Mission Tea Party Accomplished

I’m back! The Chicago Birthday Tea Party was a success! Pretty little lemon poppy seed scones, check. Lemon bars and lemon drops and gummy peach ring things, check. Decorating cupcakes with lots and lots of icing, check. Nieces dressed up in floppy hats and party necklaces, check. Tea and crumpets, well we skipped that and opted for raspberry hot chocolate and pink lemonade. My niece informed me that since it was her birthday tea party she could have it without tea if she wanted to because she doesn’t like tea and chocolate milk goes just fine in tea cups. Especially since the tea cups weren’t really tea cups but espresso cups we brought back from Paris because we thought the polka dots and stripes were cute.

I was going to type up a long post about how my brother is putting his house up for sale and how they are doing home improvements and packing all at the same time as the party, but you know… it worked out. These things always work out no matter how impossible they seem to me a the time. Just like last year, my mom and sister-in-law managed to pull off the perfect party for little girls and I just took a chill pill and tried to enjoy the moment. My inner party planner is taking a back seat to the little raspberry baby that is making it’s mommy sick sick sick! I really wish it would calm down with the progesterone poisoning.

More about the rest of my trip as soon as I go eat a cracker or something.

Dad’s Chicken Wings

Dad’s Chicken Wings

Because the Mystery Project that I can’t talk about is taking so much out of me, I’m typing up an old Ponnay family recipe for you to enjoy. This is one of those dishes that Toby used to beg me to make. So I finally got it from the in-laws and discovered it’s a cinch and totally yummy!


8 to 10 chicken wings
2 scallion stalks
1/4 c. soy sauce (Chinese soy = never Kikoman. Ooops. I disobeyed this one.)
1/4 c. sherry (either straight sherry or a Chinese cooking wine like “Shao Xing Cooking Wine”)
l/2 c. water. 1-2 T. brown sugar
1/4 tsp.five spice (not in original recipe)


l. Chop off and discard bony tips of chicken wings; then cut each wing in two. (Mine came already cut up in the package) Cut scallions in 1 ” sections.
2. Place wings and scallions in a pan with soy sauce, sherry, water,sugar and five spice.. Bring to a boil; then simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
3. Uncover pan and simmer 15 min. more, stirring and basting frequently for uniform color. Refrigerate to chill if using as appetizers. We serve warm with rice and side dish of cucumbers sliced with cut up scallions and seasoned rice vinegar.

Serves 6-8 (except in our family–Serves 4 or 2 really really big eaters)

My mother-in-law informs me that the recipe is one they got from the Gloria Bley Miller’s “The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook” It’s called “Red-Simmered Chicken Wings”. on Pg. 108.