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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

Monday, October 20, 2014

SAVE THE DATE! - The 4th Annual Cookie Swap for a Cause is on 12/21!

BIG NEWS SWAPPERS!!!


We're gearing up for the 4th Annual Cookie Swap for a Cause and we're hoping that 2014 will be the best yet!  The invitation will be up in the next week or two but we want you to save Sunday December 21st on your calendar now so your schedule is free when the invite goes live!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

BFS Presses Cider!

Another Saturday, another adventure with your neighborhood food swappers!
This past weekend, we hung out in Granby Massachusetts to press apple cider and roll with our buddies at Red Fire Farm at their annual cider fest.
The day was cloudy and rainy and we arrived at the farm to their autumn-fabulous decor!


We reserved our apples ahead of time and got to pick out which we thought were most juicy!


The best part is finding the hilarious freak fruits that make us laugh all day!


We brought our own huge jugs.


We got to grind our apples in a goofy, automated grinding machine.


video

Once we ground the apples, they went in to the press.  This is the ultimate example of teamwork!


After our efforts, brown apple pulp was all that was left.


The final result was 3.5 gallon jugs of apple cider, which looked big until we saw them next to the GARGANTUAN pumpkins at the farm!


After picking raspberries in the PYO fields, our day ended with the farm's ploughman's lunch with local artisan products. Every piece was beyond delicious.



What do you do to enjoy the autumn season?  Have you gone cider pressing?  Tell us in the comments!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe: Lauren's Key to Winning Big at September's Swap

Lauren's sauce at the September swap
Though I have been participating in Boston Food Swaps since 2012, I
have never felt so satisfied with "my performance" than after
September's swap, which was held at WeWork near South Station; so
plentiful was my bounty – jar after jar filled with apple butter, wild
grape jelly, cherry apricot mostarda, pickled onions, beet and apple
salad, as well as homemade challah and six perfect little eggs brought
to the swap by a farmer – and yet so simple was my swap item
that I felt like a little local food pirate.

I am a sauce girl. My favorite foods would not be so if it weren't for
the sauce that comes with them: soy sauce with wasabi that I bathe my
sushi in before eating, garlic white wine sauce that I savor just as
happily as I do the mussels cooked in it, pure maple syrup that I
drizzle lovingly atop banana walnut pancakes.

Accordingly, I brought a delicious, yet easy-to-make Thai peanut sauce
gleaned from SheSimmers to September's swap. This peanuty goodness
helps transform kitchen staples like rice, barley, pasta, tofu, and
iceberg lettuce into mouth-watering meals, and with just seven
ingredients is a cinch to stir together:




SheSimmers' Thai Peanut Sauce

Ingredients
        • 13.5 oz. (a standard can) full-fat coconut milk
        • 1/4 cup red or Massaman curry paste
        • 3/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
        • 3/4 cup sugar
        • 1/2 cup water
        • 2 tbsp. apple cider or white vinegar
        • 1/2 tbsp. salt

Instructions:
  1. Put above ingredients into a medium pot and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.
  2.  Let the mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
  3. Take the pot off the heat, and either serve sauce immediately or let cool and refrigerate.
  4. For swapping purposes, put in to 2-3 portion individual containers and enjoy the swap fun!

- Thanks!  Lauren

Monday, September 22, 2014

1000 Words: Boston Local Food Fest 2014


Last Sunday was a beautiful autumn day to spend on the Greenway-- made all he better by the 5th Annual Boston Local Food Festival. Here's what we saw that day:

Red Fire Farm

Matcha soda


Boomerangs

Food Fest shirts
A garbage disposal that creates renewable energy

Allendale Farm

A beautiful day on the Greenway

Husk cherries

It's apple season!
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.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Boston Food Swap Changes and a Birthday Surprise!


In case you haven't heard, the Boston Food Swap went through a few major changes in 2014.  1/3 of our co-founding team moved out of the country (Susan is gearing up for her first Victoria, BC Food Swap soon!) and 40 Berkeley St was sold and Collaboratory 4.0 was displaced in March!

In honor of our 3rd Swapiversary, we are reaching out for help from our fabulous community.  If you know of a space that would be willing to host Sunday swaps in the area, please let us know.  Also, if you are interested in helping organize swap business, email us at bostonfoodswap (at) gmail (dot) com.  Some skills we need to fill in are blog content providers, on-site event management, and administrative help.

In the meantime, we've taken our lack of permanent home as a sign that we should celebrate another year of swapping by spreading the word across the state and hosting a swap in Worcester!  We're working with #swaplove maven Amy Chase, owner of the Crompton Collective to host out of town.  The store is FANTASTIC, so this is a great opportunity for a little road trip and some retail therapy on top of regular swapping.  We understand that the location is a bit far for our regular urban swappers so, please let us know if you would like to schedule ride sharing to Worcester.

To another great year!
Your Friendly Neighborhood Food Swappers

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.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Candid Camera: Boston Food Swap Reaction Video


Yesterday was our first food swap of 2014. There were also a few other firsts: we had a class of high school freshman join us, some of our new swappers made dehydrated carrots and chocolate hummus, and we were filmed eating chocolates.

Filmmaker Anthony Flor joined us for his first Boston Food Swap experience, and recorded it all in the process. He takes us from making his chocolate truffles, to showing reaction shots of people sampling them. Check it out:



Thanks to Anthony for this unique perspective on swapping!

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.