Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September Swap

This time of year, if you work in education, is absolutely bonkers. I'm pretty spent by the end of the day, so it is hard to keep up with all of the non-work parts of my life. I have to admit, I have eaten some frozen dinners lately just to stay fed. That doesn't happen very often in my world. I really don't like when things get so busy that I don't have time to focus on fulfilling food. It doesn't feel good physically or emotionally when my food has to be sacrificed. But, sometimes it is unavoidable.

Despite being busy and pretty darn tired (and newly bandaged and bruised from a bike crash earlier in the day!), I didn't want to miss out on the MPLS Swappers' August food swap. I haven't missed one, yet! Here are recaps from the previous swaps: March, May, June, July, and August. Unfortunately, I felt like the frenzy that is the rest of my life right now was present at the swap, too. Setup! Taste! Bid! Swap! Done! It went by so fast! Maybe everyone else is pressed for time right now, too.

One of the tables

Salty, peppery crackers

Vanilla Cashew Cream & Raspberry Parfait

We were again swapping in the wonderful Open Arms space. Their farm plot is so plentiful this year that they had some veggies to share. If you are interested in helping them preserve, they are looking for volunteers with preserving expertise.

I have some of all of these veggies aging in my fridge and on my counter now, so I didn't need to take any home. In fact, the sight of all of those veggies raised my stress level a bit! I had a flashback to that night recently where I was making ketchup until midnight after working a long day and knowing I needed to get up early for another long day. It had to get done that night or everything would have been too far gone to salvage.

I didn't have time to make anything right before the swap, but luckily I did have things stashed away to bring. I brought 5 jars of Raspberry Rose Jam and 5 jars of dried sungold and pear tomatoes with applewood smoked sea salt. The rosewater in that jam is a great accent for the raspberries. Delicious stuff! The dried tomatoes were super savory with the addition of the smoky salt.

For my 10 jars, I swapped for:
  • a "misshapen" baguette (I ate caprese sandwiches 2 dinners in a row after the swap. Tom makes good bread.)
  • some of those crackers (they were in demand!)
  • a jar of that vanilla cashew cream raspberry parfait (I must get A-K's secret for all of her delicious cashew goods)
  • Orange Chocolate Zucchini Bread (vegan!)
  • Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies (nice and chewy)
  • Pico de Soya (cleverly named and super tasty on tostada chips)
  • Tequila Peach Salsa (I was in the mood for peaches and the salsa had a splash of tequila to make it something special)
  • Ginger Plum Applesauce (Good thing I am friends with Jamie because everybody wanted a jar of her sauce.)
  • Concord Grape Jelly (There was a low sugar version and a regular version. I opted for the regular version because it was such a classic grape jelly flavor. Yum.)
  • Strawberry Ginger Jam (This jam was just sweet enough with a nice ginger zing to it.)


  1. I agree - it was a bit hectic and how-did-that-get-done-so-quickly? at the swap. But hopefully everyone still had fun.

    I'd trade you some cashew secrets anytime! (Actually, they're not that secret ;-) .)

  2. Holy beautiful blog, A-K! I will totally take you up on the cashew reveal.

    And, yes, I did still have fun. Thanks for hosting/organizing.

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