The fall bounty is here; there is no doubt about it, and it was ever so present at the FSC Albany Food Swap on Sunday night in the collective mix of the edible creations. Pumpkin and apple goodies were in great abundance. This was my second swap and I am loving it. I’ve started to become a bit of an apostle for swapping – telling just about everyone who likes food all about it.
For those who are new to the whole concept, the best definition I can come up with is: It’s a farmer’s market, meets silent auction meets a place to gather with new and old foodie friends where your homemade edible creations become your means for swapping with other swappers. The first hour is a little mixer with snacks and beverages and then it’s onto sampling each other’s items, bidding on which items you covet and then on to the actual swapping.
I brought homemade lactose-free Pumpkin Ice Cream and Hot Buttered Rum Mix (a fall favorite of mine) and left with honeyed canned apples with cranberries, onion jam spread, a caramel apple and pumpkin syrup for lattes. And once again, I have no pictures of my loot since I raced home to sample and put it all away, like a busy little chipmunk getting ready for the winter.
Interested in joining the swap revolution taking place across the country? Here are a few tips and things to think about as you prepare:
- Your creation should be homemade or home grown/produced.
- Let’s say there are 20 people attending your swap. When thinking about the quantity of items to bring, I would highly recommend not making 20 items. Bring a handful or so since not all fellow swappers are necessarily going to want to swap with you. Ouch! I know, I know. It’s sad, but true. Here’s why. Between allergies, palette preferences and what people already have at home, all 20 bidders won’t all be interested in your creation.
- Swaps are truly a friendly experience, but they can be competitive too. It’s quite funny how quiet the room gets when we’re all preparing to strategize on what we want bid on. For this reason, the more your creation stands out, the better. Be different. If it’s apple season, you can guarantee that there are going to be quite a few apple creations in the room. Unless you have a home run kind of item, then it’s probably best to choose to make something different and save that idea for another time.
- And lastly, remember packaging and presentation are key! Pretty it up, put together an ingredients list and your contact information (in case someone has a question after the fact).
Happy Swapping! Happy Eating!