I promised a Serendib tea party sampler cookbook

Did a little writing work today, in between family commitments. This was fulfilling commitments too — way back when, I did the Vegan Serendib kickstarter, and I promised a Serendib tea party sampler cookbook. I’m finally working on that. It’s a blend of Sri Lankan and traditional British afternoon tea, which is what I usually do for my tea parties.

This isn’t final — a few of these are completely theoretical recipes, and I’m going to have to actually make them and make sure they’re delicious before I list them. And I think I want to include a non-tea beverage for each season as well. But it’s going to look something like this. 🙂

We’ll have a pre-order page up soon for the ebook (and of course, if you backed the Kickstarter, you shouldn’t buy another copy!). If you’re interested in being tagged into the pre-order page, comment below. It’ll be $1.99, I think, just like the cocktail party sampler book.

At some point, I’d love to expand this into a proper full cookbook, with about three times as many recipes — the plan would be to do it month by month, rather than season by season. Which should get us close to 120 recipes total, I think.

But one step at a time. We put this together, and then I can set up the Kickstarter for Gluten-Free Serendib, which is the next cookbook I promised to work on. I’m expecting that to go pretty fast, because most of the recipes in Feast and Vegan are already gluten-free — I just need to work on a few of them (and decide whether to use Feast or Vegan as the base — hmm…)

Anyway, nice to be making some progress after too long not writing anything.

“Apple of My Heart” serving board

Okay, I’m not sure this is the most practical serving board — I wanted to experiment with dried apple slices, and they are definitely somewhat bumpy. I don’t think I’d try to put three or four different kinds of cheese on here, because there’s not that much flat space for them! But it works reasonably well for a wedge of brie and some crackers — you could probably fit some grapes too. A wee little snack for you and yours. As we head into summer, we’re also heading into the season where a lot of my meals are as simple as possible. You could also just hang it for kitchen decor. It is so cute, I named this one — “Apple of My Heart.” With pressed chionodoxa flowers (early spring ephemerals) and ferns. Will drop off at the store (Berwyn’s Sprout) sometime soon, probably Thursday, unless someone buys it first. 🙂 NOTE: This is food-safe resin, and you can cut on it, but like any cutting board, it will gather cut marks over time. I wouldn’t recommend using it for heavy daily chopping!

Finishing up the spring treat boxes

Finishing up the spring treat boxes — I think I want to make one more batch of chocolates, and one more batch of baked goods (I’m thinking orange & black pepper madeleines, dipped in chocolate, possibly), and then I’ll be ready to pack up and ship them, hopefully early this week. No treat boxes in the summer, because shipping has proven unreliable for me even with ice packs, so if you sign up (see comments), the next one goes out in early autumn. Pictured here, little Neapolitan chocolates (Callebaut white, ruby, and dark chocolate), and squares of Neapolitan chocolate with an array of mixed dried fruit.

There are a lot more Indian options on Grubhub

I’m so happy that I can get idli-sambar delivered to my house, which has never been possible before (per previous note, there are a lot more Indian options on Grubhub for us than there used to be!). I was a little hesitant to try getting masala dosa delivered, because I wasn’t sure it’d travel well going 30 minutes through rush hour traffic, but I’m probably going to try it sometime when it’s not rush hour, when it’ll take more like 15 minutes. South Indian delivery options! YAY! Tonight’s order from Siri Indian:
    • idli with sambar add-on, came with coconut chutney, DELICIOUS (one order has 3 idli)
    • mirchi bajji (fried chili) appetizer — eh. Maybe it was good when it was just fried, but after driving to us, this was very boring and dry. I had one bite and then left the rest for Kevin. Might be good with a sauce.
    • honey chili fried cauliflower appetizer — also eh, but mostly because it’s not really my sort of thing; I was curious. It’s from their Indo-Chinese fusion section, and it’s cauliflower battered and fried, in a slightly spicy sweet sauce. Someone else might love it, not for me.
    • fish curry — delicious, would happily order again
    • goat vindaloo — tasty, but the goat meat was both fatty and chewy, which, honestly, might be what goat meat is mostly like, it’s been a few years since I last had it, I think, and it wasn’t spicy enough to call it vindaloo in my opinion. But fine.
    • palak paneer — disappointingly salty, alas. Wouldn’t get again, which is a shame, because this is one of our Indian food stand-by dishes
    • garlic naan — good.
But did I mention the idli-sambar? 🙂 Next time, I might just get a double order of that.

Thanksgiving Morning Starts Slow Here

Thanksgiving morning starts slow here, but with a nice moment of wrapping up one of my marshmallow samplers and a copy of A Feast of Serendib; the recipient will be picking it up from my porch to take as a Thanksgiving hosting gift.

(I almost wrote ‘hostess’ gift, and then I thought, why should I assume it’s a woman hosting? There’s so much baked into our language defaults…)

The flash sale is still running today (I’ll link in comments), in case you want a marshmallow or confection sampler, BUT ALSO, everything on my site (link also in comments) is now 20% off for Black Friday, which I gather is now being called Black Week in some places?

We’re running the sale from 11/23 -11/30. I don’t run a lot of sales, so if you’ve been thinking of picking up a copy of my cookbooks, now is your chance. (I have only a few copies of the Feast paperback left on hand; I’ll re-order tomorrow, but can’t guarantee I’ll get them here in time for holiday shipping.)

Margins are tiny on small businesses, so we can’t offer the kind of 30-40-etc% discounts you’ll see at big box stores, because we’d actually lose money. But does the big box store pack your marshmallows with love? It does not. 🙂

Marshmallows in sampler: classic passionfruit, peppermint dipped in dark chocolate, mulled apple cider and honey, rolled in powdered sugar and cinnamon

This is exciting.

Carnivore Oak Park is going to start carrying a little of my food-themed jewelry and hand-sewn indie-designed tea towels; perfect for your holiday gifting! I’ll be dropping off these pieces later today (probably around noon), in two options – rich saffron threads, chili flake and gold leaf. Hyper-local – I live just a block away. 🙂

If you’re thinking of gifting, wouldn’t it be great to put together a luxe food-themed basket? Carnivore also carries my Sri Lankan cookbooks (both vegan and non-vegan versions, hardcover and paperback), so you could do a cookbook, some homemade Sri Lankan curry powder, a set of earrings and necklace, and a few tea towels to tie it all together. A gift a foodie would love.

Carnivore also carries a host of interesting little jars you could add in – pickles and jams and sauces (hot or otherwise). And if you’re giving a gift to be opened soon, you might include some of their delicious cheeses – they even offer pre-packaged cheese flights for your sampling pleasure. Have them slice you up some delectable salami, and you have charcuterie ready to go!

This was fun

One of the libraries has a monthly spice club, and they had me do little curry powder packets for their club – Eliana packaged them up for me, with some recipes, etc., and it just came out very cute.