• Family Matters,  Stealthy Spy Cooking

    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.

  • Buddies,  party party,  travel

    A Wedding in Cambria

    A Wedding in Cambria

    I’m burnt to a crisp. The new blanket that we bought to keep warm (because I didn’t pack a sweater, a sweatshirt or a lick of sense) smells like a barbecue chip. I’m tired and I have a sore throat (could be from all the fire pit smoke I inhaled). But I think we just had the best three day wedding extravaganza weekend ever invented.

    Cambria is beautiful. I’d never been before. Toby told me the beach community has kind of a snooty snobby pretentious reputation but I didn’t really notice. Sure, there were a lot of weird new age stores selling wind chimes and crystals and hand blown glass humming bird feeders but there was also a big warehouse type restaurant that sold barbecue tri-tip and chicken strips. We didn’t spend that much time on the main drag anyway. It was all about my friend’s beautiful beach wedding and her large entourage of fairy winged flower girls running along the surf squealing with delight.

    It was sleeping in clean sheets in a hotel that cost half as much as we’re used to paying. It was orange juice and fruit and coffee and little itty bitty pastries for breakfast. It was an illegal bonfire and strawberry flavored marshmallows in s’mores and flickering candles and sparklers and lounging against a drift wood log with new friends and old while somebody plays old Beatles tunes on their guitar. It was getting up for a “fun run” but then deciding not to run and hanging out under the pine trees listening to the surf and birds you haven’t heard since you were a kid.

    We loved Cambria. We didn’t want to leave.

Secret Agent Josephine
Creative Agency
© Brenda Ponnay