Updated 03/03/2013 07:30 PM
Swapping food and recipes at the Beacon farmer's market
There's a new food trend headed your way. The Beacon farmer's market played host to the first Hudson Valley food swap.
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DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. -- Recipes may look tasty; but, baking a sample is time consuming. The Hudson Valley Swappers have a solution to that problem. Make one recipe and come home with an armful of goodies.
"It's going to take me two hours to make a batch of something and I can't eat that much so I think it's a great way to experiment," said Cheryl Redding, a first time swapper.
"We all make the same recipes over and over and this is a nice way to lighten things up," said Beacon resident Jessie Johns.
An idea spawned in Brooklyn has homegrown and homemade Hudson Valley nosh trading hands with no cash involved.
"I fell in love with them," said food swap organizer Raema Rotindo. "My kitchen was always stocked with food swap items. I made a lot of new friends and I just became totally addicted."
"It's like you're swapping for a new idea and then you can take it home and see if you like it," said Jennifer Kolb, another master food swapper with experience in Brooklyn. "And if you like it, make it in quantity."
Trade secret recipes for new family favorites, or take a chance with something new, like macaroons.
"My husband said why don't you skip the swap and eat them all ourselves, and I said that's not the spirit of swapping," said Jean Huang, a Beacon resident who cooked up popular macaroons.
"My favorite is refrigerator oatmeal that I never would have even thought of, and now it's my everyday breakfast," said Kolb, explaining her favorite item found in Brooklyn.
Raema Rotindo got so involved in Brooklyn's swap with her homemade garlic powder and spreads that she was inspired to start selling online.
"People were emailing and asking where I could get it, and you could only get it from my kitchen," said Rotindo.
For some, it's a way to discover unknown treats they just wouldn't get at grandma's house. For others, it's a forum for feedback when just starting out.
"As I developed this cookie, more people liked them and I just want to share it with people and hopefully make it a commercial enterprise," said Kate Wilson, a cook since age two and an entrepreneur with her Port Jervis based Queen Bee Bakery.
In the end, it's about more than just swapping watermelon jam for sesame ginger dressing.
"It's a community gathering," said Rotindo. "It's a place for you to get to interact with other foodies, with other people who just like making things."