Worth the Extra Step

This is the last of Kevin’s birthday meal kits from Girl and Goatceries, their SE Asian green beans. I’ve never used meal kits before — they’re pretty pricey, but on the other hand, they do seem like a great way to teach someone how to cook (or to remind yourself how to cook).

Taking some of the labor out of things like cleaning and prepping the green beans, or out of shopping for groceries, etc., makes it easier to actually get through a recipe. And their pre-made sauce was certainly convenient.

This one called for me to blanch the green beans, and I admit, I might normally skip that and go straight to sautรฉing, because it seems a little more fussy than I want to bother with. But y’know, if you blanch the green beans, you do get a lovely bright crispness to them.

So okay, when I have the time and energy, it’s probably worth that extra step. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now I’m thinking about what I’d put together in a Sri Lankan meal kit, if there were such a thing….

Girl and Goatceries Elotes Kit

This is the Girl and Goatceries elotes kit. It is yummy. Yes, I could get most of the components separately on my own, but they do have an interesting house-made sauce that comes with, and some nights, you just want someone to put it together for you…

Just grill the par-boiled corn for a minute or two (stovetop grill pan makes it easy), and assemble: kewpie mayo, cheese, cilantro, lime, Yucatan sauce. Adding a little cayenne wouldn’t hurt either.

Like a Freight Train

I made up little packets of apology postcards and stickers to go out with these book / curry powder orders. Sorry they took a few weeks longer than normal, folks. The semester fell on me like a freight train, but I’m getting up now. Whew.

Isn’t This Lovely?

Isn’t this lovely? One of the people we gave away a cookbook to left me a bouquet of flowers on the porch!

Totally unnecessary — that book was paid for by another generous soul. But that’s not going to keep me from enjoying the flowers. I think I’m going to take them up to Kavi’s school-at-home desk tomorrow, so she can enjoy them for this week of e-learning.

(I would give Anand a bouquet for his school desk too, but the odds are very high that he would knock it over and spill water everywhere. He has a nice succulent, though, in a Pokemon-themed Bulbusaur planter.)


So much toasted coriander. So much toasted cumin. (I’m out of cumin now, need to make a run to Pete’s sometime soon. Can I bike that far? I think so. The real question is, when is the store nice and empty….?)

The Scent Is Divine

Toasting a big batch of spices for homemade Sri Lankan curry powder tonight. (We dark-roast our spices before grinding.) I think my favorite part is when the fennel starts to toast up, that nutty licorice scent is divine. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kavi Helped Make Me a Logo!

I think it looks pretty good! I could put this on a sticker that I’d use to seal a marshmallow package, or on a business card.

The colors are taken from Feast — we’re not wedded to them, but will probably go with something along these lines. Though could be convinced otherwise, maybe.

We’ve taken design as far as we can go, so keeping these basic elements, what might we do to improve it?

(Kavi says you should be nice to her in your critique. Feel free to be mean to me, though. Right now we are debating whether it’s tilted a little to the right or not. I think it is. :-))

Designing a Logo for Serendib Press

Kavi and I spent a while this evening working on logo design for Serendib Press. It was a collaboration, but she did most of the actual work!

  • the first sketch is hers, based on me talking about what I wanted to be in the image
  • the second is mine — I wanted to try filling out the scene a little, straighten the edges, etc.
  • the third is where Kavi took over, and I just served as the client, giving her suggestions — I can do some of the things she can do in Procreate, but not a lot of it, and she’s much much faster
  • the fourth is after we took out the outside border so we could straighten it, and added a window for balance, and gave the stars more presence, like steam rising out of the kettle
  • the fifth is we started playing with color, using the colors on the cover of Feast as a jumping off point, for cohesion

I’m going to ask for critique in the next post, so we can iterate a little further, but for this post, I wanted to show the collaboration process. And also brag on my kid a bit.

I told Kavi she’s getting paid for her work on this. What do you think a 13-year-old logo designer should get — same as adult? A percentage? Inquiring minds want to know!



a) If you order any print book (paperback or hardcover) today or tomorrow, you’ll get:

– a free handmade soap or set of bath salts (indicate your choice in comments below first, so I can make sure it’s still available)
– 3 delicious handmade mulled apple cider marshmallows
– 3 Serendib postcards

– total value $15

b) LOCALS-ONLY (because it’s too expensive / complicated to deal with shipping otherwise):

– individual soaps, bath salts, or set of 3 marshmallows ($5) — comment below to order these for porch pick-up, and I’ll confirm here.


Just comment here on which soap / salts you want, so I can track and confirm I still have enough, and then I’ll send you to the Shopify site to place the order, or arrange local payment / pickup.

Order two books, you get to pick out two bath treats, etc.

Until Sunday night, or while supplies last. ๐Ÿ™‚


Books available:

-A Feast of Serendib (hardcover or paperback)
– Bodies in Motion (literary fiction, immigrant stories, hardcover)
– The Stars Change (SF novella)
– Perennial (a little garden romance)

(please note if you’d like books signed and/or dedicated to someone)


Veggie scent: Melbourne Calling (eucalyptus, mint, avocado)

– veggie seed packets: pumpkin (5 left)
– veggie seed packets: corn (4 left)
– veggie seed packets: beets (4 left)

– veggie seed packets: peas (4 left)

Flower scent: Asclepius in the Garden (naiouli, eucalyptus, and mandarin)

– flower seed packets: dahlia (2 left)
– flower seed packets: sweet peas (2 left)
– flower seed packets: sunflower (2 left)
– flower seed packets: poppy (2 left)
– lilac and lilies (5 left)
– jasmine (11 left)

– orange creamsicle (set of 2 small) (3 left)

Bath Salts (enough for 3 baths):

– lavender (5 left)

– passionfruit & rose (8 left)

Mulled Apple Cider Marshmallows, sets of 3 (30 left)