Yesterday was a pretty…

Yesterday was a pretty unabashedly lovely day. First of all, it was beautiful outside -- I spent much of the early morning drinking tea and reading stories from the latest O'Henry Prize collection sitting outside on David's steps, dressed in just a light sweater and blue jeans. God, California is astonishing. The sun was warm, and the air was just slightly chilly enough that the tea was welcome -- it was right about perfect. Around 11, Jed came by and took me off to an anniversary-celebrating brunch at Mama's Royal Cafe (food was good, but in retrospect not really worth the amazingly slow service -- luckily we had the time to spare). Then we went to see Love Actually, for far more about, see Jed's journal. Delightful.

After the movie, we decided to wonder around the Grand Lake area and do some Christmas shopping. I found a few little bath bombs for stocking gifts, and then a very nice games store with all kinds of favorites from Cheap Ass Games and elsewhere. So now I have stocking gifts for Kevin and his Dad too. And then the video store where I got Bend It Like Beckham for Kev's sporty sister. I am pleased. When we were in the games store, Gavin called to say that he and Kelly (visiting the area) and Susan and Matt were having dinner at 6:30 in Berkeley at Yangtze River. And we said that we'd be delighted to join them. And we were -- it's always such a treat talking to Gavin and Kelly because they're a) so smart and b) so interesting. Not to mention nice. And funny. And unpretentious. And, and...and oh jeez, they might well read this at some point and realize that I'm perilously close to being a drooling fan girl so I'd best shut up right now and hope not too much damage has been done. Oof. Also lovely seeing Susan and Matt again of course -- we'll see more of them at the party next week.

Today I actually start cooking for the cookbook launch party, making some things that will keep (and just get better and better over the course of a week). Exciting! It's a rather splendid menu, made feasible only by the fact that I've coerced my guests into making most of the food. Because I am an evil genius. Here's the tentative plan -- read it and weep. And if it makes you hungry, you can always order my cookbook, and throw such a party yourself.... :-)

A Taste of Serendib
Menu

lemon-masala stuffed mushrooms
fried fish cutlets, fried beef cutlets
spicy shrimp on toast
chili eggs
spicy potato curry with toasted naan

chicken biryani
vegetarian rice pilaf with potatoes
uppuma

fish curry
ginger-garlic lamb

chana masala
green bean and carrot curry
curried beets
cauliflower curry

coconut sambol
scallion eggs
leeks with chili
seeni sambol

mango lassi
ginger ale
more juice
champagne
red and white wine

milk toffee
rich cake
vatallappam

Yum. I think I'll make the chicken curry for the biryani today.

Oh, and before I go, I wanted to point you to where M'ris has some interesting stuff to say about villains, which I pretty much wholly agree with, and which I think more people writing fantasy novels should read. And now, tea.

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