My personal FB page:
Serendib FB Group:
Serendib FB Page:
My personal FB page:
Serendib FB Group:
Serendib FB Page:
ALLITERATIVE FLASH SALE! Serendib Spring Surprise Boxes (US-only for this one, sorry!):
a) Small: a random assortment of sweets, postcards, and a handmade soap, plus an ebook of Feast (if you have one already, feel free to gift this) – $19.99 + $8 shipping and handling
b) Medium: same as small, plus bath salts, a paperback of Feast & a 4 oz. bag of curry powder – $34.99 + $15 shipping and handling
c) Large: same as medium, plus body butter, a hardcover of Feast and an 8 oz. jar of curry powder – $54.99 + $20 shipping and handling
Comment on the *main post* to order; I’ll confirm in comments and give you info on payment options. I think I can do about 15-20 boxes, based on the supplies I have on hand; it’s a little hard to estimate, since I don’t know what size boxes people will go for.
Go HERE to order:
ALLITERATIVE FLASH SALE! Serendib Spring Surprise Boxes (US-only for this one, sorry!):a) Small: a random assortment…
We’re hoping to get the Shopify set up in the next few weeks, which will make it easier to ship internationally, etc. So if that’s you, hang in there — though I’ll have to do more research on what’s involved on shipping food internationally before I can offer that, so that bit might be quite a while.
has been keeping my little indie business on track. So helpful! Hopefully they’ll bring subscribers a little joy. I’m starting to think about what to put in the June subscription box — I think I shouldn’t ship chocolate that late in the year, so maybe shortbread and other cookies, plus some passionfruit caramels? My violas and pansies are blooming — I should pick and candy some of those. Hmm….
Two quick but urgent cookbook notes:
1) our current GoodReads giveaway ends today! If you’re in America / Canada, you could win one of 5 hardcover copies — enter for free here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51332647-a-feast-of-serendib (please spread the word, if you’re so inclined!)
2) my publisher, Mascot Books, just sent me a note saying that Amazon is prioritizing medical and other important household needs and deprioritzing stocking / shipping everything else. Which I fully support, for the record, though it will be hard for many micro businesses; we need those essentials to move out quickly, especially for those in marginalized and underprivileged communities.
– You’re still more than welcome to buy through Amazon (which also helps keep my Amazon numbers up and therefore makes the book more visible on Amazon and more likely to be picked up by casual browsing shoppers (and of course, there’s no delay in ebooks!)
– But if you’d like it sooner (maybe because you’re stuck at home and thinking now is a good time to get more into cooking?), you can order directly from the Mascot Books site, or from my Serendib Kitchen site, and we’ll likely ship it out to you faster.
– If you order from me, you also have the option of getting it signed / personalized, and if you’re in the U.S., you can add on some hand-roasted small batch Sri Lankan curry powder.
More book details in comments!
Okay, cooking lesson to distract myself from reading news obsessively.
How we made 1 dish into 5 different meals this week:
1. CHICKEN WITH RICE AND GREEN BEANS. While I was out of town, Kevin made my ginger-garlic chicken for the kids. (I don’t have any details on that, but I assume he followed my basic simple recipe — cut up chicken thighs, add some ground spices (ginger, garlic, turmeric, salt), sauté in hot oil. We make it probably once a week around here; the kids reliably love it, and that makes it a precious commodity. Serve with rice and a steamed or roasted vegetable. (I don’t have a picture of that from this weekend, but it’d be similar to the one at the recipe link below.)
2. CHICKEN, RICE, and GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE. At some point Kev must have ordered takeout, because the next day, he turned the chicken into a casserole to use up leftover cooked rice. He added cut up green beans. I don’t know exactly what his process was, but probably something like put the chicken in a pan, probably with a little oil, start it sautéing, add the vegetables (cut up carrots, peas, bell pepper, pea pods would all also work great, ditto a bag of frozen mixed vegetables) and sauté them too, add the rice, probably add a little water to help the rice rehydrate (maybe adding some extra salt or other seasonings then), then stir until the water is evaporated. (Oh, I just asked him, and he said there was also a fair bit of butter. Smart man.)
NOTE: Don’t cook the veggies too long, or they’ll dull in color and become mushy and less flavorful; a few minutes is plenty.
