As today marks the beginning of Passover and the Passover Seder, I wanted to spend some time really discussing the idea of tradition. Especially the traditions in each of our different cultures.
You might not realize, but the Passover Seder is a meal that is eaten in a particular order and is always a specific grouping of food (each having a different representation). While eating, the story of the liberation of the Jewish people who were enslaved in Egypt is retold. Connecting each piece of the meal to the story helps a person’s senses resonate with what is being heard.
The Seder usually consists of shank bone, bitter herbs, a hard boiled egg, lettuce, Charoset (a specific paste), and a non-bitter root vegetable that is used for specific prayer. Each piece of this dinner can be modified slightly. While I was researching for this post, I came across hundreds of comments that each stated something different about the meal.
After reading this, it struck me—food traditions mean something different to each person. There’s a general idea of the meal, but no one in your kitchen saying you’re wrong if you do things a certain way.
With every sentence I write I get closer and closer to freedom in cooking, in experimenting, and in building my own traditions. I don’t know when something becomes a food tradition, but I think the general idea of a meal being passed down to each generation sometimes has a greater meaning than copying step by step. Maybe that is what a tradition is.?
Within each tradition in our faith, food, and culture our voice can come out. I grew up eating a turkey, mashed potatoes, etc. for both Thanksgiving and Christmas-until my sister became a vegetarian. I remember her mentioning having a vegetable lasagna that year, a few years later, when she was no longer a vegetarian, she mentioned that we should have a goose. Traditions don’t have to stay the same. It is the meaning behind the food, the day, and the celebration that connects and remind us how important the table is.
Today I leave you with one of my family’s traditional meals- hopefully it can become part of your own food tradition.
- A dry rub (1 Tbsp Salt + ½ Tbsp. White Pepper + 2 tsp. Dried Oregano)
- For the Sauce:
- ½ C. Organic Brown Sugar
- ¼ Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. Tamari (gf soy sauce)
- ½ C. Organic Unsalted Butter
- 2 Tbsp. Organic Tomato Paste
- Preheat oven to 250℉
- Cover Brisket with Dry Rub
- Cover brisket fully with foil
- Cook in the oven for 12 hours
- Remove from oven and cut in thin slices-make sure that the brisket is still in the foil. (tip:use an electric knife to do this, because the meat will be very hot)
- Cover the meat with your sauce
- Cover with foil and cook for 3 more hours
- Fold foil back and cook for 1 more hour