger syrup, inspired by this post
(good for adding to seltzer water for ginger ale and mixing into cocktails or tea)

2 loaves of peasant bread
(This recipe is a pretty constant one in our house. It is from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.)

6 jars of infused EVOO
(3 kinds: Peace Coffee, Dried Lime Peel and Thai Pepper, Rosemary Garlic)

3 jars of pear vanilla jam, recipe from Food in Jars
(wish I would have brought more of this as it was the item that got the most offers)

2 bundles of garlic chives and scallions picked from our yard
(I packaged it with a copy of this Creamy Goat's Milk Spaghetti with Wild Garlic Chives recipe. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds like a superb spring dinner to me.)

The lot took up a good amount of real estate on one of the swap tables!

So many other people brought so many great things to the swap. This time around there were more people and it seemed like each person brought more variety with them. The two tables you see pictured here are only about a 1/4 of what was there. There were two other rooms with similar tables! I was a bit overwhelmed this time. I was so focused on sampling and making offers that I missed out on the chatting. I think that the next time I go I will bring less stuff so I can spend more time getting to know all of these creative cooks, canners, bakers, brewers and urban farmers.

For our offerings, Paul and I got an impressive array of goods. The photo is unimpressive, but believe me, there is plenty here to make you drool.

As with last time, I swapped everything I brought. The rule is that you don't have to swap if you'd rather keep your own stuff. There were so many enticing options that I had no problem trading all of my stuff away. Paul and I swapped as a team this time, so some of the things we got were entirely for him, some were just for me, a good amount of them we will both enjoy and we even got something for the dogs.

Here is the full list of what we came away with:
  • lacto fermented carrots
  • rhubarb sauce
  • raspberry jam
  • curried apple chutney
  • roasted garlic and caramelized onion jam (Jamie made this!)
  • seville orange marmalade
  • fig, olive and cracked pepper cashew "cheese"
  • maple almond butter
  • tomato chili jam
  • blood orange, rhubarb, vanilla jam
  • fig and olive tapenade
  • caraway kraut
  • red irish ale (paul was really stoked about this one!)
  • pizza sauce
  • tomato catsup
  • thin mints
  • almond biscotti
  • dog treats
  • dried fruit bars
  • vegan, gluten free chocolate zucchini bread (this is almost gone already!)
  • french vinaigrette dressing (Jamie made this, too!)

Since the first swap, our hostess Kim has teamed up with Mandy and A-K to organize the event. Again, the swap was help at Madame, a great art/community space in the Powderhorn neighborhood. Thank you to Kim, Mandy and A-K!

Oh! And, we had a special guest. Kate Payne of the Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking and founder of BK Swappers, was in town for a book signing on Sunday, so we got to spend Saturday with her.

Can you see why I was so overwhelmed with the awesomeness of it all?

If you would like to join the next swap, you are in luck! They are going to be held monthly over the summer. Stay tuned to the MPLS Swappers website of Facebook page for more info.


  1. Wow! Everything looks amazing! That sounds like so much fun! Yum!!!

  2. I can't wait to use your ginger syrup, it smells really amazing!

  3. Goodness, you are a swappin' maniac! Looks fantastic!

  4. Had to miss this month's swap - thanks for the vicarious living. The pasta and chive recipe sounds amazing. You may have even inspired my return to blogging!

  5. I've been using your vanilla pear jam EVERY DAY. It's so good! I can't wait to see what you bring next time around :)

  6. Tell Paul he needs to pour the beer slowly into a glass before he drinks it! He might already know that is the prefered method for drinking homebrew because of the yeast that can settle at the bottom. I forgot to tell him at the swap :) We have a wheat beer coming up next...

  7. You all are so nice! Thanks for the comments!

    Catie, thanks for the tip. We didn't waste any time trying them out. Paul says he did just as you instructed.

  8. I stumbled across your blog the other day and have to say you have inspired me!! I have ginger syrup simmering on the stove right now....and I'm trying to figure out how to get a food swap started here in Eastern New Mexico! I am also a stitcher (crochet/knit and any other fibers I can get my hands on!!)

  9. Hi Amy,
    I am glad you are giving that ginger syrup a try. It is versatile and tasty stuff. I tried making rhubarb syrup over the weekend. It was not so tasty!
    Good luck with the food swap start-up. I hope you get a good bunch together!

  10. Hi Trinity! the ginger syrup I made turned out marvelous!! I used two different recipes (one from the link you posted) and came up with my own. Using the advice from the other recipe I decided to slice my ginger and then when it was sufficiently softened I strained it, rolled it in sugar and dried it. Voila....candied ginger AND ginger syrup!! I'm enjoying the syrup so much that I am drinking it daily! I've got another 1/2 lb of ginger in the I need to go find a pretty bottle and make up another batch soon!!


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