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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Boston Public Market Visual Tour - Part 1


The Kitchen entrance


Just in time for Massachusetts Farmers' Market Week, Boston’s local food scene is heating up!

If you didn’t already know, the long-awaited Boston PublicMarket  (BPM) opened July 30th in the building above the Haymarket T station.  The market is run by a non-profit coalition supported by private donors, the city, and the Commonwealth to provide a permanent year-round source for New England food growers and producers.

We at the Boston Food Swap have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the BPM because there are few things we love more than local, fresh food!  I (Lyn) was even more excited because it is located in my general office neighborhood which means that I can go for lunch! My proximity to the market seemed like a perfectly good excuse to give BFS readers who haven’t yet been lucky enough to visit a visual tour of the highlights. I'll post photos and reactions to the market in a series of posts over the next week, but let's start with the basics.

A map of the Boston Public Market
Play area for the kiddos and rest area for grown-ups overwhelmed by local food!
The Market features a recipe wall near the kitchen.
American Stonecraft Food Slab
Handcrafted wooden bowls by Spencer Peterman


The market is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 8am to 8pm.  It's closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. It is convenient to most public transportation options but it is literally right above Haymarket Station on the Orange and Green lines.

My first BPM purchase - chia pudding from Mother Juice!

Stay tuned for the next post about the Market's sellers of ingredients for home-cooks. In the meantime, tell us in the comments what impressed you most about the BPM.  Haven't gone yet? Tell us what excites you most about your first trip.

Boston Food Swap is a community organization funded entirely by donation. Support us through Paypal or BFS merchandise, and by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook. If you enjoyed this blog post, please share it!  Also, you can join us at our next swap by checking out our Eventbrite page

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Happy Can-it-Forward Day! Check Out the New Ball Blue Book


It's National Can-It-Forward Day, and over at the Boston Food Swap, we're celebrating by browsing the new Ball Blue Book. The authority on canning and preserving, Ball has been publishing Blue Books since 1909! The new 37th edition is really exciting, with 500+ recipes spanning all kinds of preserving. It goes way beyond strawberry jam and cucumber pickles (though there's recipes for those, too!). 


They start with the basics-- how to can, the equipment you need, and tips for getting it right. Then, your classic fruit preserves, pickles, and tomatoes. Then, it gets interesting for your more adventurous canner-- you got your tips on pressure canning (for low-acid foods).


We're especially loving the "Something Extra" chapter, where you'll find out-of-the-box recipes that'll surely impress at a food swap, like Champagne Blush Jelly, Hot Rhubarb Grilling Sauce, Maple Walnut Syrup, and Blueberry Basil Vinegar.

There's also sections on freezer preserving and dehydrating, things we don't often expect from Ball. It's also awesome that they included a Meal Creations chapter, so you can use the delicious things you make to feed yourself and others.

Have you checked out the latest Blue Book? Are you canning today?

Boston Food Swap is a community organization funded entirely by donation. Support us through Paypal or BFS merchandise, and by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook. If you enjoyed this blog post, please share it!  Also, you can join us at our next swap by checking out our Eventbrite page

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2014 Cookie Baker Checklist

Are you baking for this year's Cookie Swap for a Cause (there is still time to register if you haven't yet!)?

Print out the baker's checklist to make sure you are ready to enter our contests, sample some delicious cookies and turn your baking in to edible, cancer-fighting gold!


What are you planning to make for the cookie swap?  Tell us in the comments!
Boston Food Swap is a community organization funded entirely by donation. Support us through Paypal or BFS merchandise, and by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook. If you enjoyed this blog post, please share it!

Frequently Asked Questions - Cookie Swap 2014

Have you registered for the Cookie Swap for a Cause yet?  There's still time!

Even if you've attended a cookie swap in the past, the Cookie Swap for a Cause will likely be a different experience. To help you maximize your scrumptious fun, here are some frequently asked questions and their answers.

Carrot Cake Cookies from the 2011 swap.
Photo by www.adamtowner.com.


Can I park near District Hall?  Take the T?  Street parking at meters is free in Boston on Sundays.  There are also several parking lots near the venue with reasonable weekend rates. The Courthouse T stop on the Silver line is right across the street.

What time should I get there?  Between 1 and 2. Swapping will start between 2:30 and 3:00 and will be over in the blink of an eye. The earlier you arrive, the more time you will have for sampling, socializing, recipe sharing, and the craft table.


What will happen when I get there? 
Bakers: At check in, you'll be assigned a number that will go with you, your swap cookies, and your sample cookies. Volunteers will take your swap and sample cookies and set them up while you enjoy the vendors, sampling, festive atmosphere, and our photo booth. At swap time, an announcement will be made to line up. At that point, cookie boxes will be given to attendees who can then fill them with cookies. Afterward, claim the container that held your original cookies and enjoy a huge variety of holiday goodies!
Snackers: Show up, enjoy the festivities, pat yourself on the back for finding the most delicious way to donate to charity, and wait to line up with your baking counterparts at swap time. At the end of swapping, you’ll be a big box of cookies richer.

