I’m Going Back in Time a Bit

I was a little rushed getting lots of dishes cooked to freeze and take to Santa Fe for the Feast party I promised to throw for George. Well, it was more that I promised to provide a Sri Lankan feast (in thanks for giving me a place to run away from my life and write for a week), and told him he could invite people, and then he threw the actual party, but you know what I mean. 🙂

So over the next day or two, I’ll post some photos from party prep. If for some strange reason you’re planning on throwing a party for up-to-40 people in another state, it might help to know what freezes well, so I’ll start with this one — pol (coconut) sambol freezes beautifully.

Tip for freezing:

– try to squeeze as much air as possible out of the Ziploc bags when sealing
– try to freeze dishes hard (so at least the night before travel, earlier if possible)
– freeze in flat layers for ease of getting them out of the freezer (you don’t want them to have molded themselves around your bag of frozen peas), and for ease of packing
– don’t try to freeze potatoes if you can avoid it, especially bigger pieces! they go all mealy and weird.

Turtles on the Wishlist

Kevin’s mom put turtles (the candy) on her wishlist. We could’ve bought some, of course, but it seemed like a fun opportunity to make some with the kids. Super-easy, esp. if you buy caramels and melt them (with a little milk) to make the melted caramel, and melt the chocolate at half-power in the microwave. Thanks to Jed for letting us make a bit of a mess in his kitchen. 🙂

Hope They Love Them

I spent about half of yesterday making passionfruit marshmallows and cranberry-cashew milk toffee and dragonfruit chocolates for a gift order — I think someone was giving them to clients or staff? Hope they love them.

I’m going to add cayenne-chocolate gilded roses to the Serendib store as a confection option — I thought people might like them for Valentine’s Day, if their love is spicy — any other requests? Let me know!

It’s too late at this point to order custom confections from me for this Christmas, sorry! If you want them for next year, think early December — and if it’s a big order, even earlier would be appreciated. You could set a calendar reminder now… 🙂

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. 🙂

Getting Ready for the Pop-up Holiday Shop

Getting ready for the little pop-up holiday shop we’re hosting at Serendib House this Sunday, along with SLOWFIRE and Alix Mikesell Design.

Kevin and I had a discussion about our comfort with having people eating / drinking — it’s such a huge part of my holidays, feeding people, it makes me super sad not to do so.

We ended up on a compromise between his safety concerns and mine — I would have been okay with vaccinated people eating indoors, but he just wasn’t comfortable, esp. given case numbers spiking this past week.

So I’m going to set up outdoor heaters on the front porch and the back deck (I invested in them a few months ago), and since it’s supposed to be about 45 degrees on Sunday afternoon, I think people will be reasonably comfortable out there. I’ll put out some nibbles (like these cookies) and hot beverages, and hoping friends will be able to stop by — whether they shop or not, it’d be great to see people and get a chance to chat. No need to buy, folks — just come and say hi!

Cookies decorated by Serendib House staff Ethan Yeung and Darius Vinesar — they’ve never decorated iced cookies before, and I have to admit, it was weirdly pleasing to me introducing them to it.

They’re both grown young men, of course, not little kids, but hey, they’re in their early 20s, I’m 50, I’m certainly old enough to be their mom, and what can I say? I think kids decorating cookies is one of the joys of the holiday season. (I am lucky that my staff tolerates me treating them like my kids once in a while.)

It was a lovely break from talking about publishing schedules and social media postings, pausing to show them how to dilute a royal icing with hot water to dipping consistency, and then giving them a bunch of assorted white and silver decorating bits to play with. 🙂