Swap, meet, sample

By Katy Barth

New group unites mid-Michigan foodies

If you’ve been eager to share your treasured peanut butter brownies with a wider audience, you’ll have the opportunity to do so at the Mid-Mitten Homemade Food Swap, an event debuting Saturday.

This event isn’t about gourmet recipes; it’s about sharing homemade food with other food lovers in the community. For example, organizer Danielle Welke said she’s most excited about one swapper’s homemade pirogues, a recipe that was passed down from her grandmother.

The day is split into three sections: Set up, sample and swap. There’s no limit to what a participant can bring, so be ready to be wowed as you travel through aisles of booths with homemade jams, soups, breads, desserts and who knows what else, sampling as you go.

Then, if you find a treat you can’t leave without, write down the item(s) you have to barter on a sheet of paper for the the last part of the event: the big swap.

Welke said she sees food as a great way to meet new people. In 2012, she started the Mid-Michigan Food Club. She had just moved to the area and wanted to meet new people who shared her love for food.

“I wake up and think about what I want to make in the kitchen,” she says. “I thought there had to be other people like me.” Turns out there were. In two years, the group has grown to over 300 members.

This is Mid-Mitten Homemade’s first food swap. Her original plan was to hold a food-swapping event every other month, but due to the big response she’s received — 24 people have signed up for this debut event — she feels like Lansing could easily support a monthly gathering.

On her website, mid-mittenhomemade.com, Welke says the two groups have changed her life with the friends she has made and the knowledge she has gained. So you’ll be able to leave the event with inspirations for new recipes to try, and possibly a few new friends with whom to make them.

“I just want to get more people cooking in Michigan,” she said.

Mid-Mitten Homemade Food Swap

10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Feb. 8 FREE CTU Union Hall, 2990 E. Lake Lansing Road, East Lansing Pre-registration required; go to mid-mittenhomemade.com