Character(s): Bernd, Mishka, Wolfgang, Amber and Greta
Genre: slice of life
Written for the prompt: Chinese Takeaway
Summary: With most of the family sick with the flu, Bernd and Mishka “make” Christmas dinner…
Author’s notes: Special thanks to Kat for pinking this for me. Please also note that Mishka and I are both Jewish, while not exactly a tradition in my house, we’ve done this a few times for dinner on Christmas day.
“Vati, I think you should go back to bed,” Bernd said. “You don’t look so good.”
“Yeah…” Mishka looked up from the book, she was reading.
Wolfgang coughed. He felt like death warmed over, but someone needed to make Christmas dinner. He thought about asking Amber, but she was sick too, the flu having felled nearly everyone in house. He stared bleary-eyed at his son and the newest member of the household, and groaned softly. The last thing he felt like eating was series of “white foods” that his son was so fond of. Then again, when he thought about it, the thought of eating anything was not a welcome one. “Dinner,” he croaked.
“That’s it!” Bernd said as he walked over to his father. “You’re too sick to cook!” He gently tried to shoo his father back to bed.
Mishka marked her place in her book and got up. “Don’t worry about dinner; we have it all under control.”
We do…? Bernd shot her a puzzled look. Mentally shrugging, he said, “Yeah! Now back to bed with you! We’ll wake you when it’s ready.”
In no mood to argue, Wolfgang shrugged and shuffled back to bed.
Once his father was out of earshot, Bernd turned to her and said, “So what are we making for dinner?”
“It’s what we always ate on Christmas day. Now where’d they stick the menu?” Mishka turned and headed towards the kitchen, Bernd trailing along behind her.
“Chinese food…? I don’t know…” he said.
Mishka rolled her eyes. “You know how it’s traditional to eat latkes during Hanukah?”
Bernd nodded. “Yeah, but what does that have to do with…? Oh.”
“Yeah. My mother always said, ‘Chinese restaurants are always open on Christmas day and Jewish mothers everywhere decided they needed a Christmas present too, so they make reservations for dinner.’ That through the years evolved into ordering takeout,” Mishka said. “Aaah… There it is!” she added when she spotted the menu. “Now, what should we order besides two quarts of wonton soup and a half dozen egg rolls?”
Bernd looked over her shoulder at the menu. “Ummm… chicken lo mein?”
“Okay. How about some pepper steak and shrimp with broccoli? And what else…?” A few minutes later they had called in the order. They set the table, while waiting for it to arrive. They did not have to wait long, before the food was there.
Everyone, who was awake, wandered into the dining room and sat down.
“Dig in!” Bernd said as he helped himself to some wonton soup.
“Chinese food?” Amber reached for the other container of soup.
“Minky says it’s an old Jewish tradition,” Bernd said.
Amber and the others looked over at her. “What? Like I told Bernd, according to my mother, it’s what we eat on Christmas, okay? Greta, can you please pass me an eggroll?”
“Sure…” Greta handed her the bag they were in. She helped herself to some soup. “I mean, if we could have sushi for Hanukah, I guess Chinese takeout for Christmas works.”
Wolfgang nodded. “I like this tradition.”
“It’s a good one, Minky,” Bernd said.
“Uh, thanks?” she said between bites of eggroll. As she looked around the table, Mishka was pleased everyone was enjoying dinner.