Swapping homemade food, trading recipes and cooking techniques, getting to know neighbors — it’s all part of the Del Ray Food Swap, the community event we’ve been hosting for the past year. Despite hot and humid temps, the Spring Swap, held on June 1 at the Empty House Studio, was another fun-filled event and everyone went home with a basket ‘o plenty.
If you’ve never been to a swap, the concept is simple: bring individually packaged and labeled food items and trade with others. The amount you bring is the amount you can trade. The sky’s the limit in terms of swapping items. We’ve seen canned items like jam and sauces, baked goods such as cakes and granola bars, things to mix into others (spices, salts, pesto and drink starters) and even fresh herbs and vegetables.
We definitely saw some unique creations this time around — marshmallows, salad dressing, limoncello, a sampling of 20+ types of biscotti, homebrewed cider, just to name a few.
Plants were also popular — fresh cut herbs, daffodil bulbs, lettuce starts, even trees!
And of course we can’t forget the door prizes and special guests. In addition to her own swapping items, Tara from Nalls Produce brought a pot filled with herbs and several food and garden books for our door prize raffle.
We also raffled off several gift certificates and prizes from the Dairy Godmother, Liz Davis. One lucky swapper went home with the “official” ice cream scoop used at the Dairy Godmother and two swappers received magic wands. Liz also provided a whole bunch of refreshing ice pops in six different flavors, made from herbs foraged from neighbors along Windsor and Bellefonte avenues. These were a huge hit and helped cool us off from the brutal swamp-like heat.
Jackie from the future Emma’s Cafe (coming to Del Ray later this year!) brought delicious chocolate chip cookies for all to sample and gave a sneak peek at the plans for the inside of the cafe.
We also want to thank Sarah from the Empty House Studio who so graciously hosted the swap at her house for the second time (she hosted the Winter swap back in February). Alas, the Empty House Studio in Del Ray closes down at the end of the month as the new homeowners move in. We look forward to following Sarah and her Empty House Studio adventures on her blog and facebook.
We hold swaps four times a year and the next swap will be held at the end of summer. We look forward to lots of homegrown items from Del Ray gardens at this swap! If you would like advance notice of the next swap, send an email to info[at]diydelray.com and we’ll put you on our food swap email list.
Hope to see you at the next swap!