The smell of Matzo ball soup lured me from my bedroom. I tiptoed down the hall and sat on the stairs to get a better view of the kitchen.
The room was bursting with people, my aunt chopping apples for charoset, our traditional Passover apple and nut dish, my dad boiling eggs and my uncle was at the center of it all, a piece of bread in his mouth, attempting to ward off tears from the onions he was chopping.
On the other side of the island at the kitchen table sit my cousins who are engrossed in conversation and sipping on pre-Seder wine.
My little sister clutching her bear, stands in the center of it all looking for her place in the festivities.
“I’m hungry” she whines to no one in particular. My dad spins around, takes a matzo out of a box and places it in front of her nose. “Here. We’ll be done in a few hours.”
Elizabeth sticks her tongue out at him and marches into the dining room to work on the puzzle that had taken up permanent residence at our dining room table.
I put my hand to my stomach as it starts to rumble. Standing up suddenly, I knew what must be done.
Sneaking through the kitchen and into the dining room I sit next to my sister. I take the puzzle piece from her hand, lean down and whisper in her ear.
Her big, hazel eyes widen as she takes in my newly devised plan. Her head bobs in agreement as she pulls her chair out.
We layer ourselves in sweaters and a coat. Hats and mittens are applied as we step out into the crisp April air. Navigating a bike in the slush of melting snow would be tricky, but the sinful reward at the end of the journey make it well worth it.
The bitter cold wind lashed my face as we took off out of the drive-way. Yanking my jacket up to my nose I rode with one hand listening to the tiny tinks of the pink pieces of plastic that adorned the spokes of each wheel.
Dirt encrusted snow on the road kicked up and wet the bottom of my jeans. I didn’t care and peddled even faster.
I glanced back, almost losing my balance to make sure my sister wasn’t too far behind. She was right behind me peddling as fast as her legs could take her.
In front of me was the hill, looming and seemingly endless. Almost there, just over the top. Pedal. Keep Pedaling. You’re so close. My muscles burned from the strain of the climb. I repeated the internal pep talk as we approached the top.
Grinning my toothy, 10 year old grin, I removed my feet from he pedals and plummeted over the top coasting down the other side. The brown building slowly came into view.
We raced into the parking lot, stopping our bikes with a skid. As I pushed the kickstand down I looked up at the illuminated lettering; Kenny’s Market.
Giggling with anticipation we moved inside, our cheeks starting to thaw from the heat.
We dashed towards the back knowing exactly where our sinful treat lay. Approaching the glass doors we slowed our pace taking in the wonder that lay in front of us.
Double glass doors with silver handles housed faded yellow rows trays stacked in rows. There were so many choices.
I pressed my nose to the glass, weighing the options in my mind. Jelly filled or cake? Powered sugared or iced?
My sister finally reached her chubby hand into the case and carefully retrieved a long john, iced with chocolate and filled with custard. She held it up at eye level taking in every inch of its bready forbiddance. I finally settled on a jelly filled donut topped with sparkling granules of sugar. A classic.
The leavened bread dissolved in my mouth, it was the first taste of it that we’d had in almost a week. The sweet icing woke my taste buds sending them reeling and wanting for another bite.
The treat that broke the law of the holy day settled blissfully in my stomach, which no longer rumbled from hunger.
I glanced at my sister who was licking her fingers in satisfaction and wiped the chocolate stains off her face. I moved her back towards our bikes, now cold and damp.
We sail home to the warmth of family and Passover, to this day never breathing a word of our secret rendezvous temptation.
This post is written for The Red Dress Club. The assignment was to write a piece inspired by a donut.
This piece is inspired by true events: One that I once ate a donut and two that we celebrate Passover. In other words, it’s pretty much fiction.