Sunday May 12 was not just Mother’s Day; it was the latest meeting of the Chicago Food Swap! Our host for this Mother of all Food Swaps (ha!) was The Scrumptious Pantry, a company that produces heirloom pantry items, from pasta to pickles to catsup, using ingredients from sustainable family farms. Owner Lee Greene had observed the February swap at Katherine-Anne Confections and was so charmed by our swappers and their amazing products that she offered to host a future swap on the spot. The Scrumptious Pantry has a beautiful open office space in Logan Square that was perfect for a food swap. Lee even swapped some of her homemade relish and preserves!
Although some of our veteran swappers had family commitments and
could not join us, we still had a great turn-out of first-time and
repeat swappers. As always, the items up for swapping were varied,
delicious and unusual. If you were looking to plan out your breakfasts
for the week, you would’ve wanted to score some of Sara’s whole milk
yogurt (I did!) and Genevieve’s pumpkin seed granola to sprinkle in it.
Maybe a swirl of one of Ava’s gorgeous jams, like plum orchid tea, to sweeten the deal? If you
prefer eggs for breakfast, there were frittatas available from two
different swappers. I was lucky to enough to get one of Katherine’s
frittatas with a delicious gluten-free crust and one of
Genevieve’s potato, cheddar and chive frittatas. If breakfast pastries
are your thing, you would’ve headed straight for Laura’s blackberry
lavender scones, Rachel’s Swedish cinnamon buns or Maureen’s adorable
pink doughnuts. I was lucky enough to get the Swedish cinnamon buns and
they were delicious! I’m already planning how to make my own.
Some people look to the food swap as a way to stock their pantries
with unusual items to help them cook and bake better. To that end,
people found crystallized ginger from Shanna, fresh herbs, two different
spice mixes and vanilla extract from me, walnut thyme honey, compound
butter, flavored nut butters, poached apricots, hot pepper and and green
tomato relishes. If you were at the swap looking to round out your
dinners for the week, you would have found focaccia and fresh pasta from
Karen and Evan, chicken mole sauce from Michelle (got some!) artisan
breads, and gravlax and dill labneh cheese from Dora.
Of course, some people just want to satisfy their sweet tooth at the
swap and those people were in luck as well. Peanut butter whoopies pies
from Morgan, amazing brownies from new swapper Chelsea, caramels, French
macarons, my oatmeal cookies and Serena’s divine chocolate raspberry
sauce. And don’t forget the drinks! There were flavored syrups ranging
from ginger to rhubarb and I even spied some infused bourbon.
In all, it was a terrific event with lots of enthusiasm and
connections made. We even had a little bonus for our swappers: free
copies of a book on dehydrating foods thanks to swapper Jill. (Her own cookbook on dehydrating will be out in July and I am excited to see it.) I expect we will be seeing some dehydrated goodies in swaps to come.
As mentioned in the previous post, the next swap will take place on June 23 at 2:30 pm at Gallery 1028,
a raw gallery space at 1028 N. Hooker St. on Goose Island. We are incredibly lucky to have
access to this space and to finally be able to open the swap up to
everyone who wants to attend. Registration for the June swap is open now
on Event Brite.
The only downside to Gallery 1028 is that it is a completely raw space,
meaning no tables or counters to display swap items. We are asking
swappers to bring tables, chairs, sawhorses — whatever they can and to
share with one another. Luckily, there is plenty of street parking right
out front of the gallery and I am confident that our swappers will
figure it out. I hope that you will join us for what is sure to be the
biggest and best Chicago Food Swap ever!