Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Granny Pantries

Fennel Liqueur,  Preserved Lemons, Sauerkraut, Limoncello
After a long steamy day in the kitchen with the canning pot boiling away, it isn't hard to imagine why supermarket, convenience foods grew to be so popular.  You can only imagine the relief to the toil our grandmothers endured that the new frozen and processed foods offered. We are lucky enough to live in a time when we have so many options in our food choices.  Often these food choices however, have left many of us wanting.  As we grow more attached to local and seasonal food offerings we have found ourselves drawn to the notion of "putting up" the bounty of the season.  Canning classes are appearing around the country.  You can find a panoply of food preservation books with unusual and artisanal recipes to stock your larder.  Conversations abound at Farmer's Markets and CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture) about how to process the surplus to enjoy later.  We are collectively bringing back Granny Pantries!

My pantry is imperfect, often weighted heavily in the jam and marmalade territory with a smattering of pickled beets and okra.  I'm lucky that our winter survival doesn't depend on what I've put up.  I do on the other hand, have a great selection of gift options or fun add ons to a bigger meal…. or offerings for a local Food Swap.

The idea of Food Swapping is both revolutionary and ancient.  I can take my extra pantry items and trade them, making my pantry more diverse.  Before I sat down to write this post I had friends over for dinner.  We had a "Build your Own Sandwich Night".  I made bagels, an item which I have "swapped" in the past.  The sandwich bar included homemade horseradish and tomato jam that I received at the last swap.  My friend shared dill pickles that she plans on bringing to the next Food Swap.  The meal was delicious for sure but even more special was the thought of all the people who had made it possible.  I wouldn't have found that kind of story in the aisles of the supermarket.

So come join us at a Food Swap and share your offerings. Our next Swap is April 6th  Sign up here.  Together we will find that Granny Pantries are pretty cool.

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