The cookbook, A Feast of Serendib, is off to the layout person. It was very hard letting it go. Writing the acknowledgements helped, though per usual, I am terrified that I have forgotten someone critical.
This book is deeply indebted to all my readers, on Facebook and elsewhere, who offered advice, encouragement, test cooking, and demands for more recipes. It wouldn’t exist without you – thank you more than I can say.
Appreciation as well to friends and family who have been eating my food for decades, not hesitating to offer constructive criticism along with the compliments. ‘This is good, but maybe a little more lime juice next time?’ You made these dishes better. Special thanks to Aaron Lav, who answered many food science questions, and to Kat Tanaka Okopnik and my sweetie, Jed Hartman, who have given exceptional feedback over the years. The best feedback, of course, is watching them clean their plates and come back for seconds.
Special thanks to my Sri Lankan friends and relatives who answered questions from their own memories and experience cooking – my sisters, Mirna and Sharmila Mohanraj, Roshani Anandappa, Samanthi Hewakapuge, Suchetha Wijenayake, Sugi Ganeshananthan, Mythri Jegathesan, Rozanne Arulanandam, Elaine and Angeline Martyn, and all the rest. (Any Sri Lankan culture errors are my own.)
Thanks as well to my aunties, exceptional cooks, all. For all the times you insisted on my taking away another stuffed full bag of rolls or patties as I headed to the airport, I’m grateful. You’ll never know how much pleasure they brought.
Deep gratitude to my parents – to my mother, for her incredible cooking, of course, but also to my father, who was always ready to provide a mini-lecture on Sri Lankan Tamil culture and the beauty of our language. It can be challenging for any immigrant, maintaining a connection to homeland culture in the diaspora, but my parents always did their best to help us stay connected. I’m planning to take another stab at Tamil classes someday soon.
I also have to thank Kevin, for all the reasons, but mostly for the many days and nights when he cooked separate meals for the children, because they were suspicious of Mommy’s spicy food, especially once she’d started experimenting… Often they’d taste it, but teaching them to love the vast range of Sri Lankan dishes is an ongoing process. It’s getting better as they get older, but in the meantime, it’s a good thing Daddy can cook. Best of men, best of husbands. I’m lucky to have found you.
we’ll meet again