The Great Food Swap
Last night was the last night I agreed to host a fun little get-together called the Great Food Swap. On the menu was a spicy couscous with local spring herbs and cheddar from North Idaho, an Olsen Farms potato salad with a dill and lemon vinaigrette, savory red beans and rice with almonds and onion, and a fruit salad chopped with fresh basil.
Since mid-February I’ve been meeting with a small group to share dinner and trade portions of our leftovers so we can enjoy a variety of homemade goods throughout the week. I can tell you that as a single, busy, picky, cheap vegetarian with a penchant for locally-sourced products, constantly cooking from scratch can become quite the chore. Any one of those factors can make cooking into a hassle, and thus the Great Food Swap was born.
The food swapping concept was the brain child of Brian Estes, a young local farmer who works at the Vinegar Flats Community Garden.
I’m writing you today to propose an idea which I’ve been toying with for the past month or so. I’m looking to get together a group of people who would be interested in a weekly food exchange. I guess you could think about it as an evolution of the traditional potluck. Instead of getting together for a meal in which each participant provides a dish, a community would gather on a regular basis with each member bringing a food item or set of items of which portions could be exchanged for whatever goodies others have brought.
Each dinner was delightful with new recipes learned and friendships formed. People talked about how to grow some of the different ingredients we were eating, and plans were discussed on ways to scale the swap to include a larger number of participants. Since Sundays are ideal for cooking, we decided first and third Mondays would be best to swap our goods. Picking a location right across the street from the Main Market allowed for friends who wanted to join in but weren’t able to make something on their own.
As much interest and promise as there is in this concept, sometimes you just have to admit that you can’t do it all. You’ve got to pick your battles, as the saying goes, so I am issuing a challenge of my own. If I can find someone to commit to regularly promoting, recruiting and playing a leadership role in developing this activity, I’ll set you up with a mailing list, a flier design, and a friendly conference room with an attached kitchen to boot.
Please message me at thespovangelist [at] gmail [dot] com with your interest and contact information. Happy swapping!