Schenectady Food Swap

Tonight was the first Schenectady Food Swap. You might remember that I was excited to hear that  my church in is the newest location for food swaps with the From Scratch Club.  When I mentioned it the other day, I said that I was “both intrigued and intimidated.”

Luckily, they planned for people like me with the option to register without swapping as someone who’s “Swap Curious.” I didn’t realize that, and M had a soccer game that started at the same time as the swap, so I’d planned on skipping. Then a friend asked me this morning if I was going, and I decided to motivate for a quick stop.

Umm, loved it! The offerings were exactly in my sweet spot: enough items that I could potentially make myself, so I am no longer intimidated, and plenty of items that were tasty, so I’m not too snobby to participate (unlike most holiday cookie exchanges, where the cookies are just not up to my exacting and finicky standards).

There was a wide variety, from garden produce to homemade soaps as well as dips, soups, preserves, and desserts.

Arugula and lotion soap

The best is that the first hour is spent sampling the offerings so that you can choose your swaps. Something about having items not made by mom inspired more adventurousness in my children. J, who has consistently refused to try any of our delicious salsas, tried and approved this one:

I happened to arrive just before the swapping started. I wanted some of the surprisingly tasty edamame dip and a bunch of arugula, and I started wondering, if no one swapped for them, could I offer money, or was that too crass? Did I perhaps have any trinkets in my backpack? Why, oh why hadn’t I brought some delicious, home-produced products? As swapping continued in earnest, I was deeply jealous.

I was also distracted by my kids. We were just doing a quick stop on the way home from soccer, and before we arrived I told the girls not to taste, because I knew that we weren’t contributing. But then people were lovely, friendly, and pro-sampling. So I relented and said that they could taste only one sample of something that they’d like. So while I was barely oriented and too stunned by the buzzing mid-swap activity to muster up the manners for chitchat, my children were running around eating like fiends. It’s their home turf, and they’re used to grabbing whatever food’s available in their church dining room, and I had no idea if they were blending in or if they were Menaces to the Community. I hustled them out.

“That was awesome,” M said.

“It was like being at a store where you can sample everything,” J gushed.

So I’ll sign up to swap next time for sure, but I’ll leave the kids home so that I can relax and enjoy it.


  1. Michelle

    I did the cookie swap FSC around Christmas and it was awesome! I have been meaning to do it again, but was so intimidated by the awesome cookies that I couldn’t come up with something that I thought would be awesome enough that people would want to swap for. (Someone at the cookie swap brought rice krispie treats, and no one wanted to swap with her – now my biggest fear!)

  2. @Michelle, Okay, but I don’t think that that was due to the non-yumminess of Rice Krispie Treats so much as the idea that the main components of Rice Krispie Treats are a packaged item from a massive food-producing conglomerate and something that contains non-vegetarian gelatin. I think that this poor woman’s error was not due to baking performance, but a sort of tone deafness to the food swap zeitgeist. But you carry babies in a sling and re-package her yogurt into individual portions to save on costs and packaging. I think you’re good.

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