Reducing the Day of Hecticness

Party tip: prep trays in advance and cover with plastic wrap (refrigerating as needed) to reduce day of hecticness. Also, Trader Joe’s really does have some fun holiday beverages. Also, I feel totally justified in buying a giant gnome platter now. 🙂

A Low-Key Thanksgiving

We’re having a VERY low-key Thanksgiving here — after the travel of last week, we’re just doing the four of us for the holiday, and are mostly still in bed. I made my signature stuffing on Tuesday, and I might not cook at all for the rest of today — we’ll see.

I did manage to get to the store to pick up the turkey dinner for four that Kevin ordered for us while I was out of town — I also picked up some restorative orange juice with pineapple and ginger, because we’re all a little sick.

Also some vanilla ice cream, because I’m a grown-up now, and if I decide I want a restorative orange-pineapple-ginger ice cream float, I get to do that. I had it in my fancy Thanksgiving drink glass too, with my little fox looking on in appreciation.

Now I’m going back to my cheesy Alyssa Cole romance novel, because that’s about all I have the brain for. It is sweet and comforting and altogether predictable. Sounds about right.


I know many of you are prepping feasts today — here’s one I got to enjoy last week when visiting my relatives in Connecticut. AFTER Marina Aunty’s plethora of appetizers (see photos from a few days ago), she ALSO put all this on the table.

Various curries (beef, shrimp, chicken, cuttlefish), potato poriyal, chicken roast, pittu, stringhoppers (red and white) and sothi, and a really excellent pol (coconut) sambol.

Not the most balanced meal, but this is what we do often for parties — I think the vast array of meats and seafoods are traditional for celebrating in my (Christian Tamil Sri Lankan) family. I promise, there are also lots of vegetable dishes in the cuisine — otherwise, I’d have had a lot more trouble putting together a vegan cookbook. 🙂

It was all DELICIOUS.

The Word You Want Is Amma

Most of the evening was very parental; at dinner, Kavi was having a bit of a meltdown about being behind on homework, spiraling and catastrophizing, so I took her outside for some fresh air to clear her head. I let her work in my writing shed for a little while, which is a pretty special privilege, which she appreciated. Normally, it’s strictly off-limits.

I built a fire and she came to join me once it got going and we sat by the fire together and read on our Kindles for a couple of hours (Kevin joined for some of that with his audio book, feeding the fire), and eventually I got some food into her. All of that managed to calm her down and she got her homework done, or at least enough of it so as to not stress anymore, so that was good. Then we came inside for dessert.

I’d told Kevin that what I wanted for Mother’s Day was to have the kids cook something Sri Lankan for me — something new to them, that they hadn’t cooked before. This is a bit of a tall order, because to be honest, mostly they still don’t eat Sri Lankan food, esp. Anand who is scared of anything spicy. Kavi can eat and enjoy beef curry, but Anand, not so much.

They have cooking bombatoast down, but I wasn’t sure what they might add this year — they both love the ginger-garlic chicken, but are squeamish about touching / cutting raw meat.

But they did just fine — Kevin taught them how to make mango fluff (using my cookbook). Which I suppose is really sort of a fusion recipe, since I’m sure its development was colonially influenced. But they’re fusion kids, so it all works out. 🙂

I went in to tell Anand goodnight; Kevin was lying down with him and they were in the midst of a video game discussion of some kind. I’ll leave you with this bit of our bedtime dialogue:

Me: Thanks for a really nice Mother’s Day, Anand.
Anand: [silence for a moment, then…] “I want to say mother in the other language, but I can’t remember the word.”
Me, laughing: “Amma. The word you want is Amma.”
Anand: “You’re welcome, Amma.”
Me: [melting — the kids know how to get me]
Kevin: “So, how do you say ‘You’re welcome’ in Tamil?”

Me: “I have to go ask my dad…”

Easter Menu:

• lamb shanks braised in red wine with onions and carrots
• sliced ham
• roasted new potatoes
• roasted asparagus
• roasted sweet potatoes and onions
• sautéed sugar snap peas
• Hawaiian rolls with salted Irish butter
• clementines and strawberries
• candy-coated chocolates

• forsythia/pandan cake

Good mix of kid-friendly and adult-fancy dishes, and all relatively easy cooking too. All the roast veggies were just tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper.

A New Tradition?

Trying to get the last Valentine’s orders out the door, though these orders were placed past the shipping deadline, so they likely won’t arrive in time for Valentine’s Day. Still, I feel like I have to try?

I love that some people add my books into their sweet gift orders. 🙂 I feel like Christmas is a time when people often gift books, but Valentine’s Day not so much? I think we need a new tradition there. My little romance, Perennial, for example, seems like a perfect little gift to go along with some sweets…

At this point, I think I’ll keep taking orders on these items up through Saturday – locals, at least, can pick them up in time, and other people may just want sweets and not care that they won’t arrive before Sunday. Then I’m going to shut it down and switch to working on the spring Patreon boxes next…

Start How You Mean to Go On

Yesterday we cleaned the first floor, at least, which isn’t quite a whole home clean for New Year’s, but it’s a win, and I’ll take it. And this morning, I fed my people something delicious — bombatoast and bacon, with plenty of fresh fruit. If you look carefully, you will spot the top of Anand’s head, as he waits (im)patiently for me to be done taking photos and call him to eat. 🙂


I haven’t quite figured out the shipping yet for sending jars of curry powder (it’s a little complicated, because it involves figuring out what size UPS Priority mail boxes fit which jars, how much padding I need for shipping glass safely in padded envelopes, etc.), but at least for locals, I have jars of curry powder available now, in three sizes:

– 1/4 c. hex

– 1/2 c. tall

– 1/2 c. hex

You definitely get more curry powder for your money if you get it in a bag, but the jars are much more convenient for sitting in your spice rack, so it’s a tradeoff!

I’ll be asking Stephanie Bailey to add these to our Shopify site in the next day or two, so any locals looking for last minute gifts they can pick-up from my porch, consider a cookbook + jar of homemade curry powder. You can add on a tea towel or two as well, to make a lovely package.