How to Organize a Virtual Ingredient Swap

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At the start of quarantine a yr in the past, just about each editor on the Kitchn staff obtained the same chain email with the topic line “Recipe Exchange: Quarantine Edition!” (I personally obtained it from 5 completely different senders.)

The directions have been as follows: Send one recipe to the recipient listed in slot #1. Replace the identify in slot #1 with the identify in slot #2 . Put your personal identify within the second slot. Copy and paste the e-mail and ship to 20 pals. (Side observe: What grownup has 20 pals who they’d really feel snug sufficient to ship a chain letter to?) According to chain letter math, if all went in accordance to plan, you’d find yourself with 36 new recipes in your inbox.

While this sort of chain letter is the butt of many jokes, the pandemic timing of this one made it really feel completely different. I’m not ashamed to admit that I did take part. (Last April was BLEAK, guys. And sure, it was powerful arising with 20 pals!) To all of the chain-mail haters: If sending my neighbor’s son’s girlfriend my favorite granola recipe introduced me and another person even an oz of pleasure, sue me!

That was 12 lengthy months in the past — and we’re nonetheless not out of the weeds. So, when brainstorming a means to deliver some pleasure to the Kitchn staff and zhush up our pantries a little, I made a decision to coordinate a employees ingredient change (sans the entire emailing fifth cousins/doubtful math half).

It was easy: I’d see who wished to play after which I’d give everybody a individual. A Secret Santa, if you’ll — just for shelf-stable substances. (A Pantry Fairy?) Everyone was requested to ship one ingredient to their individual. And then we did a little present and inform on Zoom. See? Simple.

Here’s what all of us despatched — and obtained!

1. Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp

Amelia Rampe (Studio Food Editor), despatched Ariel Knutson (Features Director) Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp. It was mainly an act of pure selflessness. “I’m allergic to mushrooms and soy, and I had a jar, so I figured I might as well send it to someone who can enjoy it,” mentioned Amelia. So far, Arie has tossed a few spoonfuls with inexperienced beans and even drizzled some over vanilla ice cream!

2. Burlap & Barrel Black Urfa Chili

Arie despatched me (Lauren Masur, Lifestyle Editor) a jar of Burlap & Barrel’s Black Urfa Chili. I’d heard her rave about this smoky spice earlier than and was tremendous excited to sprinkle it on every thing. (Arie really useful grain bowls, eggs, hummus, and roasted veggies to begin.) I’ve been roasted by Kitchn commenters for having a lame spice selection, so this upped my sport.

3. Maldon Sea Salt Flakes

Maldon Sea Salt Flakes are a part of the holy salt trinity really useful in our grocery version of Kitchn Essentials, so I knew I had to ship a field to Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm (Tools Editor). She did what any sensible individual would do: Sprinkled some over freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

Buy: Maldon Sea Salt Flakes, $7.97 for 8.5 ounces

Riddley despatched Lauren Kodiak (Managing Editor) a tin of za’atar from Spicewalla. Upon receiving it, Lauren promptly made a batch of hummus (Smitten Kitchen’s recipe is her go-to) and sprinkled a beneficiant pinch of za’atar excessive. She additionally plans to add it on roasted cauliflower and chickpeas, and swirl it into yogurt for topping grain bowls.

Buy: Za’atar, $9.05 for 4.2 ounces at Spicewalla

5. New York Shuk Kafe Hawaij

When selecting an ingredient to give to Kitchn’s resident cookie columnist, Jesse Szewczyk, Lauren Kodiak selected to ship Kafe Hawaij — a Middle Eastern spice mix of cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and clove — from New York Shuk. “I think it would be fun to see him work it into a cookie, no?” Well, that’s precisely what Jesse plans to do with it: “I’m going to add it to a spice cookie batter — like a ginger snap,” he says.

Buy: Kafe Hawaij, $9.95 for 1.6 ounces at New York Shuk

Jesse picked black cocoa to ship to Meghan Splawn (Food Editor) “because it is one of the most fun baking ingredients I can think of and I know Meghan loves to bake.” Jesse says it provides a wealthy taste to chocolate desserts and a placing black shade. “Think of the rich chocolate flavor Oreos have — that’s black cocoa!” Meghan plans to make Jesse’s Flourless Chocolate Brownie Cookie recipe with it.

