28 April 2011

swappin' food and takin' names

Last Friday's festivities included an optional food swap. A food swap! I'd heard of them before, but never formally participated in a swap. Unless you count giving away random things in my kitchen to my mom and sister, knowing that next time they'd give me something random from their kitchen. ("Mom, you want this potato? I don't think I'm going to use it." "Sure, take this bag of beans for your soup.")

From the party invitation:
A food swap is an opportunity to share homemade food with others while also getting a ton of goodies to bring home. This is an anything-goes swap so you can bring whatever home-produced item you'd like: loaves of bread, quick breads, soups, stews, canned/pickled goods, condiments, crackers, dinner/lunch/breakfast entrees, jams, whatever.
Ooh, I like it. Our swap was pretty casual, and we were divided into groups of five and then everyone in a group swapped their stuff. So you only had to bring four sets of your swap item. Totally manageable. I brought a Roasted Garlic Hummus and walked away with homemade macaroni and cheese, sweet and sour salad dressing, a spinach tart and palak paneer! And it's been rad ever since, because whenever I'm hungry I've been able to just open the fridge and I have ready-to-eat delicious food ready for me.

Other food swaps I've read about are structured like a silent auction or a straight-up bartering-only market. You actually walk around with your food and ask people if you can trade them your hummus for one of their apple pies. Because I don't handle rejection all that well, I was pleased that no one in my group had the opportunity to reject my hummus offering. Though they would have been off their rockers to do so, because this shizzy is good. And it's really easy to make too, which means now I can't swap it anymore because everyone will know how simple it is to DIY.

Swap-able Roasted Garlic Hummus
(This recipe is inspired by one sent by the doc.)
  • 1 can of chickpeas, reserve the liquid
  • 5-6 tbsp tahini 
  • 2 cloves of roasted garlic(do it yourself, it's easy)
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 dashes tabasco
  • 3/4 tsp salt

  1. For the garlic roasting, just head over to this wonderful post by Joy the Baker. She tells you about the wonders of roasted garlic, shows you pretty pictures and teaches you how to do it. Hint: you cut the tip off of a head of garlic, peel off a few of the outside layers, drizzle olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and wrap it up in foil to roast in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes.
  2. Add all of the ingredients to your food processor, plus 2 tablespoons of the reserved liquid. Pulse pulse pulse. Add more liquid if you think it needs it.

THAT IS ALL. I recommend serving it with pita chips, but you could just use a spoon or your fingers if you were so inclined. Keep it low-carb or whathaveyou.

(This photo is from the talented Thea Coughlin, all others were taken by yours truly.)

So now I'm totally into food swaps. I've been mulling over a Sunday Soup Swap for a few months now, but I think I may hold off on it until soup season returns or I'm feeling more inspired. Everyone would bring quarts of their favorite homemade soup and then you'd swap and have a freezer full of soup! The perfect situation, if you ask me.

More food swap resources:

Ok, ok I'll stop yammering on about this party and the book... for now. You'll be hearing more about it, of course, I work my way through the projects and tips. For other round-ups, follow From Scratch Club's facebook page, and check out this great slideshow by Thea Coughlin Photography.


    1. Your hummus is effing good AND kid-approved.

    2. Kid-approved?! That's a high compliment!

    3. Christeeeen your hair looks FABULOUS! I have wanted that cut for so long but I'm too cowardly to go through with it! It looks great and suits you! Brava!

    4. Snip snip, darling. Join the short-hair club!


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