Tag Archives: swap hints

My first FSC Albany swap.

19 Sep

Yesterday was my first time participating in the From Scratch Club Albany Swap, held at All Good Bakers. I brought 6 pints of whiskey’d pears (pears from Samascott Orchards in Kinderhook, NY) and came home with a basket full of things I’m excited to eat.

food swappings

Top row: Becky’s tomato olive tapenade, Kimmy’s spicy apple chutney, Stephen’s spicy ketchup. Middle: Farmie Market potato salad, Alex’s butternut squash soup. Bottom: Christine’s mini-quiche, harvest muffins by Nomi (I think?) Yes, this is 7 items. My post-swap swapping among friends was fast and loose, and I came away with an extra that I’ll repay with a future item (thanks, Jenna!)

I’m so happy I went. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly, and even though I couldn’t take everything home with me it was great inspiration to see the variety of things people whipped up. Like: now I have an idea for another use for my rampant backyard mint… hello, mojito body scrub!

If you’d like to try participating in an FSC swap, here are a few tips:

  • Arrive promptly. It takes time to say hello, sign in, set up your swap items and check out what other people brought. You don’t want to be rushed. I arrived 5 minutes early and lingered in my car until a few minutes after 4 to make sure I didn’t show up too soon, but there were plenty of people already there and setting up by the time I got inside.
  • Bring extra for samples. The best way to promote what you’re offering is by letting people try for themselves. I brought an extra bowl of pears cut in bite-sized pieces with toothpicks for easy tasting.
  • Mingle after you set up! Put a face with the food! I regret letting my shyness take control and not being bolder about mingling. If you’re not sure how to start a conversation, ask people what they made. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people with similar interests. And, when swap time comes, you’ll know who you need to speak with to nab that awesome _______ you spotted.
  • Take notes. Especially if, like me, you don’t know the majority of the people in the swap. Write down what you’re interested in and the name of the person who made it. Write down the number of the table, too, so when it’s time you can make a beeline to your most-wanted trade.
  • Dont limit yourself to six offers. You have six items to swap, but not every offer to trade you make is going to be accepted. It’s not personal, maybe they just don’t like spicy foods or have a food allergy or already have a freezer full of whatever it is you brought. So, offer away on anything you’d be willing to bring home with you.
  • Be quick during the swap portion! I’m a bit on the timid side when it comes to bartering and hung back a bit. FSC’s Christina urged me to jump in, warning people run out of things quickly… and it’s true! Though I had 7 people interested enough to sign my swap card, by the time I tracked them down many had already swapped away what they were offering. Before swapping starts, scan your card and see what people are offering you. If there’s something on there that was high on your wish list, grab one of your offerings, find where that person is, and get ready to gently hustle over and offer your trade as soon as swapping starts.
  • There’s always post-swap swapping. After it was over some friends and I were reviewing our trades, and one bemoaned not getting a certain item. It turns out I had said item, and in exchange he offered something I had sadly missed out on. Everyone wins!