I see you have a best cookie contest. How will that work? We will have a separate area where swappers and snackers will sample cookies and vote on the best cookie. If you'd like to enter the contest and potentially win super-awesome prizes, please allocate one dozen of your cookies in bite size pieces for sampling and include these sample cookies in your tally. A volunteer will take your sample cookies to the sampling area for you.


What will happen to my container? If you need your container back, please make sure your name is prominently written on it. Boston Food Swap and District Hall are not responsible for lost or stolen property.


Will there be anything to drink?  We recognize that so many cookies can leave you parched so we will provide a coffee and milk bar. If you are looking for other drinks, Gather will be open on Sunday and has a full bar.

Will the cookie swap be similar to a regular food swap?  Not exactly. Although it will be fun and delicious, the cookie swap will not be a 1-to-1 exchange. Instead, the cookies will be displayed and, when swapping starts, attendees will fill a box with a variety.  If you've never been to a regular swap and want to try it,
sign up for our email list today so we can let you know when we will host our next swap!  If you want to get a sense of the scene at a cookie swap, check out the photos from a previous event.

Do I get to take anything else home besides cookies? YES! We have swag bags stuffed with both local and food-related fun. We'll also have a table of raffle prizes, and prizes for Best Cookie and Most Cookies. Do you want to showcase your business as a raffle prize or in our swag bags?  Contact us at bostonfoodswap@gmail.com for more info.

What do I need to bring besides cookies?  Your smiling face and possibly a large tray.  For people taking the T or biking, we will have many trays on hand.  However, for the volume of people we expect, we will not be able to provide a tray for everyone.  If you have the means to bring a tray, please do.
Also, remember that we are raising money for Cookies for Kids' Cancer, so bring cash or a credit card to bid on great raffle prizes, where the proceeds go to the charity!

Can I bring other people?  Yes, but only if they are registered for the event.  We have limited space and want to cram a LOT of cookies in so we want to be sure that people are not excluded from baking in favor of unregistered guests.

I registered for the event but can’t show up.  What do I do?  Let us know at bostonfoodswap@gmail.com ASAP. Not only can your spot be given to someone else but telling us means more cookies and, therefore, more money for Cookies for Kids Cancer.

Can I buy a ticket at the door?  Only if there is space available the day of the event.  There is a risk that we will not be able to accommodate day-of ticket sales so register now! The registration page shows how many tickets of each type are left so keep checking.

Do I need to individually wrap my cookies? No. 


I’m stumped about what cookies to make. Do you have any ideas?  YES!  We have spent the past few years building an incredible
Pinterest board for this event. You can find lots of inspiration there, and follow us via RSS, Google+, Facebook, Twitter for notice when they are posted.  You can also check out the Boston Food Swap blog’s cookie posts for recipe ideas.

I either can’t or don’t bake. Why would I want to attend a cookie swap? Because you like to EAT!  We hope to swap 10,000 cookies at the event and can fit about 150 people in the room.  Needless to say, we are going to need troopers to eat all of these cookies.  So if you aren't a baker, you can take home a giant box of cookies for the price of a ticket and tell your family, friends,  and coworkers that you slaved over an oven just for them.  We won’t tell!


Can I donate even if I can't attend? Yes! Please donate through our
event fundraising page.

Have any more questions?  Ask us in the comments or via e-mail and we'll get back to you ASAP!

Boston Food Swap is a community organization funded entirely by donation. Support us through Paypal or BFS merchandise, and by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook. If you enjoyed this blog post, please share it!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Happy Food Day!!

It's always Food Day here at BostonFoodSwap.com but today we're celebrating with the rest of the world!  Enjoy part 3 of the Food Day infographic series and consider joining us tonight for our panel of food entrepreneurs discussing how we can change our food system.  You can also check out the other cool events happening today and for the rest of the weekend in observance.



What do you think we can all do to better promote food justice?  Tell us in the comments!

Boston Food Swap is a community organization funded entirely by donation. Support us through Paypal or BFS merchandise, and by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook. If you enjoyed this blog post, please share it!  Also, you can join us at our next swap by checking out our Eventbrite page

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Food Day Infographic - American Diet

Food Day is tomorrow!  Please join us at our Food Entrepreneur event where our panel will discuss changing the food system and check out this infographic that outlines the personal impact of our food choices!


What steps have you taken to improve the quality of your diet?  Tell us in the comments!


Boston Food Swap is a community organization funded entirely by donation. Support us through Paypal or BFS merchandise, and by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook. If you enjoyed this blog post, please share it!  Also, you can join us at our next swap by checking out our Eventbrite page

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Food Day Infographic - American Agriculture

We started the Boston Food Swap as a way to be better consumers of home cooking because we believe that home cooking is "real food" aligned with the principles of Food Day.  When you cook at home, you take control of your place in our food system.  This Friday, we are celebrating Food Day by talking to people who are working to improve the food system.  Check out this Food Day infographic about the agricultural impact of the food we eat and consider joining us on Friday!


What do you do to support sustainable agriculture in your cooking?  Tell us in the comments!


Boston Food Swap is a community organization funded entirely by donation. Support us through Paypal or BFS merchandise, and by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook. If you enjoyed this blog post, please share it!  Also, you can join us at our next swap by checking out our Eventbrite page