I don’t bake sweets. Ever. This is some cause for dismay and occasional dissatisfaction in our household and probably something that should have been looked into before vows were said, but it wasn’t and it’s too late now.  It’s not that I don’t LIKE sweets, I like them as much as the next person, but am not motivated enough to actually make them.

However, a deal that has made Himself a very happy man has been arranged.  See, there’s this woman at church who bakes. She needs some sewing done- alterations on a dress for her daughter to wear to the prom. I could bake a cake but don’t want to. She could alter the dress but doesn’t want to. See where this is going? So I said “cake for sewing?” and she replied “heck yeah!” and now we have this amazing buttery yellow cake with chocolate cream cheese icing and I’m not talking about a boring old sheet cake either. It has 3 layers and piping pretty stuff and way more effort into it than I would have ever put because all I ever do is make a cake from a box.  This is definitely NOT from a box.

I love to barter. There is something old school and…I don’t know…friendly or maybe sociable (or something) about bartering.  Money is so businesslike, and cold and impersonal.  If I am in my room sewing something, and know that in exchange there will be a buttery cake with cream cheese chocolate icing that will make the family VERY happy, it’s a warm and fuzzy feeling.  It also has me thinking. What else can be swapped? What can I do that someone else won’t want to do and what can they do in exchange? Babysitting services aren’t needed on this end anymore, but maybe I could do some in exchange for tomatoes from the garden or…who knows.   Smoked meats? What could I get in exchange for a smoked pork loin or a brisket? I can do a mean smoked turkey- juicy and tender with an orange glaze. Yardwork? I’d be willing to swap a smoked loin for some yardwork.

What would you swap?


About rootietoot

I do what I can.
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4 Responses to Bartering

  1. Reminds me of an ‘Auction of Promises’ my mum went to once as a charity fundraiser-everyone who went had to pledge something they could do and then you bid on the things you wanted from other people. My mum bought someone who promised a basket load of ironing a week for 6 weeks (she HATES ironing) and she herself pledged a homemade and decorated cake once a month for 6 months. I love the idea of swapping something you’re good at for something you’re not so good at!

  2. jerseechik says:

    Isn’t this how ‘Wife Swap’ got started?
    Did you know you’re supposed to claim the worth of the barter on your taxes? Like anyone is really going to do that!

  3. Bella Rum says:

    My brother kind of does this, a lot of it, but the guidelines aren’t as clear as ‘tit for tat’. I guess what he does isn’t exactly bartering by the strictest rule, but his business is seafood, and he sometimes gives a bit away, and sometimes he sells it at cost to certain friends or other business owners. He gets all kinds of interesting things in return, but no one keeps track. He will come home with a ham or cakes, clam chowder, etc. Sometimes he’ll show up at the business in the morning and there will be a sack of ham biscuits waiting for him to have for breakfast. I agree that it is old school. This kind of neighborly back and forth has gotten away from some of us. I also like the idea that most barterers want to do their best work when trading. There’s pride in their craft/business. Nice.

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