7. Supernatural Sprinkles

If Jesse is Kitchn’s Cookie King, Meghan is Kitchn’s Sprinkle Queen. I wasn’t shocked in any respect when she despatched Kelli Foster (Food Editor) a two-pack of her favourite sprinkles from Supernatural. Kelli plans to make a cake, solely so she will be able to douse it with these sprinkles.

8. Primal Kitchen Salad Dressing

Last summer season, on project to determine the best bottled salad dressing, Kelli fell in love with this shortcut. She despatched over a bottle from Primal Kitchen to Nicole Rufus (Assistant Food Editor) to unfold the nice phrase. Apparently she had impeccable timing: “My roommate asked me how to make homemade salad dressing, and when I explained how, she slowly closed my door and said ‘No, that’s too much work.’ I know we will put this to good use!” mentioned Nicole.

9. Dried Hibiscus Flowers

Nicole despatched Lisa Freedman (Lifestyle Director) a pound of dried hibiscus flowers. Look in any respect of them! Nicole recommends boiling them down into a easy syrup to use in drinks. “They also make the best tea,” she says. And guess what? Lisa says she’s proper!

10. Cheddar Cheese Powder

To the shock of completely nobody, cheese-lover Lisa despatched Patty Catalano (Contributor) a pound of cheddar cheese powder. “I normally would have sent actual cheese, but the rules of the game required the ingredient to be shelf-stable … so the next best thing was cheese dust!” says Lisa. Patty dove proper in and made a batch of tacky popcorn together with her youngsters. She additionally plans to use it to make mac and cheese, however says she’s going to skip Lisa’s concept of simply dunking her tongue proper into the bag.

11. Old-Fashioned Speckled White Grits

Patty wracked her mind to determine what to ship to our Editor-in-Chief, Faith Durand. “I decided to go with a classic Southern staple that might be harder for Faith to get locally in Ohio.” Upon receiving, Faith admitted that she’s not an skilled in grits, so Patty really useful making traditional cheese grits or shrimp and grits to begin.

12. Prospect Jam Co. Black Currant Preserves

Faith despatched Grace Elkus (Deputy Food Director) jam from Prospect Jam Co., a native firm in Cincinnati. Because Grace can be based mostly in Cinci proper now, the bundle was hand-delivered by an worker! The taste? Black Currant with Bergamot & Dark Chocolate. Grace plans on following the corporate’s instructions and making an attempt it paired with creamy cheeses, cheesecake, and chocolate ice cream.

13. King Arthur Baking Co. The Works Bread Topping

Grace is aware of how a lot Christine Gallary (Food Editor-at-Large) loves baking sourdough, so she selected an ingredient that will take the expertise to the following stage. “I’m still baking quarantine sourdough, but haven’t been very creative with my loaves. This was such an easy way to add flavor — I just coated the outside with this seed and spice mixture and baked.”

“I think it would also be awesome on bagels or even on avocado toast,” says Christine.

14. Lars Own Belgian Pearl Sugar

Christine despatched Nina Elder (Executive Food Director) this fancy ending sugar. “Pearl sugar adds a nice sweet crunch to Belgian waffles, chouquettes, and even the tops of panettone (because the white, pearl-like pieces don’t melt). It’s also easy to pick up with your fingers and sprinkle, making it great for kids’ baking projects like muffins or cookies!” says Christine. When Nina upgrades to a new waffle maker, she’s going to break these things out.

15. Red Boat Spiced Garum Salt

Sheela Prakash (Senior Contributing Food Editor) has wonderful style — she even has a column known as Taste Makers to show it. But that didn’t section Nina, who despatched her Spiced Garum Salt from Red Boat. “I love all things anchovy, so I became an immediate fan girl of this salt blend made with dried anchovy, orange zest, fennel and coriander seed, black pepper, garlic, dried herbs, and chili flakes,” says Sheela. “It’s savory, spicy, salty, and sweet all at the same time. I’ve been loving sprinkling it on roasted veggies and using it as a crust for pan-seared salmon.”

16. Acquerello Carnaroli Rice

To full the chain, Sheela despatched Amelia a canister of Acquerello Carnaroli Rice, which, because the packaging suggests, is “the ultimate rice.” She additionally included this candy observe:

Amelia says, “I’m excited to make all the risotto things with it. And fried risotto balls.”

What would you ship in an ingredient swap?

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