George Loaned Me His Chef

George is really very sweet about helping to promote other writers’ work — even if that writer is writing a cookbook and not an epic fantasy novel. 🙂 He even loaned me his personal chef for the party — I’ve never worked with a professional chef before, and it was really interesting seeing Andrea Abedi’s approach to food prep.

We were all a little harried, so we didn’t get to talk food quite as much as I would’ve liked, but I’m hoping to go back to Santa Fe soon, maybe at the end of the summer — Andrea and her partner are opening a community kitchen, The Kitchen Table Santa Fe, so we thought we’d do an event there for Vegan Serendib when it launches. That’d be fun!

Funny side note: Kavi helped make the passionfruit marshmallows for the party, and was amused to tell her friends that she had made marshmallows for George R.R. Martin . 🙂

Feast at Carnivore

Swung by Carnivore Oak Park to drop off some more copies of Feast — they’d sold out of the ones I brought before. It really is a great holiday gift!

They have the last of my paperbacks for now; I’ve ordered more, but doubt they’ll arrive before Christmas. So stop by Carnivore if you want one, locals — someone bought one when I was there (!), so there’s just four left. 🙂

Still Technically Autumn, Right?

Finished up the Earth tier treat boxes and sent them out today. It’s supposed to be an autumn dragons theme — it’s still technically autumn, right? Until the solstice? Am I making that up? Shhh…

This is what goes in the Earth tier this time around:

• smoke marshmallow
• passionfruit / dragonfruit marshmallow
• tamarind-chili marshmallow
• rose, vanilla, and cardamom leaf cookies
• gruyere-crusted butternut squash scone
• spiced pumpkin muffins with cashew and crystallized ginger
• Sri Lankan rich cake (vegan)
• Neapolitan chocolate
• dragonfruit chocolate
• lime shortbread
• cashew-cranberry milk toffee
• autumn fennel candy
• botanical wood ornament

• botanical fairy tale bookmark

Whew!

Feast of Serendib Gift Package

Head to Serendib shop now for a Feast of Serendib gift package!

A fun and unusual treat, esp. for the hard-to-shop-for foodie on your holiday list. Gift packages come in a bundle of:

– 1 book ($25 pb / $35 hc)
+ handmade freshly-roasted curry powder ($5)
+ and/or Serendib confection (dragonfruit chocolate, passionfruit marshmallows, or cashew milk toffee) ($5)

…from now until 12/6!

Sri Lankan cookbooks are also on sale individually, $5 off!:

https://serendibshop.com/…/a-feast-of-serendib…

Itty Bitty Jar of Basmati Rice

Okay, I have to admit, I started laughing when I pulled this new ‘basmati rice’ jar out of the box, and realized how small it actually was.

Apparently, I hadn’t paid attention to the dimensions when ordering, and had just assumed it would be at least twice this size. As a South Asian, I would never imagine someone would make a rice jar that’s just going to hold a day or two’s worth of rice!

The jar is by potter Rae Dunn, and I actually think it’s quite lovely, and I’m going to be happy to have it sitting on my counter. It’s honestly just as well, in fact, because we’re trying to eat a little less white rice, and I’ve got a reasonable-sized glass jar of Sri Lankan red rice on the counter behind the wee basmati jar. (Red rice is much lower carb / lower glycemic index). Small jars are good for storing occasional treats!

We’ll keep the actual big bags of rice in the pantry, where they always were, and will refill the counter jars as needed, and it’ll all be fine.

But it does just make me laugh. 🙂 Itty bitty jar of basmati rice! My grandmother would be bewildered.

More Than Halfway Sold-Through

Hm. Just got a note from Mascot asking if we want to keep storing Feast copies in their warehouse for about $400 for another year. I said yes. The note also mentioned that we’re down to 872 copies, which is nice to see — we’d originally done a 2000 copy print run, so despite the pandemic cancelling all our launch activities, we’re more than halfway sold-through, it looks like.

And the praise for the book is still pretty glowing everywhere I see it, which is lovely. 4.5 stars on Amazon still, with 36 reviews, which is great! (If you feel inclined to leave a review, please do — they boost visibility a lot, in Amazon’s weird algorithms. It needn’t be a long review!)

Of course, there may still be some returns, so you can’t take any of these numbers as gospel, but it’s nice to see the stock-on-hand trending downwards. I have a hundred or so copies in my basement, and some at Jed‘s too, if I’m remembering right, and I’ve sold a few hundred to my dad at cost for him to give away to friends and family, so it’s not as if massive profits have come in.

But still, it seems reasonable that by next year this time, we might actually have sold all the copies left, and I won’t be paying Mascot for storage anymore. That’d be nice!

Vegan Serendib we’re planning to do print-on-demand, so less profit margin / book, but no big up front costs for printing or storage. If either book experiences a big surge, we might consider doing a print run again, but it’s so expensive for a big hardcover cookbook full of color photos, that seems fairly unlikely to me. We’ll see, though! You never know. 🙂

If you’re thinking of getting it as a holiday gift for someone, and want it signed and/or with curry powder added in, do order early if you can. I’m unlikely to run out of cookbooks, but shipping has had a lot of weird delays, and I’d hate for someone to not get their gift in time.

*****

If you’re buying through Amazon, this link will give a little percentage to the SLF as a nonprofit: https://smile.amazon.com/Feas…/dp/1645432750/ref=sr_1_1…

If you’re buying through me directly, I can sign the book if you’d like: http://www.serendibshop.com

A Sign of Book Life Returning

Well, this is very fun. You remember how we had to cancel all kinds of book launch stuff when COVID descended, back in March 2020? Here’s a little sign of book life returning — I’ve just dropped off both hardcover and paperback copies of Feast at our local butcher / grocery Carnivore Oak Park, along with some of my small batch hand-roasted Sri Lankan curry powder.

Locals, if you’ve been meaning to pick up a copy of Feast for yourself or a friend or family member (they make GREAT holiday gifts, if I do say so myself), I’d love it if you’d support one of our local stores and stop by to get your copy from Carnivore. And if they run out, don’t worry, I can always bring them more…

I added a little care package of confections for the team too — dragonfruit chocolates, cashew milk toffee, passionfruit marshmallows, mulled apple cider marshmallows, chai spice meringue kisses. The young men there always take such good care of us; it’s nice to give them something back. (If you’d like Carnivore to carry my sweets, tea towels, and/or soaps, do swing by and let them know. 🙂 )

If you’re looking for food recommendations, it’s a great place to pick up all kinds of things, locally sourced from small family farms. You want sushi-quality fish? They can take care of you. You want a quick and delicious weekday dinner? My kids love their ribs & tibs pasta.

I know vegetarians might not expect there’d be much for them at a butcher, but Carnivore also carries milk and eggs and onions and potatoes and cheese and soups, plus a host of artisan jars and cans of deliciousness, like gourmet Rancho Gordo beans.

For the non-veg, I’ll note that their pork shoulder makes a gorgeous tamarind-pork curry (recipe in my cookbook, of course), and my kids & Kevin adore their Italian sausage and hot links. (Okay, the hot links are too spicy for Anand, but otherwise…) We had the latter for dinner tonight, and again for lunch today. Yum.