A Little Party Never Hurt Nobody!


Audrey is wearing her favorite Sweatybands, they really don’t slip!

Our blog is one month old today (and perfectly enough, it’s also National Nut Day! Seriously, look it up).  Angela opened the blog to help me eat more mindfully.  What started out as short blogs of our daily meals became longer and longer, and turned into a form of self expression that I look forward to writing everyday. 

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Essayist Rebecca Solnit wrote in her book The Faraway and Nearby, “Writing is saying to no one and to everyone the things it is not possible to say to someone… Matters that are so subtle, so personal, so obscure that I ordinarily can’t imagine saying them to the people to whom I’m closest.”

Though writing in English is a painstakingly slow process for me, I have thoroughly enjoyed this month’s foray into blogging. Despite what Angela calls the mawkish old-lady-ness in my writing, we have had over 80,000 views in our first month. A story is a heart that only beats in the chests of the listeners. Without the listeners, my telling stories would only be muttering to myself, which of course is sometimes also necessary. I am grateful for Angela and sometimes Peter for correcting my English.  As I am writing, I could hear Angela’s exasperated voice, “Oh mommy, how can you spell raisin wrong?”  That was actually a typo.  I do know how to spell raisin, but I often use the wrong articles and sometimes I’m not sure whether to use in or at or on…  However, I have hope.  Practice makes perfect, as I have always been telling the girls.


In the Chinese tradition, when a baby is one month old, the family will have a red egg party.  In the olden times, infant mortality was high and the family wouldn’t consider the baby a real member of the family until he has survived the first month.  Well we didn’t want to get attached to this blog since we might give up on it any time but after a month we’ve decided to make it our baby.

To celebrate the first month anniversary of the blog, I made tea eggs instead of red eggs simply because they are much tastier.  Tea eggs are a nostalgic dish from Shanghai and I have made them dozens of times, usually by feel.  Today I tried a recipe from one of my favorite Asian recipe website, rasamalaysia.com, and the result was delicious, at least for Peter and me.  Angela said that she was shocked at my choice of Chinese recipes for the blog.  Who is going to cook Chinese mountain yam or tea eggs?  Perhaps she is right, but tonight I will indulge in nostalgia.


I have a friend who is in the Pu-er tea business and she gave me some tea preserved in orange peels. The tea has a hint of the orange, which is quite aromatic.


12 eggs

4 cups water

6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons Chinese pu-erh tea leaf

1 cinnamon stick

2 star anise

3 cloves

1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

1 teaspoon sugar

12 鸡蛋

946 mL 水

89 mL 鲜酱油

44 mL 普洱茶或任何红茶

1 根 桂皮

3 八角

3 丁香 (可以省略或用花椒)

2.5 mL 五香粉

4 g 糖


Add 4 cups of water to a medium pot and gently drop in the eggs. Make sure the water covers the eggs. Bring the water to boil on high heat. Boil for about 10 minutes or so to make sure the eggs are cooked.

Transfer the hard-boiled eggs out of the hot boiling water and rinse them with cold water. Using the back of a teaspoon, gently tap the eggshell to crack the shell. Return the eggs to the water and add in the remaining ingredients. Bring the tea mixture to a boil and immediately turn the heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours (the longer the simmering, the better the taste). Add more water if needed. Serve immediately or leave the tea eggs in the mixture overnight to further develop the color and flavor.

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And what is celebration without a cake? I decided to bake a gluten free pineapple upside down cake and it turned out quite well. The entire house smelled like a ripe tropical fruit.  Angela, however, was disgusted by the Maraschino cherries that I used to decorate the pineapple.  She said the whole purpose of the blog was to help us eat healthy and I sacrificed what was important for triviality.  I guess we will not eat those cherries.  She IS the food Nazi.



1-1/2 cups Almond Flour

1/2 cup Organic Coconut Flour

1/2 cup Xylitol

2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

4 Eggs

1/2 cup Milk

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 tsb. Molasses

1 can Pineapple slices

1/2 cup shredded coconut

8 Maraschino cherries

Pre heat the oven at 350°F, grease the 9X13inch baking pan, spread Molasses at the bottom of the pan, line pineapple slices before pour in the cake mix.  Almond flour and coconut do not absorb as much liquid as regular flour.  I could probably have made a better cake by cutting the milk to 1/4 cup.

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25 thoughts on “A Little Party Never Hurt Nobody!

  1. Hope your blog continues to grow and flourish! I enjoy reading it immensely. Your writing is good because it is from the heart. And such vivid and artistic photos. Never saw such good looking tea eggs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good job Joan and the girls!
    I have been a huge fan of yours since your first appearence on big screen in china. I tried to watch every movie you played in the US. So happy for you to have such a happy family and still be so beautiful.
    I have a daughter who is a Yalie, believe me, what I am able to give her is nothing but love. She finds her own way to exceed. Your girls will be the same outstanding kids.


  3. 谢谢你的分享, 你的菜谱已经被我一一打印贴在厨房。 哈哈, 有时间一定试试。
    btw, 老喜欢你保留了上海人“十三点”的性格。太棒了。


  4. I really love reading your blog!You are not a movie star here, but a smart, beautiful lady and a cute Mom!I’ve seen the documentary of your grandfather, called, your family members are worthy of respect!I think your daughters will be outstanding with a Mom like you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joan, I’m surprised your blog is only a month old. You write like someone who has a lot of experience doing this! Your photos are great and I personally like your choice of recipes. I also very much enjoy the stories you share. I don’t think I’m alone in this. Wishing you many more months of both you and your daughters happy blogging!


  6. 从看 小花 开始就一直是你的粉丝的我,现在还是很喜欢你和你的BLOG, 还有你的美丽的女儿们!你真的是个有智慧的人。
    I enjoy reading your blogs, both Weibo and this English blog. I can also learn English writing from your blog. Keep the good job!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for the recipe. I tried making tea eggs once before without following a recipe and failed miserably. Now that you made me realize the eggshells are supposed to be cracked, I’ll try again.

    Your writing is great I think in terms of both cadence and earnestness. Keep up the little sanctuary 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love your blogs and such artsy pictures! Through your writing, I see a family filled with love, warmth, delicious foods and wonderful smells. Your daughters are beautiful and caring young ladies, and they cook for the family when you need a break….I read some of your essays in Chinese when you directed 天浴 and was touched by your genuineness, and your English writing remains so true and real. Will continue being your fan and follow your blog…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congratulations on 1 month! I’ve truly been enjoying reading your thoughts, your childhood experiences, how it was to adjust to being in the US, and being a mom in general. You’ve made me come to appreciate my own Chinese background and inspired me to ask my mother to teach me how she makes her Chinese dishes! Keep writing from your heart and soul because it really shines through 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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