beach

Riding the waves

1 April 2014

I was brooding yesterday morning, thinking how the 30s had been filled with weddings and babies, while the 40s seem to be a time of illness, funerals and rocky relationships. I’m grateful to be standing now, but my heart aches as I reach out to loved ones who have had a fall.

And just as I was thinking I needed to write it out, to clear my head, but wondering how to do it without bumming you guys out, something amazing happened.

One little email popped up, with a Twitter notification that chinese grandma is one of six finalists for Best Family Cooking Blog in Saveur’s Annual Best Food Blog Awards. Say WHAAAT?



One great lesson in Getting Through Life: put yourself out there.

I started this blog almost four years ago, after thinking for years that I wanted to get back to writing. My first fear was that no one would read or care. An even greater fear was that people would read and think me foolishly self-indulgent.

But my whole life I’ve always thought that things would be a lot easier for everyone if we were simply honest and forthcoming about how life really is, instead of smoothing things out for show. We all live similar lives – navigating personal challenges, caring for family, managing relationships – and hearing the experience of others helps us know we can make it through too.

And sometimes just a little assist – like food you can count on for dinner – makes the difference.

So every week I offer up something I hope will help others – food for the belly, the brain, the heart – and over time it has become a place of learning, amusement, solace and community for me and, I hope, you.

My main occupation in recent years has been raising my four kids and managing our crazy nomadic household. This blog has staved off the what-am-I-doing-with-my-life panic that used to plague me. We have fun here, discovering new things and making sense of life. No doubt I will need it more than ever in years to come.

Chinese grandma is a creation of love. I was already thrilled that you guys have joined me here. And I am wowed by the unexpected shout-out from such a cool publication as Saveur.

Do something you love, just for the joy of it. You never know what might happen.

* * *

P.S. If you would like to vote for me (won’t you please?), go to the Saveur Best Food Blog Awards page. You’ll need to register with the site to vote – free, fast and easy – and while you are there you can check out other fantastic finalists in a variety of categories. Scroll down to the Best Family Cooking Blog category, where I am #1 (with, alas, my not-great photo of citrus – who knew?). Voting closes next Friday, April 9. Thanks…you guys are the very best.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

BK 1 April 2014 at 4:07 pm

30,000 nominations – that is incredible. Well-deserved recognition for all of your late nights CG, congrats!! My vote has been registered! And congrats to Saveur on finding the needle in the haystack!

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Gail 1 April 2014 at 4:23 pm

Love your web site. So down to earth and warm and friendly .

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cg 3 April 2014 at 1:03 am

hi gail – i am lucky to have awesome readers like you. thanks very much!

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Sarah Annie 1 April 2014 at 4:33 pm

I love your blog and this is much deserved! I haven’t been reading your blog for long, but ever since I discovered it I have looked forward to each and every post. I love your food and your writing. I wil go ahead and vote now πŸ™‚

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cg 3 April 2014 at 1:01 am

hi sarah annie – very glad you found me, and thanks so much for the vote!

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Patty Magyar 1 April 2014 at 6:41 pm

I love reading your blog! Best of luck to you!

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cg 3 April 2014 at 1:01 am

hi patty – thank you so much!

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JK 1 April 2014 at 7:47 pm

Well deserved. I follow only a few blogs, and yours is the only one from which I actually take time to print out, shop for and prepare the recipes…and my family has loved every one. Thanks for the great food and the helpful perspective on life. I so appreciate your honest and positive approach. I voted (it’s actually a pretty cool site so the login was okay), and I hope you win!

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cg 3 April 2014 at 1:01 am

hi jk – i am so glad to know you and your family enjoy the recipes! thank you for taking the time to vote – i really appreciate it!

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Brooke 1 April 2014 at 7:52 pm

My vote is in! You deserve this so much. Thank you for your thoughtful writing, inspiration, and good cookin. Much love.

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cg 3 April 2014 at 1:05 am

brooke – you are such a great support…thank you!!

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CC 1 April 2014 at 10:06 pm

Still loving your blog after I was first introduced to your 5-minute chocolate cake recipe a couple years ago! We make your banana bread all the time and always get compliments on how moist and yummy it is πŸ™‚ Just voted for you on Saveur, good luck!

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cg 3 April 2014 at 12:59 am

hi cc – thank you for the support…and the vote! i am very glad you’ve found favorite recipes here. =)

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Anne 2 April 2014 at 3:14 am

Congrats, Chinese Grandma dot com! πŸ™‚ This is my first time to leave a comment but I’ve been a follower of your blog for about two years now? I’ve been hooked at the first bite and always appreciated your down-to-earth and sensible vibe. All the best! ❀

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cg 3 April 2014 at 12:58 am

hi anne – you are sweet, thank you so much for taking the time to comment! and for being such a dedicated reader. i appreciate it very much!

