Go to your local community food swap and trade it for someone else's extra stuff!
I had the pleasure of attending the Pikes Peak Community Cupboard monthly food swap today, hosted by Mile Hi Swappers. They host swaps each month in various different Colorado cities. It was a little short notice for me, so I needed something quick and easy to make. I hit up my local farmers market and got a big bunch of basil, and then made up some half-pint jars of Basil Infused Simple Syrup. I attached a recipe card with the Watermelon Coolers recipe from that same webpage, as well as this one: Strawberry Crepes with Lemon Chantilly Cream and Basil Infused Simple Syrup.
So, what happens at a swap, exactly? You have a swap sheet for each item you bring. You write down your name, the name of your item, the ingredients and any special notes. Then there are lines on the sheet where people will sign up to trade with you. So when they say "Go!", you run around and look at everyone else's stuff, and you might write down on a person's sheet that you'll trade one jar of basil-infused simple syrup for a zucchini out of their backyard garden. Or for a half-pint of their peach gelato. Meanwhile, other people are writing on your sheet what they want to trade for your stuff. When it's time to swap, you get your sheet and decide if you want to trade with the people who signed up on your sheet, and if so, you take some of your stuff over to them and trade. (While the people you signed up with bring their stuff over to you to trade.)
You might not get everything you signed up for... I didn't get the jar of Berry White Chocolate Chip granola bar mix I wanted, but I did get some fresh flowers that were clipped from a garden this very morning. And I got some "spirited cherries" which are cherries from a local farm, soaking in Amaretto. I was lucky enough to get three things I did sign up for: Herbed focaccia bread, tart pie cherries, and Vanilla Apricot spread, which I cannot wait to try with some bread for breakfast tomorrow morning!
The rules of the swap dictate that whatever you bring must be home-grown, home-made, or hand-made (people have been known in the past to bring soaps, etc.) And exchange of money is strictly prohibited.
It was great fun and I'm looking forward to next month's swap already. What should I make? Homemade gum drops? Seasoned goldfish crackers? Nutella gelato?