Last Thursday, after multiple months of planning, the first Philly Food Swappers gathering landed in the basement of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia (many thanks again to the church for donating their space). There were homemade jams and jellies, jars of granola, batches of hand pies, vodka infused with horseradish, tea blends, cheese spreads, butters, salsas and jars of hot buttered rum batter.
I’ve been watching the food swap movement with great interest for the last couple years. According to Kate Payne’s list, there are more than 40 swap groups regularly trading homemade food in the US, Canada and UK. I’ve been dreaming about making it happen here for some time, but never had the time to add another juicy task to my overflowing list of to-dos. But then something wonderful happened.
I heard from Georgia, who was also interested in pulling a food swapping group together. At the same time, Alexis and Amanda were chatting about it. Once Alexis and I made the connection, we were a planning group of four. Suddenly it felt possible. We picked a date, found a location and put the word out.
There were nearly 40 people at our first food swap. The diversity of offerings was incredible, as were the many dishes shared on the potluck table. Everyone was kind, generous and so excited to be sharing what they’d made.
I traded three kinds of jam (Pear vanilla. Plum star anise. Peach amaretto vanilla.) for a universe of good stuff. Homemade yogurt. That hot buttered rum batter. Black forest preserves. Caramel pear butter (from Taylor, who wrote a great recap of the event). A pint of granola. Hot chile jelly. Masala applesauce. Spicy cheddar, bacon and chive spread. Veggie marinara. A granola round. Pumpkin bread.
We haven’t set the date for the next Philly Food Swappers event, but will be soon. We’re thinking sometime in the lull between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Follow the Facebook page to stay tuned.
And if you want to start your own food swapping group, make sure to visit Kate’s food swapping page for details and links to other groups.