We’ve just come out of a brutal heat wave. Toronto was so hot I thought the city was going to melt. It wasn’t exactly the best time to be boiling vats of water (inside or outside) so preserving tends to take a back seat to staying ‘cool-ish’ these days. Through years of experience I’ve learned that cooler days are coming and that I will soon be able to preserve in the relative cool of late evening.
Alas, I am not the world and I see lots of people preserving online and it’s exciting! I thought this would be a good time to remind you to make a few jars extra to swap with others. When we started preserving heavily I didn’t realize how large the culture of swapping was and how important it can be in diversifying your pantry.
This is a poster we made for a swap in 2011:
Not all swaps are so formal. A swap can be as simple as a holiday gift, a trade between friends or an organized event (we’ll be hosting one in Toronto again this November).
It’s easy to forget to make an extra jar or two to swap. I make 10-20% of our preserves with the sole intention of swapping them. For every batch we make I have at least 1 jar designated for swapping. Doing this has allowed us to add more than 60 flavors to our larder and really diversify our cooking and flavours.
If you’re looking for a swap in your area, check out the Food Swap Network. Our friend (Kate Payne of Hip Girls Guide to Homemaking) is one of the founders and is a champion of food swapping. Most of the events aren’t limited to preserves but they make for great trading!
If your curious about swapping, here’s a few recaps from our past that may help you see what it’s like:
- The recap of the event above from 2011. That night became the template for our monthly get-together called HomeEc (the theme for July will be announced on the weekend).
- The inventory of what we brought home from the swap in 2011.
- The recap of Home Ec #2 (in February): Preserve Swap.
Do you swap food/ preserves? Do you have any strategy or tips to share?