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LingLing 2 April 2014 at 7:02 am

Congratulations!! What a well deserved honor. I have this blog bookmarked on every one of my devices, and I tell everyone who will stand still about the virtues of homemade balsamic vinaigrette!

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cg 3 April 2014 at 12:57 am

hi lingling – thank you so much! i love your vinaigrette evangelism, keep it up! =)

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Temporary neighbor 2 April 2014 at 7:27 am

I think you should practice more recipes on the family next door. Word on the street is the first grader over there loves your dumplings!

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cg 2 April 2014 at 3:25 pm

true that! we are all freeloading off my mom’s amazing skills right now. but we’ll cook for u for real when we have our own place. πŸ™‚

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Jamie Levine 2 April 2014 at 8:39 am

Truly well-deserved, Lilian. One of my favorite blogs around!

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cg 3 April 2014 at 1:05 am

thank you jamie, you are a favorite of mine too!

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Ellen Crayton 2 April 2014 at 10:57 am

Well, didn’t this just make my day?!!! Well deserved!! I am so happy for you and want you to know how much I enjoy your blog!! Keep up the great work, I’ll be sure to vote for you!

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cg 3 April 2014 at 1:06 am

thank you ellen, you are always so encouraging! i appreciate it so much.

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MK 2 April 2014 at 12:49 pm

Awesome news! So proud of you!❀️

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cg 3 April 2014 at 1:06 am

love you, MK, and proud of you too.

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MG 2 April 2014 at 8:26 pm

This nod is so well deserved! My vote is in! I have followed your blog for almost 3 years – while I was pregnant with my first child. I came across your post “My phantom life” and I had never read anything that resonated more with my mixed feelings of giving up a career and my independence to have a family. Your writing is incredible – I look forward to every post. And the recipes are always spot on! I always turn to you when I’m looking to find the perfect recipe! Thanks for all you do and for keeping me entertained while nursing baby #2 during the wee hours of the morning!

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cg 3 April 2014 at 12:56 am

MG – thanks so much for your note. my phantom life was such a personal post, and one of the first i wrote – so glad to know it resonated with you. i am happy to be here for you in the wee hours of the morning – been there, my friend!

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Cava 3 April 2014 at 4:29 pm

I love reading your blog and all the recipes -they inspire me to cook more and more, but mostly I just love the way you talk and write-I feel like I’m not alone out here–another person feels the same way I do. Congratulations!!! I’m so happy for you. πŸ™‚

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cg 9 April 2014 at 12:58 am

hi cava – thanks so much, i love it so much when my writing connects with someone. you are most definitely not alone! thanks for reading, i appreciate it and am so glad you find your time here useful.

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mm 5 April 2014 at 5:45 am

Congratulations! Your nomination is well deserved. Yours is one of my favourite blogs – food for mind and body!

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cg 9 April 2014 at 12:56 am

hi mm – thanks very much, i always appreciate your readership and comments!

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Joy R. 6 April 2014 at 11:46 pm

Congratulations Lilian! Way to go chinese grandma :).

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cg 9 April 2014 at 12:55 am

thank you, joy! you have been such a great support for years – i appreciate it very much! xo

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Joy R. 7 April 2014 at 12:16 am

I have followed your blog for years and I’m looking forward to your new post every time I’m in front of my computer. Great works and my vote is in! So happy for you :).
xoxo
Joy

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jenny g 7 April 2014 at 9:46 am

“Hey Lady, KUDOS to YOU!!!” It is time for everyone else to know you are the “BEST of the BEST” in life! LUV YA!

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cg 9 April 2014 at 12:54 am

ms jenny – it is you that are the best, my friend! xoxo

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Saucy Spatula 7 April 2014 at 2:01 pm

Congratulations for being a finalist for Best Family Blog on Saveur!

I just stumble upon your blog today, and I’m so glad I did. Within minutes, I found myself reading your words simply because they are truly genuine and inspirational.

I wish you the best of luck with the Saveur award, and count me as your new fan!

-K πŸ™‚

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cg 9 April 2014 at 12:54 am

hi saucy spatula – i’m very glad you found me! i’m excited to check out your recipes too…they look great. =)

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meesh 10 April 2014 at 3:38 pm

Darn, I have been reading your blog over a year, but missed this post last week, and it is now too late to submit a vote for best food blog. I love your writing and recipes, and can totally identify with you. Keep up the blogging and your authentic writing. If you are ever on Toronto, drop me an email.

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cg 15 April 2014 at 11:54 pm

hi meesh – no worries, i appreciate the support more than the vote! thanks for the encouragement, i am very grateful to have awesome readers like you. =)

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KK 17 May 2014 at 9:04 am

I am also too late, sorry. πŸ™ But just wanted to tell you how very very much I enjoy your writing (I’d buy any book you publish!) and recipes. Thank YOU for putting yourself out there.

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cg 17 May 2014 at 9:26 am

hi KK – i appreciate readers’ comments anytime! thank you so much for the kind note and encouragement. =)

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