Our April swap was a great success! Lots of new faces and seasoned swappers, and so much deliciousness from everyone who participated. Thanks again to our gracious hosts and new favorite people at Kitchensurfing

We’re keeping up the new tradition of posting requested recipes following the swap. This time we’re featuring Margaret’s dulce de leche blondie brownies that were on the potluck table, made with her own dulce de leche (pictured on the table above, stacked up and ready to swap).

Take it away, Margaret!:
As only a moderate fan of chocolate, I’m always on the lookout for good blondie recipes, and anything with caramel gets my attention. I’ve used this recipe from the Add a Pinch blog quite a few times, using various types of caramel or dulce de leche—it’s very quick and easy. I also like that it makes a small portion, so you feel justified making it often.

The recipe’s pretty straightforward. The only tricks I’d add are:
- After putting in the caramel or dulce de leche, take a toothpick and swirl or marble the caramel around to get it into the corners and evenly distributed.  
- Hit the timing just right and be patient enough to let the blondies cool completely before cutting. The bars can be overly hard if cooked too long. And since they’re so gooey, cutting them before they’re totally cool is a messy affair.


December in Dumbo — Spotlighting Candied Fennel!

Thanks to Huge for hosting BK Swappers for our December in Dumbo event! It was one of our biggest swaps, and it was so great to have lots of new faces there. We hope to see you all in the New Year and that you’re enjoying your tasty swap treats!

We had a recipe request for the candied fennel that veteran BK Swapper Jackie Gordon brought to the potluck. This got us thinking about an idea to spotlight and share recipes for swap items following the events. It’s a fun way to keep everyone in contact and to spread the deliciousness!  

After the next swap, please let us know other recipes you’d like to see or if you had one that folks requested that we can post for the whole BK Swapper community. And now without further ado…


Candied Fennel

  • 2 cups of fennel stalks, sliced into rounds
  • cold water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 pinch of fennel pollen (optional)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Have ready a glass of water with a pastry brush in it. 

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of sugar, corn syrup and water to make a simple syrup by dissolving sugar over low heat until syrup is clear. Add fennel stalks, fennel seeds and star anise. Simmer stalks in the mixture for one hour, gently stirring trying not to splash the sides of the pan and washing the sides down the pan with the wet brush to was away any sugar crystals. This will help prevent crystallization. Cool the stalks in the syrup overnight. 

Strain stalks by pouring mixture through a strainer into a saucepan. Add 1/2 cup of sugar to the liquid gently stirring mixture over low heat until syrup is clear. Add fennel stalks, seeds,star anise and fennel pollen, if using, to syrup and bring to a simmer again until the stalks are translucent. Remove from heat. Cool and pour into a jar. If mixture crystallizes, reheat it and add some more corn syrup.

Enjoy and share with other food swappers! Special thanks to Jackie for sharing this recipe with us. Don’t forget to check out the great events this “singing chef” has to offer!

Tell Me About BK Swappers

What is BK Swappers?
BK Swappers is a food barter event where people come together to trade homemade, edible goods like jams, pickles, sweets and more. If you cook, bake, can/preserve, grow or forage food and would like to trade the fruits of your labor for other delectable, handmade foods, then BK Swappers is for you!

What should I bring?
You can bring anything you canned, jarred, cooked, baked, blended, created, produced, foraged or grew yourself. Here are some examples of things people brought to recent swaps: apple sauce, pickled ginger, strawberry jam, fresh sumac, backyard eggs, gluten-free brownies, herbal tea blends, mustard, buckwheat rye bread, pepper relish, rooftop-beehive honeycomb, garlic salt… 

How much should I bring? 
Swappers usually bring anywhere from 3 to 10 items—some bring more, some less.

All trades are one-for-one barters (my jar of lemon curd for your bag of granola), so you’ll leave with the same number of items as you came with. You can bring multiples of the same item (6 jars of apricot jam), or a number of different items (3 bags of toffee, 2 small bottles of vanilla extract, 1 bunch of herbs)—you’ll still make the same number of trades. 

