It was a beautiful June evening when I joined twenty-five other food-lovers gathered at a home in east Portland. The mood was casual and comfortable, a bit awkward for me; being both new at food swaps and only knowing fellow Make and Take Gal, Pam, who had enthusiastically registered for the event too. However, no worries, the excitement of wondering what my stash would yield quickly dissolved any anxieties. So what was protocol? Our expressions must have revealed our naivety because the hostess suddenly appeared and directed us outside to awaiting tables where we would display our wares. We were some of the first to arrive. As we chose a table, more and more women trickled out to the backyard laden with homemade goodies to trade. You could clearly sense the pride as these 20 to 50 year olds lovingly displayed their items.