Friday Foodstuffs 4.13.12: Food Swapping – Not a Reality Show, But Now a Reality in South Jersey

Reality shows – can’t live with ’em, can’t take a flame thrower to all of the recorded copies of ’em.

For me, one of the more disturbing reality shows that graced the airwaves was Wife Swap, where two families in two different social status would exchange mommies – and plenty of drama and laffs would presumably follow. Of course, the husbands couldn’t, y’know, sleep with the new temporary ‘wife’ (thank the Good Lord on that!).

There are much better things to swap. Food, for instance – especially when it’s food that that has been grown locally or prepared with local ingredients. With the increased concern as to where our food comes from, along with the current economic conditions, the food swapping movement is spreading. You can check out the Food Swap Network to see how many there in existence. The benefits of food swapping are pretty cool: exchanging locally grown and produced foods, getting to know more people in your community, and being able to do so without spending much money.

HEY – here in South Jersey, we have locally grown stuff, lots of it. We have people who enjoy the aforementioned stuff. We have people who like to not spend a lot of money. So why aren’t we doing this food swapping thing?

Oh hush – we are now! Thanks to Atlantic County resident Lauren Vitagliano, South Jersey Swappers was born. And now, the first scheduled swap will be taking place on Saturday May 19 from 3PM to 5PM. The first swap will be taking place at Sweet Life Bakery in Vineland (doesn’t every cool thing happen there?), and the goal is to have one a month at a different location.

Interested? Thought you would be. Please go to their website or their Facebook page for all the info.

Hey – we got ourselves another big boffo restaurant week going on! It’s Jersey Shore Restaurant Week in Ocean and Monmouth counties. Participating restaurants will be offering 3-course meals for $20.12 or $30.12. Jersey Shore Restaurant Week goes through April 22.

This weekend is the Spring Wine Release at Bellview Winery in Landisville. The wine will be flowing from 11AM to 5PM on Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday night is Chef’s Night Out in Ventnor. The dining will take place from 4PM to 8PM, and the cost is $40 per person.

And on Monday, is a Taste of Gloucester County at Auletto’s Catering in Almonesson and an Organic Greenhouse Dinner at the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College in Mays Landing.

Here’s your cooking class schedule for the rest of the weekend:

Saturday: Chocolate Workshop and Modern Steakhouses at Sur La Table in Marlton, Tapas at Phillips Seafood at The Pier Shops at Caesars in Atlantic City, Best of Class: Italian-Inspired Dinner at Viking Cooking School at Harrah’s.

Sunday: Essential Knife Skills at Sur La Table, Kids in the Kitchen: Chocolate Overload! at Kitchen Kapers in Moorestown, Last Meal on the Titanic at The Culinary Arts Center of Burlington County College in Mount Holly, and a Japanese Dinner Party at Viking Cooking School.

Blogging Out Hunger

Cumberland County is in the running to receive a $1 million in grants from Walmart to local food banks, but they need votes.

Food Bank of South Jersey broke ground for their large addition this week.

On the flip side, the Free Meal Center in Cape May County has halted construction.

And in the news this week…

The big news around was the fire at The Gables on LBI. The owners do believe that the bed & breakfast will be open by Memorial Day Weekend.

With the May 8 vote approaching in Ocean City, the two sides in the BYOB debate will be having information sessions for residents.

No, it’s not your imagination: there are a lot more farmers’ markets in Jersey.

Agritourism in Jersey will be getting some additional signage to help direct people to farm markets and wineries.

Bars along the beach in North Wildwood? Not on Mayor Bill Henfey’s watch.

An attempt to move the day for the Medford Lakes Farmers’ Market to Friday night was voted down.

And how about the cow that escaped a slaughterhouse in Paterson…and was freed to a life on a farm. Freedom!

Enjoy your weekend!



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