Swapper Spotlight :: Courtney & Strawberry Mint Jam

We have such a creative, interesting group of swappers in our community, I thought it would be fun to get to know each other and share some ideas! So, through Swapper Spotlights we'll be sharing fellow swappers' thoughts on swapping homemade food & crafts, as well as favorite recipes and craft tutorials. Enjoy!  *Want to be featured in a Swapper Spotlight? Email Liz at liz@sniegocki.com*
Today, I'm pleased to introduce you to swapper Courtney Davenport, who has been swapping her homemade goodies in incredibly cute packaging for six months. Welcome Courtney!
Why do you love swapping?
I love crafting and cooking! Swapping is a perfect combination of both hobbies. I also love meeting the other swappers and chatting with them about their creations.

What's the favorite thing you've ever made to swap?
Homegrown, Fresh Mint Jelly

What's the favorite thing you've ever swapped for?
So many things! Candied Jalapenos, Homemade Vanilla Extract, Calendula Orange Biscuits...

Why should others get involved in swapping?
It's very fun! It's a great way to share your creativity...and swap with other people who have different talents.  I love to swap with people who sew or monogram.

Anything else you'd like to add about your swapping experience?
I continue to be inspired by this fabulous group of women and am grateful to be a part of it. 
Courtney's recipe for: STRAWBERRY MINT JAM
Fresh picked, local strawberries (9-10 cups of hand-mashed strawberries)
Homegrown mint (pictured)
Sugar (2-3 cups depending on desired sweetness)
Fresh lemon juice (1/2 - 1 cup depending on taste preferences)
Simmer over medium heat, stirring very frequently (at least every three minutes) for about 45 mins or until it reaches desired consistency. Good consistency test tip: Put a plate in the freezer for about 25 minutes (while jam is simmering). After 45 mins of simmering, spoon a small amount of jam on frozen plate. It should have a nice jam consistency. If not, continue simmering and stirring away! I know this seems very labor intensive...but it really is worth it! This method makes such a difference in the consistency. 
Thank you for sharing, Courtney!

Summer Swappin'... Had us a Blast!

We packed the house at the August Homemade Food & Craft Swap, hosted by THRIVE Sarasota. Tables were piled high with all kinds of fantastic goodies showcasing the many culinary and crafty talents of our homemade swappers.
Debbie was back with her ever-popular feed sack bags, as well as farm fresh eggs and potted beach sunflower plants.
And we were delighted to welcome Karen to our group, whose daughter started the South Jersey Swappers after reading about our group in Edible Sarasota while visiting here last winter. This is the heart & soul of swapping... building community! Karen brought all kinds of yummy baked goods - pictured here, homemade biscotti and sweet breads - as well as tomato sauce and potted succulents.
Another new face we welcomed: Jina (pictured here), who took these gorgeous photos - thank you Jina! We loved your hand-painted, kitschy signs too. Also, her sister Breanne, whose Pinterest-inspired mason jar lanterns and t-shirt scarfs were a hit! Welcome, as well, to Farrel, Michele, Luna, Laura, and all our new swappers!
As always, non edible swap items this month included a wide variety of bath and body products and homemade jewelry. Also popular this swap: cork garden stakes for herbs, homemade play dough in a mason jar with cookie cutter, wool dryer balls, homemade smudge stick & blessings kits, and hand-painted burlap bunting.
Edible swappables were abundant! Among the many favorites were: white & milk chocolate magic shell, raw chai-spiced grain-free granola, marinated summer salad, shrimp & corn chowder, green gazpacho, cilantro lime vinaigrette, summer herb compound butter, boozy cherries, homemade Kahlua, caramel-bacon popcorn, lemon lavender cookies, ginger peach ice cream, curry seasoning, fresh avocados, and oh-so-much more!
Thank you to everyone who participated in making this Summer Nights Swap so successful, and so much fun! And thank you also to our gracious host, Sam, at THRIVE (next time, you swap too!). 

See you all in October...

**All images courtesy and copyright of Jina Johnson.**