How does it work? 
When you arrive, you’ll set up your swap items on a table, and fill out a swap card for each one. A swap card is a piece of paper that sits next to your item—on the card you fill out your name, what your item is, and any explanation about it (e.g. vegan; extra spicy; keep refrigerated). Other swappers will write down their “bids” on your swap card, letting you know that they are interested in your item. You’ll make your own bids on other people’s swappables. Bids are not binding, and are just a way of saying, “I am open to trading with you.”

When do I make my trades? 
The actual swapping happens about 90 minutes into an event. We all wear name tags, the organizers make an announcement and the swapping begins! Consult your swap cards, approach the people you’d like to trade with and make your swaps. Some people beeline straight to the items they covet, others hang back and let other swappers approach them. Everyone has the right to accept or deny swap offers as they come. 

It’s a little hectic but it always works out and you’ll go home laden with delicious stuff made by your new friends. 

Pen Pal Swap!

Many thanks to those of you who joined us on Sunday, August 4 at the swap at Gridspace. What a gorgeous day, filled with lovely people, cute dogs, excellent potlucking and the usual array of impressive swappables. (Here’s a sampling of things people brought: strawberry vinegar, goat-butter caramel, hot chocolate jelly, pickled fiddleheads, lavender butter, cassis soda, apricot preserves, walnut-kale pesto, basil-lime infused vodka, chicken-liver pate, raspberry sauce, pickled watermelon rind, brandied peaches, roasted grape mostarda, rhubarb apple sauce, so much more…)

What we most want to tell you about today is our pen pal swap, a snail mail project with our friends from the DC Food Swap and the Portland Preservation Society. Sign up now and we’ll partner you with a swapper in another city and you can exchange homemade edibles with a new friend in DC or Oregon. Yay!

Sign up here: 

All your questions answered here:

Thanks for all your swap support. The next one is in the works for late September/early October, can’t wait! 

Next event, snail-mail swap and more!

We’re very happy to announce that the next swap will be held on Sunday, August 4, from 3–6pm.

It’ll be an outdoor party—held in the backyard of Gridspace, a non-traditional, storefront art gallery in Crown Heights—with food, drinks, sunshine (we hope), and, of course, all your favorite swappers and their amazing homemade goods.

Tickets will be made available on Wednesday, July 17 at 10am.
Tickets are free, but space is limited; you must RSVP to attend (the venue this time is limited to 40 spots).

And if you can’t attend the swap in August, would you like to participate in a snail-mail food swap with swappers from Oregon and Washington, D.C.? We’re excited to share with you that BK Swappers, DC Food Swap and the Portland Preservation Society are partnering to facilitate an old-fashioned pen pal program, a way to meet your fellow food swappers through the mailbox. Since there are so many incredible food swaps happening all across the country, we thought we’d band together to foster friendships through the packaging and mailing of delicious things. We’ll be sending out guidelines and info on how to sign up soon. It will be as easy as filling out an online form; we’ll match you with a swapper in another city, and then it’s up to you to make your trades. Fun!

Be in touch anytime via email or Facebook if you have any other questions about BK Swappers and our events.

BK Swappers News, Fall 2012

Hi Swappers, 

A million thanks to those of you who came out to the Mealku loft last Thursday for the swap! It was a truly fantastic night, with friendly people and crazy-good swappables. You all are totally inspiring. 

There are a few lovely photos from the swap up on our Facebook page, taken by photographer Jeniffer Almonte.
And here’s one swapper’s blog post detailing her haul: cider, pickles, cookies, granola, relish and more. Nice.
If you’ve got photos from the swap, or you wrote your own blog post about the event, let us know on our Facebook page

Many more thank yous to the fine folks of Mealku for hosting us in their fabulous Tribeca loft space. Their Mealku Market program is an great opportunity for swappers to offer their homemade goods outside of a swap event; register with Mealku to share products and meals with your neighbors in Brooklyn and beyond. 

More swap news:  

- We encourage everyone to check out the Food Swap Network (which was launched by BK Swappers founder Kate Payne and Los Angeles swap founder Emily Ho). The Food Swap Network is launching a fundraiser to help cover the costs of creating an updated website, making the FSN site a functional, helpful resource for existing and new swappers. Here’s a link for swappers to contribute directly to Food Swap Network; or throw a swap in your own community, collect donations, and tell your friends in other cities to start their own local swaps too!  

- There’s been some nice press about BK Swappers and the swapping phenomenon across the country, yay! 

