Wednesday, May 18, 2011
This past weekend, my husband and I tried something new and decided to check out the Minneapolis Swappers event. My friend Trinity let me know about the swap, and since she often blogs about yummy and interesting food, I thought I could at the very least swap something with her. Then I found out that A-K of Swell Vegan was co-hosting and that we would finally be able to meet face to face after years of mutual blog reading and twitter conversation snippets.
So now a little bit about the swap itself. Basically, if it's edible and you made it, baked it, canned it, or grew it, you could bring it along to swap for something that one of the other swappers has made. Everyone lays their goods out on a table with sheets of paper that describes the item. At the bottom of the sheet, swappers make offers such as "I'll trade a jar of strawberry jam for your loaf of banana bread." The actual swapping is where it got a little frantic. The space didn't have great traffic flow so it was kind of a mess with people trying to find each other to make the actual swaps.
I love the idea of the swap, I think it just needs some tweaks here and there to make things run a bit more smoothly. I think a huge improvement would be to make the item sheets available as online printables so swappers could fill those out at home. This would streamline the swap, especially for people who bring lots and lots of stuff to swap, and would hopefully encourage all swappers to include ingredients lists for their items.
I also would have liked a different setup for the tables, often there would be lines of people wanting to look at one can of jam or one loaf of bread because the tables were pushed against the wall and not accessible from all sides. I know it's tough to work things like that out with a small, not so open space though.
Overall, it was fun to try something new and we even came home with a couple of yummy goodies, a bottle of ginger syrup (we mixed it with some bubbly water for a delicious drink) and a jar of picked jalapenos that I haven't broken into yet. Unfortunately, all of the other food items we were offered weren't vegan so we had to turn down trades. But I'd go again and give it another shot for sure, it definitely inspired me to try new recipes! If you're local, I definitely encourage you to give it a shot and see if it's something you might enjoy.
Have any of you guys ever gone to a food swap like this?