Not long ago, I found myself to be the happy owner of fifty pounds of free oranges. Unfortunately, the glory of this bounty faded after too many mimosas and the resulting daily toe stubbing. So, I decided it was time to learn some basic canning. My friends and neighbors became the initial recipients of my homemade marmalade. But, people only eat so much toast and the supply quickly became greater than the demand.
In no time, I was stockpiling a surplus of preserves that would last through the next big earthquake. As it turns out, I wasn’t alone. There were other high-production, aspiring artisan home cooks out there who were looking to share their creations. This is how I found the SF Swappers – like-minded amateur gourmets who meet up with lots of tasty homemade foods to trade.
Last spring Aimee Goggins, a former marketing manager, and Stephanie Hibbert, a personal chef, discovered that their college friend had started a popular food swap series in Brooklyn. They immediately decided to start one in San Francisco. It took off, and they've been hosting it in different venues around the city since.
The swap is typically a potluck dinner where people can browse everyone else's spreads while eating a bite and having a drink. They can then bid for the products they're most interested in, and at the end of the evening the actual exchange takes place once the excitement has been built up.
For my first swap, I gathered the various preserves I had in stock, and even made a new one, with Meyer lemons and lavender from my aunt's garden. I decided to bring the orange granola that I eat daily, as well as some radishes I pickled over the summer.
When I returned home later that evening, my bike rack was packed with delicious goodies to last for quite a while, including a kombucha starter and some to-die-for empanadas. Here are the lovely ladies who made them, and their recipes, so you can try making them yourself:
Try making some of these recipes at home, and bring them at the next food swap event for other stuff. The San Francisco Food Swap happens every two months in rotating venues, and you can find the dates and details via their Facebook Page (facebook.com/SFSwappers). The next event is on Sunday, February 19th from 1-3 p.m. Just be sure to reserve your spot in advance.