Lucy Liu’s story has been selected for this spring’s Literacy Review!
Lucy wrote this story for June Foley’s writing class, which is part of NYU’s Gallatin Writing Program. Lucy is also in Class 2B.
My Sweet Family Dinner by Lucy Liu
The Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional Chinese festival. My family usually gets together to celebrate many holidays; but at that time, I decided to celebrate the Dragon Boat festival at home.
I bought many kinds of food. I spent hours stewing a pot of oxtail soup and slicing the vegetables, pork, fish, green onion, and garlic. After I prepared everything, I started to cook. I poured oil into a pan. When the oil was heated, I put some garlic into the oil.
The garlic spread its fragrance far and wide. I tossed the pork and vegetables into the pan and turned them with a spatula repeatedly. Then I added some salt, cooking wine, and other condiments.
I usually cook. I know how much seasoning I should put in, so I don’t bother to taste the food. At last, I loaded the cooked food on a plate. I was so busy and joyful. While I cooked, I imagined my relatives enjoying the food. I smiled.
When my husband got home, I had set a full table of dishes.
“Wow, Mommy is so good. She cooked so much food!” My husband was surprised. Everybody sat around the table.
“Hooray!” My children were the first to pick up the food. My husband joined in, too. I looked at them. I was eager and hoped they all would love to eat it. Everyone looked happy. When the food was in my mouth, the smile was frozen on my face.
There’s something wrong, I thought. I tried every dish in a hurry. All the food was sweet. I got up and tasted the salt from the seasoning box. I frowned. The salt also was sweet. Now I knew I had used sugar instead of salt.
I couldn’t say anything. I went to my bedroom. I was so angry with myself.
If I had tasted something beforehand, at least not every dish would have been sweet, I thought with regret.
My husband opened the door and came in. He hugged me and said, “Honey, come eat with us. It doesn’t matter. You don’t make many mistakes. The food still is delicious.”
I was still upset. I didn’t want to eat anymore.
“Mom, come eat. Come eat,” my children shouted.
“See, our children would like to eat with you. Don’t let them down.” My husband was so strong. I did not have enough strength to struggle. He held me as I walked to the table.
“It’s still delicious, Mom,” my daughter said with a sweet smile.
“Yes. It’s still yummy, Mom,” my son said very loudly.
My husband stuffed pork in his mouth. “Mmmm. Yummy. Yummy.”
The sounds made it seem like they were eating the greatest foods. I looked at their likeable faces. Eventually, a big smile came on my face.
My family is sweeter than my dishes, I thought.