Mother’s Day Request

My main request for Mother’s Day was that I not have to think about feeding anyone. The kids took care of breakfast, I had seeni sambol buns for lunch and have no idea what the rest of them ate, and Kevin made us this lovely Sunday dinner. I particularly liked the chard with cherries — YUM. I’d give you a recipe, but I have no idea what he did.

The first two photos are Kavi not in a mood to be photographed and hiding behind her brother. She was willing later, though, as she practiced carving the roast. 

Weekend Cook-a-longs for Feast

So, I attended Pooja Makhijani‘s bake-a-long last weekend for the star bread, and it was fun and helpful. I think I know how to structure doing one now — would people like it if I started doing weekend cook-a-longs for recipes from Feast? The basic idea:

– I post that I’m doing it (with date / time / recipe)

– the first 20 people who commit to joining get in

– I send them a Zoom invite

– we cook together with me talking through the recipe, answering questions

Thoughts? Requests for recipes to do early? (Hoppers would be on the list, but probably I’d want to do a few before trying that one.)

There Will Be Dragons

Packed up the first of the local Mother’s Day treat packages — lily-of-the-valley soap and bath salts, baked goodies and confections. And locals get a little potted lily-of-the-valley too. Supplies limited — I think I can do 4 more before I run out of cookies. I’m done with baking for a bit…need to get back to writing. 

(Treat boxes will return in June — we’ll open up ordering for them next week. I think the theme will be dragons.)

Details here:

https://serendib-kitchen.myshopify.com

Packing for Mother’s Day

Spent the morning packing up and setting out Mother’s Day treat packages for shipment. It was a bit of a squeeze, getting them all done in time, and I had to enlist Kevin into cookie-dough making because I was running short on time and getting physically tired, but in the end, we made it. Whew.

I’m still taking orders on the Shopify site, but can no longer guarantee shipping by Mother’s Day. Locals, if you’d like a little potted lily-of-the-valley (traditional Mother’s Day flower) to go with your order, I’d be happy to include that. (I’m slowly digging mine up and replacing with native ground cover, so I have plenty to spare…)

Mask orders are open on the site too, but please note that I’m at LEAST 3 weeks out on sewing masks now. So only order if you are feeling very patient.

Mother’s Day Medium Treat Box

Packing up the Mother’s Day treat boxes for shipping out tomorrow — this is the medium box. Kevin periodically asks me whether it’s actually worth the amount of time and effort I put into this, and so I feel like I should note for the record that strictly speaking, it isn’t. I have to run the numbers at some point, but I’m guessing I barely break even on doing these boxes. So why do them?

a) It means that when I’m doing recipe development, I can make back some of the costs of ingredients and time to try variations until I settle on a recipe I really like. It’s a shame I can only do that for items that I can ship — I can’t easily send out curries! The plan for Feast is that we’re going to release smaller cookbooks in future months, including one for sweets that I’m hoping to have ready by October or so, in time for holiday baking. So everyone who’s ordering these boxes, thanks — you’re helping me develop more and better recipes for that! (Which also means I can post the recipes, which feel like tiny gifts to the world in the midst of all this.)

b) it’s a nice break from the computer — especially now, during pandemic times, it’s really easy for me to spend most of the day sedentary. For the first month or so, I spent so much time on converting my classes to online versions, not to mention researching masks and mutual aid, that my poor Fitbit was shouting at me that I was only getting 2K steps a day or so. Just lots and lots of sitting. Baking is much more physical, and when I mix cooking and gardening into my day, I feel physically better at the end of it.

c) I just like sending out presents. I mean, I know people have paid for these items, but it still feels like sending out presents, you know? Here’s everything that’s going into a medium box this time around:

1 Lily-of-the-valley soap
1 Lily-of-the-valley bath salt
1 Lavender soap
1 Lavender bath salt
5 Spiced Chocolate cookies
5 Jaggery Chai Spice cookies
5 Lime and Rosewater Shortbread cookies
1 five-piece set of assorted chocolates, marshmallows, and cashew milk toffee
1 set of five postcards

Fun to wrap up, fun to ship out. I mean, if I were doing thousands of them, it would be less fun, but I’ve limited it to 10 boxes each, max, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

And as a bonus, sometimes people add on books — the box I just wrapped also took a copy of The Stars Change and a copy of Feast, the one I’m doing next wants a copy of Perennial. More people reading my books = yay! If they eat some lime shortbread while they’re reading them, even better. 