- Did you know that BK Swappers has its own page on Kickstarter? It’s a great place for us to promote Kickstarter projects that we find interesting and worthwhile. If you have a Kickstarter project you’re working on, let us know! 

- The next swap is tentatively scheduled for early December, in Brooklyn. More details to come soon. 

Thanks everyone, see you at the next swap. 

BK Swappers

A Food & Kitchen Swap on July 26

BK Swappers, Local Roots NYC and Krrb present A Food and Kitchen Swap! July 26 from 6 to 9pm.

RSVP now!

For this special event at the Krrb HQ in Williamsburg, we will be coordinating a combination food and kitchen swap where you can bring both edible items and non-edibles like cooking gadgets, housewares and cookbooks.

Food swappers can bring jars of homemade pickles, jams, flavored syrups, batches of cookies, whole pies or loaves of bread, spice mixes, hot sauces, anything that you make yourself. Homegrown herbs, backyard eggs or containers of rooftop honey count too, as long as you grew it or foraged it yourself.

You can also bring in your old kitchen appliances, serving platters, cookware, books or anything else food-related (working and in relatively good shape) that you’d like to trade.

We’re going to do an online preview for this swap. Simply post your swapping items to Krrb - a fun, friendly and free site to buy, sell and trade with your neighbors. Make sure to tag your posts with BKSwap so we can all see what you’re bringing! Check out the current offerings here at

All the swaps are barter transactions: my hand-blender for your jar of tomato sauce, or trade your vintage cookbook for someone else’s pickled jalapenos.

When you arrive at the event, you will display your swappables on a table. We provide swap cards for everyone, and you’ll fill out a card that will sit next to your items. You write what your item is, any explanation about it (e.g. vegan! extra spicy! gently used!) and then people will “bid” on your items by listing what they are willing to you trade for. Swap-card bids are not binding, and are just so you can find who is interested in your stuff.

After eating, cheersing, browsing and bidding, the actual swapping begins. We all wear name tags so you can figure out who wants to make the trade. (“Are you the one with the salted caramel sauce? Would you swap for this raspberry jam, or maybe we could trade for this set of linen napkins?”) The negotiations are fun, friendly and freeform—you can accept or deny any trade you like.

As hectic as it sounds, it always works out. You’ll go home laden with delicious foods homemade by your new friends, and cool new stuff for your kitchen! Plus, your poor, ignored blow-torch kit will find a new home.

There will be a potluck too, so bring extras of your edible swappables, or another potluck dish to share. Awesome prizes to be awarded for the best swap item and best potluck dish! 

Tickets are $5 and are available here:
See you there! 

Swap info!

Here’s some information on how the swap works:

Most people bring anywhere from 5 to 10 items, some more, some less; all the trades are one-for-one barters, so you’ll leave with as many items as you came with.

Think of a jar of jam as the baseline — whatever you trade should be roughly equal to that in value/worth, that is, you’d be willing to trade your item for one jar of jam, whether you’ve got a loaf of bread, a jar of caramel sauce, a small batch of cookies, half dozen backyard eggs, a quart of cider, a tiny bottle of homemade bitters, whatever. (There are no hard rules as to size/quantity, these are just general guidelines.)

We provide swap cards for everyone, so you fill out a little piece of paper that will sit next to your items on the table. On that card you fill out what your item is, any explanation about it (vegan! extra spicy! make sure to keep refrigerated! etc.) and then people will “bid” on your items and list what they are willing to trade on your swap cards.

Bids are not binding, and are just so you have a sense as to who is interested in your goods. We all wear name tags so you can figure out who is who, and when swapping begins you just approach people you’d like to trade with and swap away. It’s rather freeform and totally up to you to accept or deny swap offers as they come. 

As hectic as it sounds, it always works out and you’ll go home laden with delicious stuff homemade by your new friends. 

BK Swappers is a Brooklyn-based larder swap and social gathering. If you bake, can/preserve, grow or forage food and would like to trade the fruits of your labor for other delectable, homemade foods then BK Swappers is for you!

BK Swappers is a Brooklyn-based larder swap and social gathering. If you bake, can/preserve, grow or forage food and would like to trade the fruits of your labor for other delectable, homemade foods then BK Swappers is for you!