Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Lunch Swap

My friend had a birthday party last Sunday with an interesting theme - a lunch swap. Half the people made lunch for two and the others just showed up. All the lunches were wrapped and placed on the table. When eating time came those who didn't come with lunch drew numbers. The first person got to pick a lunch, unwrap it and wait. The second person could steal the first person's unwrapped lunch or pick a wrapped lunch on the table and unwrap it. It goes on until everyone has picked a lunch. The chef of the lunches are then exposed and you have a little picnic with them.


The inspiration for my lunch came from my awesome, new dinosaur cookie cutters. I made Flax crackers from How it All Vegan, and a black bean "tar pit" dip. I didn't know how to continue making a meal with a dinosaur theme, so it stopped there.

The Flax crackers from How it All Vegan were great. I added some crushed, sliced almonds, and extra spices and they are great. I often skipped over this cookbook when I learned to cook, but it does have some good recipes in it. These will be made again with various spices.
For an appetizer I also included garlic stuff green olives and large capers.

Next dish was a simple potato salad. Apparently mustard and relish is not common to some peoples' experience in potato salad. Potatoes, vegenaise, mustard, chopped onions, fresh dill, fresh tarragon, vinegar, celery, salt and a tad of relish.

Tofurky Kielbasas satueed with onions and zucchini and put on skewers for easy eating. These were really easy and went over well because they can look impressive.

Fruit put on skewers. Another simple way to make fruit more fun and easy to transport by placing it in a pink glass.

Last was dessert, of course. Chocolate pear cookies with a strawberry filling.


The party was really fun but it took a lot more energy to make a full lunch/dinner for someone than making one dish I'd normally make for a potluck party. I later found out that others didn't put as much energy into their lunches.
The history from this idea came from a 50's dating and fund raising idea. Women would make lunches, men would then place auctions on the lunches. When they won the auction, they would then have lunch with the woman who made it. Very cute.

18 comments:

Paige said...

I think most people have silly ideas about potato salad, namely that it should be sweet. Yours looks perfect and it seems like the relish would add just a bit of sweetness without adding sugar itself. Mmm! I'm in Portland too so if your potato salad is ever under-appreciated again, send it my way.

Kate said...

wow everything looks great. Flax crackers sound yummy.

scottishvegan said...

What a cool idea! That was some lunch you made...I hope the recipient appreciated it! I love the dinosaurs...very cute!

laura jesser said...

Lunch swap--what a neat idea! Those little cookies with the lovely pink filling are just too much! And your idea of potato salad is JUST what I would have loved!

yeaaahtoast said...

Your potato salad looks DIVINE! Congrats for putting effort into your lunch, it's easy to go the usual route, but with food being the powerful art it is, i appreciate your attention to detail. Let me know if you're ever in LA and we'll do a swap too!

Judy said...

I love the idea for the lunch. I've heard of something similar for x-mas gifts, but never with food. I love the history behind it - what a cute way for people to meet each other!

erica said...

I'm so addicted to flax crackers now that I have a dehydrator - never before did I smell flax in the bag and go "YUM!". You know, I always had mustard and relish in potato salad, but I know in places Germany they don't. I guess you don't have to go all the way to Germany for diversity in potato salad.

(LOVE the dinosaurs!)

Caty said...

What a great idea! It sounds like loads of fun. All your food looks great, especially those cookies, where did you get the recipe from?

Dilona said...

Fantastic idea! Your food looks just great.

Melody Polakow said...

I totally love your potato salad .. that's how I make mine.. (subbing tofu mayo for calorie sake)..

what is in the strawberry cream? It looks so divine!

bazu said...

What an interesting idea for a party! But it seems a little unbalanced- how come half the people get to enjoy a lunch that the other half had to spend time and energy making? No matter, though, I'm sure I would have loved participating in such a thing.

Your lunch looks great- those dinosaur crackers are so cute! Everything looks yummy.

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

the dinos!!!!!!!!!

Webly said...

Thanks guys!

caty - the cookie recipe was something I just threw together. No real recipe. A little of this and that and little more of that. I need to write this stuff down next time.

melody - the strewberry fluff is just strawberry jam and powdered sugar. Maybe a little vanilla. Totally simple.

Bazu - it was a little unbalanced since only half the people made food, but it was almost better that way because it meant that those who enjoy or can cook would bring good food. It was fun to share it with someone who really wanted it.

Tamara said...

Your lunch is so beautiful and creative! And what a fun idea, although I agree it sounds like a lot of work. :-)

Celine said...

these cookies are what dreams are made of. seriously.

Amy said...

I love the cookie cutters!!! Food looks good!

Linda said...

those cookies are to die for!!!

Webly said...

The cookies are like little clouds of fun.