Please order by end of today if you want them shipped out in time for Mother’s Day! Here is the link:

https://serendib-kitchen.myshopify.com/?fbclid=IwAR2etl4wAJJD2SG8tw9zlPPjOnYSrXIe_2sGyB4-PQlsFKsmfbRRZuJkYCc

Sometimes You Need a Punch

My vanilla beans were a little dry, so I ended up rehydrating them in warm water for the weekend’s cookie baking (for the Mother’s Day treat packages, ordering deadline today for shipping, btw). Worked fine, and I do love the specks of actual vanilla bean in the dough. But I admit, I was pretty excited that my order of Penzey’s double-strength pure vanilla arrived on Saturday. Vanilla BOMB.  Sometimes you need a one-two punch, or even one-two-three.

For the lime shortbread cookies, I ended up using lime juice, lime zest, and citric acid to get the flavor I wanted. Most lemon / lime sweets aren’t tangy enough for my taste — investing in the bag of citric acid has been very helpful to my kitchen experiments!

Update for Mother’s Day Treat Boxes

Stephanie took a little time this morning to update the listing for our Mother’s Day treat boxes, so people have a better idea of what’s actually in them, and we’ve added a Small size too. Please order by Monday lunchtime if you’d like them shipped in time for Mother’s Day!

(Porch pick-up is also available for locals, though I’m not quite sure how we handle the shipping costs; I think we’d reimburse them to you? Still figuring out the details of the new Shopify store.)

(Note — my previous boxes included Feast — this one doesn’t, so I can fit in more sweets and soaps instead. So if you want the cookbook, that should be added on separately.)

Small Boxes – $27.99 ($19.99 + $8 shipping)
1 Lily-of-the-valley soap
1 Lily-of-the-valley bath salt
3 Spiced Chocolate cookies
3 Jaggery Chai Spice cookies
3 Lime and Rosewater Shortbread cookies
1 five-piece set of assorted chocolates, marshmallows, and cashew milk toffee
1 set of five postcards

Medium Boxes – $49.99 ($34.99 + $15 shipping)
1 Lily-of-the-valley soap
1 Lily-of-the-valley bath salt
1 Lavender soap
1 Lavender bath salt
5 Spiced Chocolate cookies
5 Jaggery Chai Spice cookies
5 Lime and Rosewater Shortbread cookies
1 five-piece set of assorted chocolates, marshmallows, and cashew milk toffee
1 set of five postcards

Large Boxes – $74.99 ($54.99 + $20 shipping)
1 Lily-of-the-valley soap
1 Lily-of-the-valley bath salt
1 Lavender soap
1 Lavender bath salt
1 Rose soap
1 Rose bath salt
7 Spiced Chocolate cookies
7 Jaggery Chai Spice cookies
7 Lime and Rosewater Shortbread cookies
2 five-piece sets of assorted chocolates, marshmallows, and cashew milk toffee
1 set of five postcards

Shipping Curry Powder

Question. When I ship out my home-roasted curry powder in a plastic bag (a cheaper option for me and customers than shipping a jar in a box), it is VERY pungent.

People usually like that fine, if they’re ordering curry powder, but it does perfume the entire package, which is a potential issue if they’re also ordering masks (which I hope people are washing with soap-and-hot water on arrival before use), and more so if they’re also ordering bath salts and soaps (which have their own scents).

Any thoughts on how better to segregate scents? I can try double-bagging the curry powder, and/or plastic-bagging the bath products (kind of hate to do the latter, as it’s a less attractive presentation, but needs must, I suppose), but wondering if there’s something not obvious to me that I’m not thinking of.