| Jolly Solly |

Fruits of Their Labor

“What are these round pieces?” he asked. “It doesn’t look like the chicken we usually have”

IT was suppertime. Fishel and Faivish eyed their soup suspiciously. It didn’t look the same as usual. They didn’t know that Mrs. Friedman had lots of leftover fruit after Tu B’Shevat. She was trying to include it in every possible dish. That included soup.

“It’s a funny color,” declared Fishel. “I don’t like it.”

“It’s fruit soup,” explained Mrs. Friedman. “How do you know you don’t like if you haven’t tasted it? Why don’t you try some?”

“Er… no thanks,” replied Fishel.

“Me neither,” echoed Faivish, agreeing with his brother for a change.

They waited eagerly for the main course. They hoped it would be hotdogs and French fries, their favorite. It wasn’t.

“Here you are! Chicken and kugel,” announced Mrs. Friedman. “You know you like those.”

A hungry Fishel prepared to dive in. Then he stopped and looked closely at the chicken.

“What are these round pieces?” he asked. “It doesn’t look like the chicken we usually have.”

“Oh, those? Apricots,” smiled Mrs. Friedman. “I found an excellent recipe for apricot chicken. It’s delicious!”

“And the kugel smells different, too,” Faivish complained.

“That’s because it’s apple kugel, not potato kugel. Another amazing new recipe.”

Fishel and Faivish were about to make gagging noises. Just then their father joined the supper table. The boys instantly switched to their best behavior. But they picked at their food, claiming they weren’t hungry. As for dessert — it was apple compote. They skipped that, too.

Later that evening, they made a huge pile of sandwiches to stave off the hunger pangs. The pair eyed each other glumly.

“What are we going to do?” sighed Fishel. “There’s still tons of fruit left in the fridge. That means more of Mommy’s interesting new recipes.”

“I’m starving,” wailed Faivish. “Sandwiches don’t fill you up like a proper supper. If this goes on much longer, I’ll probably die of hunger.” He clutched his sturdy sides and pretended to collapse in a heap.

“Hey! Maybe Jolly Solly can help,” suggested Fishel.

“Nah, he’s away. I saw his mother yesterday, and she told me.”

At the mention of the clown’s mother, a thoughtful look entered Fishel’s eye.

“Hey! Maybe we could persuade her to give us some of her yummy blintzes. She makes them for Mr. Krankowitz once a week. They smell amazing.”

Faivish rubbed his stomach. “Hmm. I could eat a hundred potato blintzes right now.”

“I could eat a thousand!”

But this was not the time to argue. They had to make a plan! In the end, the brothers decided they would knock on door of 100 Sunny Lane the next day. They would offer to help Jolly Solly’s mother with the cooking. Hopefully, she would offer them some food as a reward.

Jolly Solly’s mother seemed pleased to see them. She was touched at their offer of help.

“What wonderful boys!” she exclaimed. “Come inside. You can help me stir the mixture in that bowl over there.”

Fishel and Faivish exchanged a look of victory. Yes! This must be the batter for the famous blintzes!

Soon they were clutching wooden spoons, mixing for all they were worth.

“Now, if you’ve finished mixing, I’d like you to go to the store for me, please,” said Jolly Solly’s mother. “By the time you’re back, everything will be ready. I’ll set the table, and you can join me in tasting some of your work.”

Joyfully, Fishel and Faivish ran to Gavriel’s Grocery. For a change, they actually remembered what they were supposed to buy. They did make faces at the orange cat from around the corner on the way home. The cat simply turned its back and stalked off. The brothers suddenly remembered the delicious blintzes waiting for them, and rushed off.

“Here’s your shopping,” Fishel informed Jolly Solly’s mother.

“And here’s your change,” added Faivish.

“Why, thank you. Take a seat, boys. I hear the kitchen timer ringing.”

The brothers sat down eagerly. Their mouths watered as the old lady entered, bearing a tray.

“It’s piping hot, just out of the oven.” She smiled.

“Oh! Do you make your blintzes in the oven?” asked Fishel curiously. “Our mother fries them.”

“Yeah, in a big frying pan,” added Faivish.

Jolly Solly’s mother looked surprised.

“Who said anything about blintzes?” she asked. She held out the tray. “Here’s some fresh, tasty apple pie!”


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 948)

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