Some thoughts on food swaps for canners

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Silicon Valley Food Swap
Having overdone myself a couple years ago on the canning/preserving (I count 85 pints of 30 different kinds of preserves made in 2014), this time around I decided to try a food swap. And I have some thoughts from my one trip wonder at the Silicon Valley Food Swap. Mostly:

  1. If you're a canner/preserver, use the smallest possible jar for your goods. For jams, this is a quarter pint. For pickles, a half pint.
    Pickled veggies like Dilly Beans, SmOkra, and Brussel Sprouts are best because they require minimal trimming, placement of all ingredients into jars, pouring of hot vinegar-water over top, and then the hot water bath processing. These are minimal effort. Lots of jam in tiny quarter pint jars is also pretty efficient.
  2. If you're a canner/preserver, it's best to be assertive enough to barter.
    People tend to trade 1-for-1, and they might have a smaller jar or item.
  3. If you're a canner/preserver, consider bringing baked goods to a food swap instead.
    Giving preserves as gifts is pretty much your best return on investment of time/money/effort.

You do get a few other things out of a food swap, besides a pile of baked goods. I also got some tasty fermented lime curtido, pluot jam, Asian fusion macarons, fresh figs, fig chutney, homemade marshmallows, granola and spices. Then there's the inedibles, like meeting new people who love food, community involvement, and getting out of the house ;)

Silicon Valley Food Swap
Silicon Valley Food Swap

I ended up bringing 6 half pints of apricot jam and 8 half pints (and one pint) of SmOkra. I ended up with only 3 half pints of the pickles, and one half pint of the jam. Plus the two taster jars. 'Gotta have taster jars.


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