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Monday, October 17, 2011

Food Community Weekend Squared

Unless you’ve been living under a Boston Food Swap-specific rock, you know that our October swap was this weekend.  What you may not know is that your organizers are such eager food community nerds that we took an evening away from our weekend of gnocchi-rolling and popcorn-candying to commune (and break bread) with the Frugal Foodies of Boston.  Rather than cooking at home and sharing your creativity in public, at a Frugal Foodies event, someone else does the planning and you just show up to cook.  Each night is organized around a theme, the group breaks in to smaller teams, and food is made!  Community is built with a shared project rather than individual creativity.  

Last April, Susan and I first experienced Frugal Foodies on molecular gastronomy night.  I won’t go in to how we did it (a girl has to preserve SOME mystery), but our most impressive dish was this caprese salad.  If you look closely, you will notice that the mozzarella is not a bufala style ball.  It is, in fact, a balloon inflated with garlic “air.”  Surrounding the mozzarella balloon, we sprinkled pearls of balsamic vinegar and placed olive oil powder.  Not only was the evening an addictive introduction to the Frugal Foodies concept, it was also a mind opening experience about what a little culinary creativity can do!

This Saturday evening’s theme was a little less esoteric.  Rather than manipulating the physical properties of food, we paid tribute to San Jose, CA, the cradle of Frugal Foodies, by making some of their favorite dishes.  The meals are always vegetarian (how frugal could the meals be with meat?), so our dishes included black beans with chipotle peppers and orange, maple roasted brussel sprouts with roasted hazelnuts, acorn squash with a wild mushroom and cranberry stuffing, Ris-OAT-o, and a fried eggplant dessert lasagna – you heard right – lasagna, chocolate, and friend eggplant!  You can even grab the recipes on the Boston chapter Facebook page!

With immense thanks to Alyssa and Konrad for opening their home and to Ben for putting the event together, I ask the area’s Food Swappers to raise our virtual glasses to those who also show their love of food, community, and fun every month.

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