Another fun and successful food swap today, this time in Oak Park. Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars was there, which was really cool. Since Im a huge fan of hers, I had made two of her recipes for the swap. Vanilla Syrup and Sweet Pickled Red Grapes. I think putting out the samples of the grapes was a good idea-they are unusual and surprising. I brought 6 jars to trade and only brought home the tasting jar! The grapes have cinnamon and clove and vanilla and peppercorns, plus I tossed in some coriander seeds and a star anise section for a special kick. I love how they turned out.
I also brought some anise licorice syrup that I made using a recipe from Andrew Schloss’ Homemade Soda book. I’m crazy about syrups lately and have been making plenty from this book. I think this one could really do double duty not only as a soda base, but also used how you might use a reduced balsamic vinegar- drizzled on grilled meats, or drizzled on cooked greens.
Last but not least, I made some banana vanilla rum butter. Everyone who tasted it said it was amazing. I found the recipe in the Tart and Sweet cookbook. I like fruit butters because they are very easy-cook the heck out of some fruit, add sugar and spice/flavorings and thats it! No pectin, no gel test. Just a nice glossy and thick spread that is packed with fruit flavor. I ended up with a few jars of that leftover, ( I brought 12 half pints) but I traded almost every other jar!
Again, the booty I brought home was very impressive. I just love seeing what other people cook and make. The variety of foodstuffs is SO cool.
I got 4 kinds of granola, s’more bars, honey raisin challah bread, chocolate chip sunbutter cookies, banana cookies, chocolate chip cookies, truffles, pickled green tomatoes, pickled cukes, peach salsa, white peach lemon verbena preserves, raspberry fig port jam, strawberry rhubarb sauce, cherry pie filling, homemade butter, peach barbeque sauce, salted caramel sauce, butterscotch sauce, boozy cherries and a bottle of peach bourbon.
The peach bourbon is out of this world and I have to get more of it or figure out how to make it. Wow.
After 3 swaps, I am getting to see some familiar faces each time and I like how the venue changes. This time we were hosted at Green Home Experts in Oak Park, IL. They had tons of great stuff in there, including some stainless steel reusable straws! The way we go thru straws in this house, that would be a smart buy.
For the third time in a row, I convinced a friend to come along too. This time my friend Mandy came with her family recipe for pickled cukes. I think I converted her to the swapping lifestyle and we were totally talking strategies for the next swap all the drive home!