My First Food Swap

On Sunday afternoon, I attended my first food swap! I stumbled over the From Scratch Club, a blog written by a group of local women interested in connecting to the food they bring into their lives. Thanks to Twitter, I learned from Jess over at that an upcoming food swap was happening last weekend. I read the rules (everything has to be made “from scratch” and there’s a 1:1 swap ratio) and racked my brain for something relatively easy to make for the swap in just a couple of days. And of course, because it’s me, it had to be nearly totally local, right?

We’ve recently finished our salsa verde that we canned last year, and have a ton of tomatillos separated in quart bags in our chest freezer from this year’s garden. I needed to make more for our household for the coming year, so why not make some for everyone?

I was a little worried that mixing both our fresh and frozen tomatillos would result in very mushy salsa verde. And yes, upon thawing, those tomatillos were VERY soft. BUT heck, salsa verde is supposed to be just this side of soupy, that’s what makes it great in tacos or over enchiladas! It’s called sauce for a reason!

Making such a big batch of salsa verde enabled me to use our relatively new 14 quart food processor! We got it for Christmas last year from my inlaws and between that and my immersion blender, we are set in the kitchen now.

Salsa verde is very easy to make…after chopping, throw everything in a big stockpot and boil. You can easily scale up the recipe for any amount of tomatillos, like I did!

Ingredients: (to make 2 pints of salsa verde)

  • 5 1/2 cups chopped, cored, husked tomatillos (about 2lbs)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green chili peppers
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp minced cilantro
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lime juice


Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/4 in. headspace. Process 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.


With my salsa verde made a few days earlier, I headed out to my first food swap, basket and jars in tow.

I was welcomed by the ladies of Club, who patiently explained to me how things would work.  As more and more people came in, I was just amazed at all the yummy things beginning to populate the swap tables!

There were so many different things I wanted to trade for but unfortunately I didn’t bring enough to trade for everything I wanted (which was EVERYTHING!!!) Everyone got a chance to check out and sample the foods available and then the madcap swapping began! It was nervewracking and felt like speed-dating in a way (or what I think speed-dating would feel like if I’d ever tried it!) and I was so afraid of rejection! Hahaha!

Thank goodness everyone was so nice and I was able to trade all eight of my half-pints for other yummy goodies! I enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow foodies and canners (!!!) and meeting new people! Unfortunately I was so nervous I didn’t even ask for the contact info of some people whom I would really have liked to get to know better. Ahh well, next time.

Here’s my loot!

In no particular order, all of this is homemade:

1) wild grape bbq ketchup

2) Irish creme (aka “Bailey’s)

3) croutons

4) whole wheat bread

5) fresh parsley hummus

6) smoked nuts

7) brown sugar scrub

8) olive tapenade

So fantastic!!



  1. isn’t it the best time?! you came away with some rad stuff. i go to the swaps up in toga, and every time i go i feel like the stuff people bring is more and more amazing!

  2. yeah! so glad you had fun. love the loot you brought home!

  3. The salsa verde was so tasty I had to whip up a batch of homemade chips to eat it with. Well done.

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