this weekend was pretty much all about food. about food and about spending some time in the company of others who ended up in the same place(s) as me with the main intention of swapping some food. on saturday I hosted a small group of women for a soup swap, and this afternoon I attended my first ever cookie exchange. so, on the one hand, my fridge is now filled to the brim with about 2 and a half gallons of various kinds of soups in jars. jars that honestly, are unlikely to make it to the freezer because I am happy (thrilled, really) to have soup for lunch and dinner daily until the soup runs out. on the other hand, my countertop is heavily laden with enough cookies and yummies to more than throw off all that soupy-nutritional-powerhouse-goodness. I'll take it. and I suppose I'll share the sweets.
my contributions to these happenings were a roasted butternut squash soup with coconut milk and nutmeg and a bunch of other goodies, and some chocolate-peppermint meringues. I've already had a bit of chipotle black bean soup and a soupe au pistou a la Julia Child. yumyumyum. and maybe also a taste of peanut butter cookie, rocky road brownie, and glazed shortbread with rosemary and red peppercorns. let me just say that this cookie swap was no joke. said glazed shortbread (they are the trio of lovely round, glazed cookies with various toppings in the photo above) were made by one of the owners of the amazing and extremely popular French Broad Chocolate Lounge. it happens to be my favorite place to go for dessert in Asheville. it happens to be just about everyone's favorite place to go for dessert in Asheville, actually. so, you know- the cookies are good. there were other cookies made by other professional baker types as well. I met a woman who lives in the same town as me whose blog I've read here and there. turns out we have several (in real life and online) friends and acquaintances. so happy to have made the connection. the host of the cookie exchange was Ashley English (she made rosemary/orange shortbread cookies from her book Handmade Gatherings)- a very talented local author/cook/homesteader extraordinaire who is as lovely and gracious and warm in person as one would expect she may be after reading her blog and books. it was a lovely, lovely time and I am so happy I was able to attend. Claire stayed with papa while I went, and I will admit I am rather proud of braving it on my own, without the little one as an automatic-conversation-starter/diversion-if-needed. I'm enough of an introvert that going to a gathering where I don't really know anyone and am just barely acquainted with the host is, well, a brave thing for me. but I did it and it was great, and the group of women there couldn't possibly have been more inviting. and my goodness the abundance of treats that are now in my possession! (locals- who wants some goodies??)
also this weekend, we went for our annual Nutcracker viewing, and it was the best one yet.
and now, let the eating commence! (er, continue)
*weekending with Karen