I’m thrilled to help Boston Food Swap celebrate it’s one year mark on June 21, which they’ve aptly dubbed the one year swapiversary. Organizations like this, founded to give local food lovers a place to swap abundant homemade, homegrown or foraged food, have a special place in my heart and my kitchen. -Maggie
Last June, my friends and I nervously bustled about a dingy yet sunny community space in Somerville, smoothing tablecloths and setting up our wares for our very first food swap. The Boston Globe was coming, and we really hoped they wouldn’t be our only guests.
Lyn, Susan, and I started the Boston Food Swap not knowing what to expect. We’re just 3 people who love fresh, local food and wanted a way to meet people who felt the same way. And, when our CSA boxes and market bags overflow, we wanted an outlet share the wealth. We didn’t realize just how much we’d get in return.
On June 21, we’ll be celebrating our First Swapiversary with a fabulous party. For the night, we’ll be leaving behind our pickles and preserves for cocktails and conversation.
We’ll have delicious local appetizers sponsored by Eventbrite and cider from Magners to enjoy while you mingle and ask your burning food-related questions to our VIP SwapStars, experts in their field who can help you with anything from whole grains (Maria Speck) to budget cooking (Amy McCoy) to cordials & cocktails (Maggie Battista!). Bid on silent auction items including signed cookbooks, a BCAE gift card, Boston Organics deliveries, and an Eat Boutique gift box. We’ll send you home with a sweet swag bag including local goodies and kitchen gadgets from Edgeware and Dreamfarm.
Whether you’ve swapped with us from the beginning or you’d like to find out what we’re all about, we’d love for you to help us celebrate the past year. Proceeds from the tickets and the auction go directly to keeping our swaps free for everyone, so we hope you’ll join us and support local food! (For $10 off Boston Food Swap’s First Swapiversary, use code EBHEARTSBFS at checkout.)
We had about a dozen people at that inaugural swap — mostly people we didn’t know who found us through Meetup or Craigslist and shared our love of homemade food. We now see three times that at each swap, have a Twitter following of over 1,000, and get to learn and grow from our swappers every month.
Last week, I made a strawberry rhubarb basil jam for our June swap, the very same that Lyn made for that first swap 12 short months ago. Strawberries and rhubarb are some of spring’s first produce, full of possibility for the future. This jam was featured in that first Boston Globe article, and marked the beginning of an unbelievable year. I hope the jam continues to work its magic, for us and for you.
Strawberry Rhubarb Basil Jam
adapted from Lyn Huckabee & the Boston Globe
makes about 8 cups
- 3 quarts fresh strawberries, hulled
- 2 pounds fresh rhubarb stalks, chopped
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1cup agave nectar or honey
- 2 tsp Pomona’s Universal Pectin calcium water (follow package directions)
- 2 tsp Pomona’s Universal Pectin powder (available at Whole Foods — see note)
- 1cup finely chopped fresh basil
- In a food processor, combine strawberries, rhubarb, and lemon juice. Pulse 5 or 6 times. For chunkier jam, pulse less; for smoother jam, process more.
- Transfer the fruit mixture to a large flameproof casserole. Stir in calcium water. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring often.
- In a small bowl, mix agave nectar or honey with pectin powder. When the fruit is boiling, add the pectin mixture. Stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin. Return to a boil.
- Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Stir in the basil. Transfer to sterilized jars, leave to cool and refrigerate. If water bath canning, return jars to pot and bring to a boil. Process for 10 minutes, remove from pot and allow to cool overnight.
Note: Pomona’s works differently than other brands of pectin, so be sure to follow package instructions if using a different brand. Also, make sure to check the volume of the puree against the chart in the Pomona’s instructions and adjust the pectin measures accordingly.
All recipe photos styled and taken by Tara Bellucci.
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