Having never been to a food swap, I didn’t really know what to expect, besides the obvious. Through The Women’s Building, I came across the 'From Scratch Club' blog and an upcoming food swap at All Good Bakers and immediately signed up. Only 24 spots were available and they went fast! Suffice to say, I went and it was the perfect foray into food swapping. I’m hooked!
The premise is simple: make a homemade dish, baked good, seasoning, drink or even soap, as long as it's homemade and package it into smaller quantities in order to swap with other homemade items on the day of the event.
Walking in, and not knowing a soul, I instantly knew this was going to be nothing but a good time. The room was filled to the brim with happy chatter, smiles, laughter and of course a small sea of canning jars and other containers filled with eye catching food. Food that joyfully reflected their makers as well the colors of the season.
After a little mingling and sampling, the swap was on. My lemon lavender shortbread cookies helped me score rosemary soap, sweet and sour pickles, dill biscuits and a delightful cold green summer soup…all of which I raced home with to try immediately. Like I said, I’m hooked. It was two hours of time well spent being warmly welcomed into a community of like-minded people that known their way around the kitchen. My only regret, forgetting to take more pictures.
For those of you looking for a uniquely rich in taste cookie, here’s the recipe for Lemon Lavender Shortbread cookies. Enjoy the rich and decadent flavors of lavender, lemon and mint with a cold glass of iced tea. Packaged, they make sweet (no pun intended) gifts.
- 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lavender
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
1. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the lavender, mint and lemon zest. Combine the flour, cornstarch and salt; mix into the batter until well blended. Divide dough into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap and flatten to about 1inch thick. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Cookie stamps will work well on these too. Place on cookie sheets.
3. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, just until cookies begin to brown at the edges. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.