Baking & cooking with an enthusiastic amateur
Last Sunday, I went to the Boston Food Swap. I found out about the idea of food swaps after signing up for my first month of the Foodie Penpal program. The penpal I was going to send a box to runs a food swap on the West Coast. I had never heard of food swaps before, but it sounded really fun, and the power of google revealed that there was one in my hometown!
I brought a dozen mango chutney muffins (two of which were made into samples) and eight loaves of banana bread with dark chocolate (one of which became samples). The banana bread was quite popular, but I was able to exchange all my muffins too. In return, I received:
I was absolutely thrilled! People brought such great things, and that’s a really impressive list of goodies – all homemade or, in the case of the mint, homegrown!
The honey brie cups and the chocolate caramel treats were the first to go. I admit that they didn’t last the night. They were from the same people, and both were quite tasty! I’m not usually a big fan of brie, but I can make an exception for tiny pastry cups with sweetened brie! They didn’t even last until my roommate got home, so sadly I have no pictures of them. Luckily, someone else took some great pictures of both the honey brie cups and the chocolate caramel treats!
My roommate and I feasted on some other sweet treats on Sunday night. The homemade “Oreos” were much bigger than the store version, with a crunchy chocolate cookie exterior and a wonderfully sweet filling. The mini no-bake nutella cheesecakes were sinfully rich and wonderful, with a lovely crumbly layer of graham cracker at the bottom.
Though I haven’t yet opened my jar, I sampled the pickled Italian veggies at the food swap: Really tasty! I picked out both those and the summer squash relish for my partner, since he loves vegetables. I haven’t tried the summer squash relish yet, but I think I’ll have some on tofurky dogs next time I’m over at his house! It seems like it could be a tasty combination.
Later this week, I plan on using the homemade ricotta in some sort of pasta dish. I don’t want to smother it in marinara but I must admit that my favorite use of ricotta is in some sort of conjunction with pasta and tomato sauce! The lady who made it mentioned that it’s good for at least a week, though it may dry out slightly after a few days.
Last night for dinner, I enjoyed miso-marinated vegetables as an appetizer. All were tasty but the lotus root was my favorite. I’d never had lotus root before, but it has a delicate flavor and a pleasantly crunchy texture that sort of reminds me of jicama. For my main course, I chopped up a quarter of a preserved lime to put into my cucumber and shrimp salad. The preserved lime has a wonderfully intense flavor, and really kicked up the salad!
I haven’t yet used my fresh mint, pear vanilla jam, or thyme simple syrup, but I’m sure they’ll be put to good use this weekend!
There were a few items that I was eying but unfortunately wasn’t able to swap for, including garlic scape pesto made with almonds, homemade energy bars, and caramelized vanilla hazelnuts! My disappointment was more than overcome though by the great things I was able to bring home, and the opportunity to meet some great new folks!
Thank you to the organizers of Boston Food Swap, who put on this great event, and to everyone who came to swap! I look forward to seeing you again next month!