She followed blindly.
There was the woman who learned to cook by watching her mother. Every Sabbath or holiday dinner when there was a brisket to be made, she would follow the steps her mother always took to ready the meat for cooking.
First she would go to the butcher and ask for a nice flat cut, with plenty of fat on top. Then she would pick up the Lipton’s onion soup mix and Bennett’s chili sauce.
When she was ready to get cooking, she took out her roasting pan and the brisket and placed both on the counter. And just like her mother always did, she trimmed the pointy end of the meat before putting it in the pan, fat side down.
She would season one side with Lawry’s salt, pepper and garlic powder. Flip the brisket over season the other side. One bottle of Bennetts gets poured on top, then fill with tap water, shake (to get every last drop) and pour that around the sides. Sprinkle one packet of the onion soup mix on top.
She would grab a carrot and a stalk of celery from the fridge, and place those alongside the brisket. The woman always added one healthy bay leaf, to the saucey liquid.
Top with tin foil and roast at 325 for 2 1/2 hours. Remove from oven. Let it cool. Bring it back to the butcher for slicing.
That’s how she made her brisket, just like her mother always did.
Then came the time her mother was staying with her after recovering from surgery. Mom was sitting in the kitchen watching with interest as the brisket was being prepared.
“Why are you cutting of the end of that perfectly good brisket?” She asked.
“Because that’s always what you did.” Her daughter replied.
“I cut off the end because it didn’t fit in my pan. Your pan is plenty big. Stop being so wasteful.”
And with that simple explanation, the women learned a larger lesson: Follow your families traditions. But don’t follow blindly. Understand the reason behind the ritual and make sure it holds true for you.