“We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.”

Adelle Davis

I had mentioned last Wednesday that I was going to be participating in a food swap thanks to From Scratch Club (http://518bitesandsights.com/2011/11/09/fromscratchclub/). The food swap was this past Sunday and I had so much fun and ended up with a lot of really great things even though I showed up not knowing at all how to participate.

This past week, since writing the last blog post I was like a chicken with my head cut off trying to figure out what I was *supposed* to make. They had a list on their blog but I didn’t know if I was gonna have enough items or have a high enough quality of items where people would want to swap with me- overall, I was nervous, I’ll admit it. I ended up deciding on my Welsh Cookies and mini loaves of whole wheat bread.

I showed up and signed in and signed a waiver making sure I’m not giving anyone poison or if I end up eating poison it is because of my own free will, understandable, especially with allergies these days. I met up with Chelle at CrunchyChelle.com who was also here for her first time also on my way in so I was happy to know I wasn’t the only first-timer here!  There were 5 tables and I was instructed to pick a table, pick my spot and set everything up. I picked one of the further tables out on the porch (which based on what I ended up wanting, was perfect placement). Then we had a bit of time to chat with everyone, get acquainted, scope out what was there. This part was torture only because some people brought samples and we weren’t *allowed* to eat them yet even though some people were getting an early taste (…and I may have too).

After a brief run down of how things go and what From Scratch Club is from Christina (my new twitter friend), it was time to walk around and taste! Everything was just so great. Just to give you an idea of what people brought, I’ll give a list and hopefully I don’t miss someone’s fantastic food item! I’m gonna try to remember what I can!

Table 1: Olive Tapenade; Fig, Almond, and Date Tapenade; Salsa Verde; Chocolate & Peanut Butter Bars; Hummus over Quinoa; Spiced Nuts; Apple Cider and Hint of Espresso Caramels.

Table 2: Homemade Food Coloring; Mound Bar Bars; Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip; Spiced Pumpkin Bread; Spiced Bread with Jam

Table 3: Cranberry Apple Vodka; Peanut Butter Buckeyes; Applesauce; A Mocha Cream item (I don’t like Mocha so I don’t remember exactly); & I know I’m forgetting some- sorry!

Table 4: Homemade butter; Homemade mustard; Pickled Green Beans; Jalapeno Cheddar& another kind of  Corn Muffins, etc.

Table 5: Pickled Jalapenos; Rhubarb Chutney; My Cookies & Bread; Homemade Baileys

I did my best to remember, so hopefully I didn’t forget too much but either way that’s a good summary of what kind of stuff was there. At first I was nervous, all the things people have here are so wonderful, I was afraid that no one was going to want what I brought and I would end up with just bringing my own items home with me. When you show up, you fill out a card telling of the ingredients, the name of your item and there’s a list of 6 spaces for names. After the tasting, it was time to write our names down on the cards and what we are willing to swap for it. You’re welcome to write your name down on more papers than you have items because someone may either want a different item or ran out of items before you got to them.

My Welsh Cookies & Loaves of Whole Wheat (via Jim Papaliosas)

When it comes to the actual tasting time, it’s like a mad rush to the popular tables! This was the most fun! Everyone just grabbed all their items and booked it for the table of what they wanted. I was luckily right next to the Homemade Baileys so that was my first swap, then I did a three-swap with pumpkin spice bread and olive tapenade. Pumpkin Spice Bread wanted my Welsh cookies but Olive Tapenade wanted her Bread so I made it easy because I really loved the tapenade and ta-daa! On a sidenote, I’m sorry for referring to people by what they brought, I was so focused on the swap and trying to figure out what to do and getting what I want that I didn’t get anyone’s name- next time, when I know what to expect, I think it’ll be easier to get to know PEOPLE instead of just the items they brought. In the end I had some loaves of bread left and made quick friends with others who were walking around with stuff left to swap (including Chelle’s Salsa Verde that I’m excited to try).

Overall, this was a great experience. It’s so awesome to know that I came home with tons of great HOMEMADE items and got to share recipes of mine with others. My worst fear came true when I went back to my card originally and no one wanted my item it seemed but if that’s the case with you too, don’t worry! No one wants to take their own stuff home so everyone is open to trading whatever they have left and trying whatever it is that you brought. I ended up with a great group of items: Pickled Jalapenos, Homemade Baileys, Salsa Verde, Homemade Hummus, Rhubarb Chutney, Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Muffins & Olive Tapenade. Next month has a cookie theme! I’ve never participated in a cookie swap and have always wanted to, so I’m excited for it! I may have to take part in the Saratoga food swap but that just means making new friends in another new location!

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