3. SPICY CURRIED CHICKEN, VEGGIES & RICE. I came home the next day, and there was a fair bit left (he’d had a LOT of rice to use up), and I ate some, but after five days on the road, I was craving curry, and I wanted it hot.
(I keep thinking that I should do a cookbook promo challenge called “Can She Curry THAT?” Where people ask me to curry unusual food items, and I see what I can do. Shall I?)
I followed my basic approach to making a curry sauce — chop onion, sauté in oil with cumin seed and mustard seed. (I set half of it aside to use later. Spoon into a bowl, then transfer into a tupperware-type thing, or to a Ziplock bag for freezing.)
Add cayenne and Sri Lankan curry powder and salt. If I’d had tomatoes, I might have chopped and tossed some in, but without any on hand, I went with the standard shortcut of ketchup (which is just cooked down tomatoes with vinegar, salt, and sugar) + Worcestershire sauce (that bit of dried anchovy adds excellent umami), lime juice, and some water.
At this point, you have a basic Sri Lankan tomato-based curry sauce that you can slip many things into, such as hard-boiled eggs. Instead, I added the rice and chicken casserole, which had gotten a little dry (as rice things often do in the fridge), stirred it all together, and cooked it down a bit on medium high, stirring occasionally. That brought the rice back to a spicy, tomato-y, tangy goodness, soft and flavorful. I ate it for dinner Sunday night, breakfast and dinner on Monday, and breakfast today.
4. SPICY CURRIED CHICKEN, VEGGIES & RICE BOWL w/ FRIED EGG. By dinner today, I was getting just a little bored with it, even though I’m usually pretty tolerant of repeated food. (The lean grad school years would’ve been much more miserable otherwise, I suspect.) Eggs to the rescue! I took about 3 minutes to heat butter and fry an egg with salt and pepper. While it was frying, I microwaved some curried chicken & rice, tasted to make sure it didn’t need a squeeze of fresh lime (seemed good still, but sometimes it needs more lime), and then slipped the fried egg on top. When eating, I tried to get a little crispy, buttery egg white and golden, creamy yolk into every bite of curried chicken & rice — so good. And a pretty nutritious meal overall, since it still had plenty of protein and green veggies.
5. TBD. This one is a little bit of a cheat because I haven’t actually made it yet, but tomorrow, I plan to take the other half of the sautéed onions and do something with them. Probably a quick curried fish (maybe 10-15 minutes to make, with the onions ready in advance), although another good option would be to chop some green chilies and fry them in, then add some eggs for a nice scramble to go over buttered toast (5-10 minutes). Mmm….
I stopped by Sugar Beet Co-op this afternoon to get spices that I can toast in preparation for my Feast event there this Friday. From 4-7, I’ll be at a counter showing people how to grind spices to make a curry powder mix, and just talking about spices and South Asian food in general.
I thought about cancelling it, but since it’ll be 1-2 people at a time, most likely, and we still have very low incidence in my area, it doesn’t seem like a high-risk activity for Covid-19 transmission.
Plus, there’s a certain sense that of all the things I can be doing right now that might be helpful, teaching people how to make delicious, healthy food at home is surely one of the most useful. I picked up some flowers too, to cheer my mood. The woman at checkout commented that she envied my organization of spices, that she wished she knew how to cook. I told her to come to my workshop — it’s free!
Spices and flowers. They help.
I am really very touched by all the friends and relatives who have gone to extra effort to boost Feast. I still can’t quite believe that we actually did get to Amazon bestseller status on launch day (even though I know that’s not nearly as hard to do as you might think). I mean, I was going to try, but to actually do it? Wow. I mean, WOW!
(It’s not #1 right this second, but that’s okay. As Hertz’s ads say, “When you’re only No. 2, you try harder!”)
Feast is also now up to 8 (!) 5-star reviews on Amazon. You folks are so generous, and so kind.
Thanks so much, everyone, for turning out and taking the time to talk up my project. Ping me when I can do the same for you! I want to hear about all your excellent work!
My plane is starting its descent to Chicago, so I’m saying goodbye to FOGcon with a few last pics. It was a real pleasure being one of your Honored Guests this year, and I hope I gave good service on all that programming! I was so busy, I didn’t take any photos of people, just food!
