A Passover Tradition

Passover Lipton Soup Mix

From the Holiday Archive:

Like Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix produced no tears.

That dehydrated marvel of mid-century cookery was a staple in my Mothers repertoire. Mom joined the legion of happy homemakers who were overjoyed at the development of dehydrated soup cooking.

Besides being the backbone of the classic California Onion Dip, that pride and joy of every self respectable suburban hostess, my mother prepared her Passover Brisket using that Onion Soup Mix from a recipe supplied by Lipton’s published in Ladies Home Journal and endorsed by the Nassau Community Temple Sisterhood Cookbook.

Why spend hours peeling, chopping, slicing and dicing and sauteing reducing the onions down to a turn, when Liptons had come to m’lady’s rescue. Add water and voila…. onion stock!

So it was with modern pride that my Mother prepared her holiday brisket in that E-Z fashion.

I on the other hand, being just as contemporary, sniff at the notion of using a packet of dried onions, insisting on peeling, chopping, slicing and dicing the real McCoy sauteing them down til they are reduced to a golden hue.

But the copious onions required for the meal, along with the copious tears it produces, now co-mingle with great tears of sadness at the loss of my Mother.

photo of Betty Edelstein my Mother

As I prepare the Seder for which she will never again attend, it is lit by the glow of a yartzeit candle, a shining light of tribute and memory to her passing on this day.

So it is a day of tears, that even Lipton’s Onion Soup could not help.

© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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9 comments

  1. I lost my father way too early in life (at his age especially) so my condolences and genuine empathy Sally.

    A tearful wonderful tribute to her. ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Steven Blumrosen

    Life Events, Disruption
    Ritual, Continuity

    For me, no Haggadah matches the old-school Maxwell House Haggadah.
    Why is the Maxwell House Haggadah different from – and better than – all other Haggadahs, including Elie Wiesel’s?

    The answer one might give to someone so smart and yet naïve enough to ask such a question is this:

    Seders are formulistic celebrations recognizing the fragility of life and freedom and reminding each of us that we were once slaves, and could be again if we are not ever vigilant.

    One reason we say “Next year in Jerusalem” is that Israel is the one place on earth the international community designated as the Jewish refugee camp; the one place on earth where Jews are assured their safety and freedom.

    The Seder is supposed to be intense, because we remember – as if it were yesterday – that we were slaves, and could be again. The Seder is personal because the feeling of enslavement during the Seder is meant to be personal. We not only say we have been slaves, we re-live the experience.

    For my family, the Seder was a time we gathered together and were often joined by friends. It was a time of food and intense discussions. The Maxwell House Haggadah formed the basis for those very personal and intense discussions about freedom, equality and how, maybe, someday we’ll go to Jerusalem but for now we celebrate in the United States, the land that has accepted us since the days of Geo. Washington.

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    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and helping to explain for those who do not share in this holiday what the essence of this holiday of remembrance is about. In addition to remembering the oppression we went through it is important to recall and celebrate that this is also a holiday of being liberated , one of hope and renewal of spirit and spiritual rejuvenation of our souls. For me there is no other Haggadah than the old Maxwell House ones!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beth

    The Maxwell House Haggadah was part of our tradition, too. As a child, I’d get bored during the service and enjoyed staring at the products page in the back. In a week, my mother will have been gone for 10 years; last week was the 50th anniversary of my father’s passing. A bittersweet time of year for many of us.

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    • As has been said “April is the cruelest month”and for many this time of spring and renewal is tempered by the sorrow of losing a loved one. I am sure this is a difficult time of year for you indeed and my heart goes out to you. Passover can serve as a time to cherish the ones we are with and remember and honor those who are no longer able to share a seder with us.
      I too loved the products page in the Haggadahand served as a fine distraction from the ofttimes lengthy service!

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  4. I wish you the best of Passovers. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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