Featured Swapper – Sierra Blakely

Meet our featured Oly Food Swapper Sierra Blakely! Check out her creations at the upcoming food swap. As of this date we have 12 tickets left! Sierra is the Director of the Warehouse Rock Gym in downtown Olympia.

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Sierra Blakely

What do you tell your friends about the food swap?

I tell them that it is like Christmas come early – you get all the presents you truly want, without spending any money!

What do you hope to see at the swap?

I’m hoping for some more canned salsas, pickled dilly beans, vanilla and vinegar.

What have you made for the swap this time and the last time you participated?

I’ve only participated in one swap before this one, when I had a surplus of canned pears and pear sauce. The canned pears in syrup were definitely a hot commodity.

Any favorite recipes to share?

 I absolutely love these cookies, I can always seem to make them even if my cupboards are bare, and they never fail to get rave reviews. I like to make them with half whole wheat pastry flour and half all purpose flour, then I can at least think that they’re good for me! The Recipe is from Still Life With Food by Molly Katzen (of Moosewood fame).

Ginger Molasses Cookies:

Combine:
1/2 c. melted butter
1/4 c. blackstrap molasses
1 c. sugar
1 egg

Sift together:
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 c. flour

Melt butter in a large bowl and stir in the molasses, sugar and egg. Sift the dry ingredients together first, then add to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Put 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar in a bowl With dough, form 1 1/2 inch cookie balls, roll them in the sugar, and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Enjoy!

What food do you want to explore making?

I’m really interested to try more pickling and fermentation. My friend loaned me the book The Joy Of Pickling this season, and it has been an eye-opening read to see how many vegetables I can preserve that way. I bought a pickling share with my CSA this year, though so far I have only been bold enough for quick pickles.

Have you changed what you swap as the events go along?

Usually I swap whatever I have in surplus, though having one swap under my belt makes me think about what size jars I should can, and how to present my swappable items to make them more appealing.

 What was the most popular thing you’ve made?

Canned pears in syrup! I had 300 pounds of pears gleaned from an orchard in Yakima, and canned so many jars I didn’t even want to look at them afterwards. It was a blessing to trade them for more desirable items that I didn’t make that season.

 Why do you like the event for Olympia?

It makes me feel like I’m part of a broader community that values good food and good company. I really like seeing how creative other swappers are- at my first swap I only thought about canned food items, and was really pleased to end up with chocolates, home brewed beer and peppermint hot fudge.

What do you think of the Grub site? 

It’s wonderful! Just the right size, and very warm and welcoming.

 What do you bring to the potluck?

Last year I brought a kale pesto salad and some gingersnap crinkle cookies for the cookie swap. I just harvested a bunch of chicken of the woods mushrooms, so this year’s item might have those in it!

 What is your favorite beverage?

A good chai tea beats just about anything.

  Favorite spot to eat in Olympia? 

The Bread Peddler – their onion chevre croissant is phenomenal, I could eat that every day.

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