(Yes, there was rather a lot on my schedule, but I was totally fine with it. You know I love any chance to talk to a crowd! Just teasing a bit… )
All these meals at hotel because busy. Two photos of the asparagus & burrata with grilled shrimp, just because I couldn’t get all the pretty in one photo; delicious, with a balsamic vinaigrette. The poke bowl also good — such pretty daikon! And both Jed and I can recommend their chocolate torte with berries, though only I (delightedly) also enjoyed the guava sauce. Very nice cake for celebrating book launch!
Hey, quick q. I kind of what to do a post that’s something like “Five Things You Might Not Know About Sri Lankan Food,” although that’s clunky and I’d rather find a better title. (Suggestions welcome.)
But for example, I’ve been really startled to realize how many Americans assume all our food is spicy, and that it’s not worth eating if you don’t like heat, or if you can’t eat capsaicin, etc. So I want to write a paragraph about that, how you can modulate the spice level of almost any dish to your taste, and how you can use black pepper instead of capsaicin, etc.
I suspect there are a few more misconceptions out there, and of course, there’s also just things people don’t know because they’ve never thought about Sri Lankan food at all (from Chicago, I think the nearest Sri Lankan restaurant is 8 hours away in Minnesota).
I’m curious what I might be missing too. So if this is sparking something, like “Oh, I remember being surprised to learn *this* about Sri Lankan food,” I’d love to know what the *this* was for you.
This also goes to other Sri Lankans — what ideas / assumptions / misconceptions have you run across in this arena?
Aw, just read Debbie Notkin’s appreciation of me for the #FogCon program book, and it is the SWEETEST. I’m not sure if they have a digital edition I can link to, but I will at least take a photo of it and put it up when I have a moment to breathe.
It’s a heavily scheduled day at the con today, but I set out pretty well fortified, with my coffee in hand and all my geek accoutrements: Constellation shirt, check. Constellation backpack, check. Constellation notebook, check. My shoes don’t have constellations on them, but they are cheerful and colorful and feel on brand anyway. And yesterday I picked up a launch day present for myself for myself, these awesome silver rocket ship earrings. I’m extra geeky today!
Gorgeous earrings by Spring Schoenhuth of Springtime Creations. Her selections of rocket ships, astronauts and other geeky (and classy) silver jewelry is really lovely — she also has gorgeous Dr. Who, Firefly, etc. themed pieces. I ALSO picked up a pair of charming silver elephants for Feast in particular. Expect to see me rocking them at some book launch events.
– make some notes on what I want to discuss for my panel on non-profit organizing (and also probably running for office) after the banquet
– figure out what I’m reading for my reading @ 3
– do some addendums to Jump Space RPG that we’ll be play-testing over dinner
20 minutes before lunch. I can cram that all in, right? Okay, the third one might have to wait until after my reading; there’s a little break before we actually gather to play Jump Space. But I can get the other two done. If I don’t get distracted checking my Amazon numbers…
One nice thing about being heavily scheduled at a convention during my launch weekend is that I don’t have time to obsessively refresh Amazon every five minutes!
Another extra-nice thing is all the warm fuzzies from people (friends but also friendly strangers) being enthusiastic about the book. I would definitely launch a book at a convention again, even though it’s a little hectic and chaotic trying to do two things at once. It’s just so much warmer and more reassuring than sitting along at home in my office, staring at the screen wondering if anyone will actually buy the book.
Especially if you’re at a lovely, warm, intimate convention like FogCon, full of the best people having the most interesting conversations. I just finished my panel on archives and it was SO GOOD; we could have talked about all the issues we raised there for 2-3 more hours, easily.
[Sidebar for minor ADD note: This is the first convention where I’ve carried around a little notebook and pen so I can make notes while panelling, and I’m finding it SO helpful. It’s helping me keep my thoughts on track and relevant to the panel, I feel the urge to interrupt the other panelists less — sometimes the things I write down come up at a different point, sometimes not, and that’s okay — and I might even get some essays out of some of these notes down the line.
I wish someone had been able to explain to me in high school that note-taking would actually be REALLY USEFUL to me down the line. I try to communicate it to my college students, but I’m not sure how successful I am. I didn’t really even start learning how to study properly until I was 30; I just kind of coasted on being bright and doing all the reading and being able to follow the conversation easily, but there was a whole level of depth that I was missing for years and years. Oh well. We learn, we grow, we evolve, right?]