Last Thursday night, I headed across the bridge with my friend Wendy from La Phemme Phoodie into Philadelphia. In the car we had food to both share and swap. We were on our way to the very first Philly Swappers event held in the basement of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia.

Swappers received instructions on how the event would run. Here are some of them.

Bring an assortment of your homemade edible specialties (think pickles, preserves, baked goods, honey, granola, pasta, fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices … you name it!) to exchange for other handcrafted delights. Philly Swappers will provide swapping cards, name tags, tables and organization for the event. You will be given the opportunity to offer trades in a silent-auction type format, and you will be free to choose which trades to accept for your products. Bring as much or as little as you like; there are no caps or minimums. However, we suggest bringing between 5 and 10 items. You could bring several of the same item, or an assortment!

The event was great fun, and I met many fellow lovers of natural, delicious, great food that’s prepared with thoughtfulness. I’ll share the rest of my thoughts about the evening with you through these photos.

My contribution to Philly Swappers was Hot Buttered Rum Batter. (I promise to share the recipe with you closer to the holidays.) After agonizing over what to bring to swap, I settled on this choice because it was not too complicated and it was something I thought I’d want if someone else brought it.

Once everyone displayed their items, we had a chance to go around and check everything out. Some people had samples of their items to try. The assortment was really impressive.

Homemade pop tarts! I didn’t swap for these treats because I was afraid they wouldn’t make it home to my family uneaten, but I did get to try a sample. Delicious.

One of the organizers of the event is Marisa from Food in Jars. I was lucky enough to come home with one of her jars of Peach Amaretto Vanilla Preserves. I love that the tables were covered in paper that we could write all over. Nice touch.

Organic raw milk, lacto-fermented kraut, and organic horseradish vodka. See what I mean by an impressive assortment?

I ended up with lots of goodies – Veggie Marinara, Rosemary Garlic Salt, Spicy Bacon Cheddar Chive Spread, two jars of preserves, and some peanut butter cookies (a treat in my boys’ lunchboxes the next day).

If this event looks like something you’d be interested in, you don’t need to live near Philadelphia to get involved. Swaps like this are happening all over the country. Head over to The Hip Girls Guide To Homemaking Food Swaps page. Hip Girl Kate Payne has a state-by-state list of food swapping organizations and events as well as tips on how to host your own event.

I want to thank event co-ordinators Georgia (Oh Kitchen, What Won't You Do?), Marisa (Food in Jars), Alexis (Teaspoons & Petals) and Amanda (@forkspoonknife) for organizing the first Philly Swappers event. I can’t wait for the next one.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Swapping homemade food in Philly
Heard about the food swapping movement? We've got photos of a recent swap in Philadelphia. Yum.