A Tasteful Gift

Chicago Magazine’s holiday gift guide for foodies is up, and A Feast of Serendib made the list. 🙂 1 of just 8 items too.


Eight Tasteful Gifts for the Chicago Foodie in Your Life

Published Monday at 11:45 a.m. Former Aviary bartender Charles Joly’s line of craft cocktails got an upgrade this year with this funky take on the old-fashioned: It combines two rums with chocolate bitters. Finish it with a citrus garnish to call to mind those old-school chocolate oranges. $19.95 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

Some Sad Cookbook News

Hey, folks. Some sad cookbook news — the Mascot quarterly royalties came, and it’s just $200-ish dollars. That’s a massive drop from the several thousand dollars of the first royalty check (three months ago), so a bit of a financial shock.

There’s about $2300 outstanding from Amazon (which often takes 6 months to pay), so hopefully we’ll get that in late February. There was about -$600 in returned books from Ingram, which I think is mostly small bookstore orders that were cancelled — I think that’s the effect of the pandemic. Some of those stores may have gone out of business entirely, alas. 🙁

Mostly, I think this is the result of the pandemic crashing through our regular publicity schedule. We basically stopped all of it for three months (as I switched over to madly learning how to sew masks, panicking about the pandemic, making mask sewing videos, etc.), cancelling all public events, book tour, etc., and so this is the effect of that.

We picked up again with mailing out press releases in late May / June, and that led to a lot of glowingly positive newspaper coverage and some TV/radio publicity, so I’m quite hopeful that there were quite a few orders coming out of that, and we’ll get more funds in 2021. But it’s certainly disappointing for now.

Kevin and I will likely have to loan some money to the press to keep things going through the next quarter, so I can keep paying staff. (The kids don’t really need a college fund, right?) Guess I should’ve applied for those federal paycheck protection funds; I thought others would be in more need, so I held off, but that may have been a mistake. Sigh.

If you were thinking of buying my cookbook for yourself or a friend, now would be a lovely time. I’m offering some nice little packages of cookbooks + curry powder, or cookbooks + dish towels, etc., if you want to buy from me directly, or feel free to order from your local bookstore or from Amazon; whatever’s convenient.

If you want to read it, but aren’t in a position to buy, I’ll note that requesting it from your local library is also good for me — that lets libraries know that there’s an interest, and they may buy a copy or two. Also, y’know, I just like supporting libraries.

And if you’d like to tell your friends about the book, or leave a review on Amazon or Good Reads if you’ve already purchased the book, that’d be much appreciated!

Last Day for December Treat Boxes

Hey, it’s November 30th, which means it’s the last day to sign up for December treat boxes. Sweets, soaps, candles, bookmarks. Linked here. 🙂

These help me pay my part-time staff, who help with social media, design work, and more, enabling me to spend more time developing recipes and writing stories.

Eventually, I’m hoping they’ll even let me cut back a bit more on teaching, because as much as I normally enjoy teaching, I do want to spend a little more time writing….

Day 5 of Turkey Leftovers

I needed a little inspiration for day 5 of turkey leftovers (I think this is the last day), so I made up a batch of seeni sambol (spicy, tangy, sweet caramelized onions) and spread that on a delicious sesame bagel from The Daly Bagel with a bit of butter. Yumyum.

(I’m trying to convince Amanda to offer a 3-month bagel delivery subscription. Fingers crossed she decides it’s a good and workable idea…)

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday, my friends. Drop your small business in the comments, so I’m not tempted to spend any money at Amazon for the holidays, please.

I’m pretty sure you ALL know where my shop is by this point, but just in case. 🙂

Serendib Kitchen

Serendib Kitchen

Pretty Little Hits of Dopamine

I am also apparently the queen of tissue paper — I go through a lot of it. 🙂 I’m tempted to design my own tissue paper at some point. We’ll see…

Packages out the door, moving tea towel fabric from the washer to the dryer, then on to the next thing, which I think is cookie baking; I have a second batch of dragon cookies to make, so I have enough for the Patreon treat boxes.

I have the second season of Virgin River (just dropped on Netflix) to keep me company, a pleasant low-key slightly soap-y small town medical / romance drama. I didn’t quite finish Outlander, but I felt like I needed a break from Jamie and Claire after yesterday’s 8-hr binge.