As I have mentioned before, I’m one of the organizers of the Queens Swap, a food swap based in the borough of Queens. We are one of two organized food swaps in NYC. Another one is coming, though, focused on traditional foods (called the Traditional Food Swap), which is very exciting. You better believe I’ll be participating!
I am happy that Queens Swap got to welcome another organizer on the team: AJ Simone, my friend and fellow food fanatic (and super crafter) from the blog Handjobs (For the Home). He really helped make this event a success.
Anyway, we held our second food swap on Saturday, at Fresh Start Market in Astoria. We used their back patio, which is where we do our Hellgate CSA distributions, so it was a really familiar space for us. It turned out to be a perfect amount of space for our group, with enough room to spread out all the swappable items, along with space for refreshments (lemonade, cookies, olive chips and wasabi popcorn) and room for socializing.
This is the last swap we could consider holding outside this year, since the weather is cooling down. Next swap will be indoors again, and we have our eye on a particular spot that I hope works out. More on that at a later date.
While we had a few people as no shows (the subways were really, really bad over the weekend), the people that did come were awesome and brought some terrific things to swap. I love seeing what people make and bring – it’s so interesting and fun! We had everything from preserved food (jam, dilly beans) to caramel sauce, banana bread to hot sauce. Loved the variety!
I brought a bunch of preserves, some dilly beans, and a butternut squash I grew in my garden.
You can probably tell from the picture what’s there, but I’ll clarify: there’s blueberry jam, plum vanilla jam, peach preserves, tomato jam, dilly bans, crushed tomatoes, and the squash.
I came home with some amazing stuff!
I brought home:
Rosemary salt from Erich and WT (of Gardenfreude), home grown asian pears (I am lame and can’t remember her name!), chocolate filled brownies (!) from Lydia, spinach basil pesto from Laura, peach butter from AJ (of Handjobs for the Home), Guinness caramel from Sarah, sweet hot mustard jam from Lisa (of Cook the Books), sriracha from Jolene, and pear muffins from Nan.
I’m really happy with everything I brought home. Not surprising! I’m especially excited to try the sriracha – there are two different kinds/flavors and I’ll be giving Jolene my feedback after I try them.
And I can’t tell you how tickled I am that someone wanted my butternut squash (thanks, Lisa!!).
Our next swap will be in November. We were talking about how the kind of swap items will likely change as the season changes. This time of the year those who like to can and preserve have lots of jams and pickles; next swap will probably bring us more baked goods, maybe some applesauce and (hopefully) some fermented stuff. I just was gifted some kefir with grains, so I’ll likely have kefir grains to swap next time!
Food swaps are just so awesome. I’m so glad to be part of the Queens Swap!
More photos of the swap can be found in my September Queens Swap photoset.