I’ll Make an Exception

I might’ve had some melted dark high-end chocolate left over after dipping cookies, and I might’ve drizzled it over my waffle and bacon, and if this is wrong, I don’t want to be right. I don’t normally like sweet breakfasts, but for this, I’ll make an exception. 🙂

New Tiers

Quick Patreon note that I’ve added a few slots and some new treat box tiers (and renamed one of them), because we’d sold out (a nice problem to have).

For ease all around, note that if you add or upgrade a tier by November 30th, we’ll send you a December box. (This is a pretty darn good deal — consider it a major holiday sale).

The December treat box has a dragons knitting theme (I don’t know if we’ll always have themes, but this was fun), and I’m including below a tentative list of what I’m planning to include at each level.

Thanks again for all your support! The treat box sales help a lot with paying my part-time staff, which is what’s making it possible for me to put out Vegan Serendib (which is coming along nicely), along with everything else I’m writing.


Earth ($10 / month (so $30 / quarterly box), fits in a small priority mail box)

– stockinette-stitch soap
– small dragon candle
– cashew milk toffee
– assorted chocolates
– assorted marshmallows
– cardamom and pistachio shortbread

(limited: 6 of 30 remaining)


Sol System ($15 / month (so $45 / quarterly box), fits in a medium priority mail box):
– all of the above, plus
– larger quantities of the sweets
– spiced hot chocolate
– knitting candle
– yarn ball soap or dragon soap

– handmade bookmark


Milky Way ($20 / month (so $60 / quarterly box), fits in a medium priority mail box):

– all of the above, plus
– 8 oz. Sri Lankan roasted curry powder
– dragon greeting cards (by Kavya) (set of 5)

– a homemade tea towel (your choice of 5 options)


Interstellar ($30 / month (so $90 / quarterly box), fits in a large priority mail box):
– all of the above, plus
– 2 homemade tea towels instead of 1 (your choices of 5 options)
– dragon greeting cards (by Kavya) (set of 10)

– a soft jersey dragonlight infinity scarf

Even Yummier

Kavi says these cookies are even yummier than the usual cookies, and I have to say, after pressing out the dough, my hands smell incredible. Cardamom, rose & vanilla shortbread. Recipe and more photos tomorrow. 🙂

Eggplant Pickle / Brinjal Moju

(20 minutes prep + 30 min. cooking time, feeds 8 as an accompaniment)

Eggplant was the one thing I wouldn’t eat as a kid — I had a visceral reaction to the texture. But I adore it now, due to preparations like this, which really transform the texture — the eggplant here is a little chewy, a little soft, and supremely flavorful. If you leave the onions whole, they’ll retain a little crunch when you bite into them; it’s also fine to cut them and let them soften and crisp up more.

We call it a pickle, but brinjal moju is a quick-pickle — you can eat it right away, though it’s even tastier after the flavors (sweet, spicy, tangy) have had a chance to meld for a few hours. It’s terrific on a sandwich too! Try brinjal moju with coconut roti and big slices of grilled portobello mushroom (oil and salt and grill for a few minutes) for a hearty and delicious vegan lunch; it’d also pair beautifully with grilled chicken or roast beef.

(Thanks to Samanthi Hewakapuge for tips on how her family prepares this!)

NOTE: Pearl onions can be a little tricky to find in America; I often buy mine frozen at the Indian grocery store. They thaw well for use in preparations like this. But shallots also work; you want that type of delicate flavor.

1 lb. eggplant (any kind), cut into thick matchstick shapes (about 2 in. long)
1/2 t. turmeric
1 t. salt
oil for deep frying
1.5 c. shallots or pearl onions (cut large ones down to about 1 in.)
3-4 green finger hot chilies (or 10-15 Thai chilies)
1 T ginger, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1-3 t. cayenne (depending on how hot you want it)
1 T. ground mustard
1 1/2 – 2 T sugar

1/3 c. vinegar

1. Place eggplant in a bowl, add turmeric, salt, and enough water to cover. Leave for at least 10 minutes; if you need to leave it to sit for longer, that’s fine.

2. Take the eggplant out by handfuls and squeeze the water out, transferring to another bowl or plate.

3. Heat oil in a deep pan and fry eggplant in batches (to golden-brown), removing to a plate lined with paper towels.

4. Use the same oil to fry the shallots or pearl onions, then fry the green chilies, removing to the paper towel-lined plate.

5. Pound ginger and garlic together in a mortar and pestle (or combine in food processor).

6. In a large bowl, combine ginger-garlic paste with remaining ingredients, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Taste and adjust flavors.

7. Stir in shallots and green chilies, then gently stir-in the eggplant. Set aside for a few hours to let the flavors blend, then serve with rice and curry, or with bread.

NOTE: Brinjal moju will keep in the fridge for a few weeks, or follow proper canning procedures to store for longer. Makes a little over a pint for canning — eggplant cooks down quite a lot.


If you fry little green chilies, they swim around like crazy. It surprised me, and is quite cute. 🙂

(Not sure if this only happened because they were previously frozen, so had a little extra moisture in them….)

This Metaphor Is Getting Away from Me

Welcome to day 4 of Tuesday. It looks like an end is in sight, perhaps, but I am resolutely not counting any chickens yet; I’m not even looking at the chickens, there ain’t any chickens around here, we are on a strictly vegan diet until the AP News and the NY Times and maybe 3-4 other places tell us it’s time to look at chickens — this metaphor is getting away from me.

Plan for today is to keep my head down and work for as long as I can make myself do so, while the fate of the nation hangs in the balance. I have a recipe to post, masks to sew, student work to review, some optional assignments to assign (at this point in the semester, during a pandemic and a national election, a whole bunch of work that is normally required is turning optional, and I am very fine with that decision), a sci-fi podcast Kickstarter to launch, and Patreon treat boxes to announce.

Those are the important things that have to get done today. Beyond that, a Wild Cards story to work on, garden clean-up tasks, house clean-up tasks, laundry, maybe an exercise walk with a friend, etc. and so on.

All fueled by a nice fusion breakfast this morning — I toasted up some sausage rolls from our local Irish store (they bake them themselves), and had them with fresh-made brinjal moju (eggplant pickle). The spicy sweet tang of the moju cuts beautifully through the richness of the flaky sausage roll. Yum. Brinjal moju recipe coming very shortly!

A Pumpkin Curry Tea Towel Design

I think we have a pumpkin curry tea towel design. Pumpkin, leaf and vines by Kavya, recipe by me. 🙂

I’ll need to order a proof before it’s available for sale, but I’m going to order that ASAP, so it should be available soon. In time for Thanksgiving orders, perhaps?

This will also be available as part of the one of the Patreon treat boxes — more on those tomorrow, I think.

Dragon Candles

Okay, I *love* how these candles came out. 🙂 I was using up old candle bits to make these, so I didn’t add any scent or color; I just wanted to test the molds. They’re so great! My dragons knitting theme for the December Patreon boxes are totally a go.

I have to figure out which ones fit in which boxes, and then there’ll be a post about them. I think we’re going to ask people to sign up by the end of November, so I can be sure to have enough time to make all the stuff for all the boxes. So a post later today or tomorrow, I think? Quantities will be limited, so watch this space. 🙂

A Reasonable Dinner

I’m giving myself all the points for actually cooking a reasonable dinner tonight (chicken curry and uppuma and Roshani’s coconut sambol — going old-school), AND putting in 30 minutes on the treadmill. Cooking and eating and treadmilling were pretty good distractions too.

But there will be ice cream soon. And wine.