The things that will never make it in the baby books and other musings from a stay at home mom

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A ministone of my very own

My first few attempts at making my mom's brisket recipe involved quite a few phone calls for clarification.

"I know that this is all approximate, but can you give me a ballpark figure here? How many onions I should be buying to cover the bottom of the crock pot?"

"When you say 'cook a long time,' do you mean in the neighborhood of 2 hours or 12?"

As time went on, I got more confident and the phone calls tapered off. "Oh, I did that already," I'd casually say when my mother would ask when I planned to make the main course for an upcoming holiday. I no longer held my breath before my guests took their first bites. I was confident in my ability to follow the vague recipe, confident that my brisket was going to taste like my mother's brisket tastes and like her mother's brisket once tasted as well.

And then, last night, I had a ministone of my very own. Three quarters of the way through preparing the brisket for this week's Passover seder, I realized that I hadn't even taken the recipe card out of the drawer this year. A few more onion slices here, a smidge more garlic there... my hands naturally knew what to do. I even (don't read this part, Mom) tweaked things a bit. And I knew that it would taste just right.

I've followed my mother's recipe at least a dozen times in the past dozen years. But last night, I made my very first brisket. I was Bat Mitzvahed at 13. I moved out on my own at 21. I was married at 26 and I became a mother at 29. Each of those occasions technically made me, in some small way, more and more of an adult. But last night, preparing Passover food from memory, I felt like a real grown up -- a bona fide Jewish woman -- for the first time. It wasn't nearly as scary as I always thought it was going to be. Not by a long shot.


At 4:08 PM, Blogger Steph said...

Congratulations! I still approach brisket with some trepidation... :)

At 4:52 PM, Blogger Rosemary said...

Mazel tov!

At 5:36 PM, Blogger sunshine scribe said...

That is most certainly a ministone to celebrate. Congrats!!!

At 8:46 AM, Blogger jordan said...

way to go! now can you teach dan to do it, please?

At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Mom said...

Full disclosure--I "tweaked" my mom's recipe, too. I'm sure it will be yummy (even if Paul likes it sliced in to shreds).

At 9:12 PM, Blogger Kristy said...

And, still sitting in my inbox is that recipe of your mom's. I've been flat out intimidated by it. But now that I know I have both your mom AND you to call on for advice? Not so intimidating any more.

Maybe I'll give it a try...

At 10:26 PM, Blogger Liesl said...

Congratulations on your very own ministone!


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