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LOKSHEN FOR LUCY

   
By Julie Bergman

 
        Every Friday night, Lucy went to her Bubbe Bella’s house for Shabbat dinner. Lucy loved visiting Bubbe Bella. She loved looking at her old photographs and listening to her wonderful stories. Best of all, Lucy loved the smells that filled her bubbe’s home – the scent of pickled brisket, tzimmes with flanken and freshly baked potato knishes.
        Bubbe Bella was a great cook. Lucy, however, was not a great eater. Week after week, Bubbe Bella pushed Lucy to taste her delicious food.
        “Eat Bubbele,” her grandmother urged. “Try a little piece of my brisket. I know you’ll love it.”
         Lucy shook her head. “No Bubbe!” she exclaimed. “I only eat pasta. Pasta is the only food that I like. It’s noodles or nothing.”
         Bubbe Bella threw her arms up in the air. “Pasta?” she cried. “Pasta is not as delicious as my brisket!”
         One Friday evening, Bubbe Bella made a big pot of chicken soup with matzah balls. She placed a bowl of soup in front of Lucy. Big chunks of carrots and celery floated in the flavorful broth.
        “Eat Bubbele,” Bubbe Bella urged. “Try my matzah ball soup. I know you’ll love it.”
         Lucy shook her head. “No Bubbe!” she exclaimed. “I only eat pasta. Pasta is the only food that I like. It’s noodles or nothing.”
        Bubbe Bella threw her arms up in the air. “Pasta?” she cried. “Pasta is not as delicious as my matzah ball soup!”
        Another Friday, Bubbe Bella served sweet gefilte fish. She placed a plate of fish before Lucy. A sprinkle of pepper and a dash of horseradish decorated the dish.
        “Eat Bubbele,” Bubbe Bella urged. “Try my gefilte fish. I know you’ll love it.”
         Lucy shook her head. “No Bubbe!” she exclaimed. “I only eat pasta. Pasta is the only food that I like. It’s noodles or nothing.”
        Bubbe Bella threw her arms up in the air. “Pasta?” she cried. “Pasta is definitely not as delicious as my gefilte fish!”
        A few weeks later, Lucy arrived early to her bubbe’s house. She helped her grandmother set the table for Shabbat dinner. Together, they covered the table in a beautiful lace tablecloth. In the middle, Lucy placed two silver candlesticks.  She put the freshly baked challah and kiddush cup by her zayde’s seat at the head of the table. Zayde always made the special prayers over the bread and wine.
       Suddenly, a loud noise grumbled from Lucy’s belly. “That was my stomach!” she exclaimed. “I’m so hungry!”
       “Come, Bubbele,” Bubbe Bella said. “I have something special for you.”
       In the kitchen, a serving dish filled with noodles sat on the counter. “Pasta!” Lucy squealed.
       “Not pasta,” her bubbe replied. “It’s lokshen. Lokshen are noodles. I made you a lokshen kugel. I put sugar and cinnamon in it.”
       “But where is the tomato sauce?” Lucy asked. “And the cheese that Mommy always sprinkles on top?”
       “You keep telling me that it’s noodles or nothing,” Bubbe Bella said. “So, I made you noodles. Try my lokshen kugel. I know you’ll love it.”
       Lucy wrinkled her nose and stared at the kugel. Then she picked up a fork and scooped up a mouthful.
      “Nu?” Bubbe Bella asked. “What do you think?”
       Lucy licked her lips. “Yummy!” she cried.
       Bubbe Bella clapped her hands. “Well, what do you know?” she cried. “It’s lokshen for my Lucy!”
       Lucy giggled and took another bite.
       The following Friday, Bubbe Bella once again made her matzah ball soup. This time, she added lokshen. Lucy gulped it down. She even ate the big chunks of carrots and celery that floated in the broth.
      “Nu?” Bubbe Bella asked. “What do you think?”
      Lucy licked her lips. “Yummy!” she cried.
      Bubbe Bella clapped her hands. “Well, what do you know?” she cried. “Lucy likes my matzah ball soup!”
      Lucy giggled and took another spoonful.
      The Friday after that, Bubbe Bella once again made her sweet gefilte fish. This time, the fish lay on top of some lokshen. Lucy gobbled it up. She even dipped the fish into the horseradish.
     “Nu?” Bubbe Bella asked. “What do you think?”
     Lucy licked her lips. “Yummy!” she cried.
     Bubbe Bella clapped her hands. “Well, what do you know?” she cried. “Lucy likes my gefilte fish. So, I’m not such a bad cook after all?”
     “You’re a great cook, Bubbe,” said Lucy. “And next Shabbat, I’ll try a little piece of your brisket. I know I’ll love it.”
     “That would be wonderful,” Bubbe Bella said. “Now, eat Bubbele. Finish your gefilte fish.”
     Lucy giggled and took another bite.
 
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