Our friends at Sweetleaf LIC were generous to lend us their laptop room for the swap, which included a sectioned off space with a large, communal table with chairs and additional stools. It was a cozy, intimate space that was conducive to networking and also displaying all our wares. I liked the intimacy of it all because it enabled you to see everything easily and made you talk to virtually everyone - and let's face it, that's one of the core benefits of the swap.
While we had some newbies, which we always appreciate (new talent and hunger is what drives these events) but we also had loyalists that have become a part of our foodie family. We appreciate your loyalty Laura, Jean, Lisa and Lydia.
Our newbies included Mira, Kim, Amy, Tim and Julie.
Here's what everyone contributed - needless to say, there wasn't a shortage of intriguing items to swap:
Laura - Cranberry bread (jumbo sized) with fresh cranberries; garlic infused extra virgin olive oil
Mira - Beet relish
AJ - Rosemary, bacon focaccia; pear chutney; corn salsa
Kim - Home-brewed beer and curried cashews
Meg - Variety of canned goods including tomatillo sauce, canned tomatoes, avjar, blueberry jam, dilly beans, and more
Jean - Fresh apple sauce with cinnamon
Lisa - Apple cinnamon rum, sweet & hot pepper and red onion jam
Amy - Homemade sourdough bread and homemade chocolate flavored soy milk
Vivian - Peanut butter and chocolate buckeyes
Tim - Spicy beef chili
Julie - Almond tofu fruit cocktail
me - Coconut mate chocolate truffles
The actual swapping process is two-fold, first you scope out your goods and place bids on the items you want acquire, and second you negotiate with the owner of the item to make the actual swap. This process altogether took about 45 minutes, as there was a lot of back and forth going around. I was happy to see that a lot of people bid on my truffles, and because my boxes were closed, I even included an iPad display that showcased them in full glory (more on that in a future post).
I like that Meg laid out the ground rules in the very beginning of the swap, making it clear that the mission behind a successful swap was to walk out with items that you really wanted. And that it was OK to say no sometimes, which I ended up doing (albeit still feeling a tiny bit bad).
To say that I was thrilled with my goods would be an understatement, as I really did get everything I wanted and walked out as happy as can be. Here's what I acquired:
Jean's apple sauce
Amy's bread (no pun intended)
Meg's tomatillo sauce
AJ's focaccia bread
So far it's been a fantastic way to stock up my pantry, however I have to admit that some of the items have already gone (focaccia, beer, chili). In terms of the other attendees, I can safely say that everyone seemed content, and overall I think we had another success on our hands.
I'd sincerely love to thank Sweetleaf for being gracious hosts - you guys rock and we thank you!
For more information about our next food swap, visit www.queensswap.com
Sweetleaf - 10-93 Jackson Avenue, LIC NY 11101
7 Train to Vernon Blvd/Jackson Avenue