Jeanne O. Schlossberg, who created Bubbie Jeanne’s Brisket Magic All Purpose Cooking Sauce in the kitchen of her Northwest Baltimore home, died Jan. 20 from complications from Alzheimers disease at her home in North Oaks, a Pikesville senior living community. She was 98.
While Mrs. Schlossberg’s culinary skills were nothing extraordinary, she was, however, curiously creative, one time adding Coca-Cola to sweeten a brisket — which was her “signature dish,” family members said.
“In our family she was known for her brisket. That was the highlight,” Roger Schlossberg, a son who lives in Hagerstown, told Jewish publication JMore at the time of his mother’s death.
The genesis of Mrs. Schlossberg’s brisket sauce came about at the bar mitzvah of another son, Mark Schlossberg, at Temple Oheb Shalom in 1960. She so enjoyed the brisket that the caterer had prepared, she asked him for the recipe and surprisingly he gave it to her.
Mrs. Schlossberg then spent the next three decades fine-tuning the recipe, which is kosher and gluten-free, until another son, Lee Schlossberg, a caterer who lived in Los Olivos, California, developed the sauce he named after his mother and marketed it locally and across the country.
The sauce’s ingredients include onions, water, brown sugar, celery leaves and stems, vinegar, tomato concentrate, green and red bell peppers, carrots, potato starch, onion powder, garlic powder, Allspice, celery seed and pepper.
Mrs. Schlossberg’s directions were simple: Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Wash the brisket and place in a large casserole.
“Open a jar of Bubbie Jeanne’s Brisket Magic Sauce. Pour it over the brisket, add a cup or so of water, cover the casserole and place it in the oven. Set the timer for 3 1/2 hours,” she instructed. “That’s it — now, relax and take it easy. Call your sister in Miami, do homework with your kids or get a manicure.”
When the timer goes off, remove the casserole lid, “baste the brisket, adding a little water if necessary, peel and cut-up several potatoes and carrots and place around the brisket. Recover and let cook one hour more. Remove from the oven. Uncover, let rest 10 minutes, slice and place on a platter surrounded with carrots and potatoes. Pour the sauce over the top and serve,” she instructed.
Her final admonition was: “Remember to call your own Bubbie just to say I love you!”
“Mom’s face decorated the label of every jar and marketing posters featured her ‘Dahlink, let me tell you ... recipe ideas,'" Roger Schlossberg said in his eulogy. “Mom reveled in her minor celebrity as she shopped the aisles of Gourmet Again and Edmart and was repeatedly stopped to be asked, ‘Isn’t that you ...?’"
“She just loved being ‘Bubbie Jeanne,’” Mr. Schlossberg said in the JMore interview. “It was fun for her.”
After her son Lee Mitchell Schlossberg died in 2008, Lee Cohen of Owings Mills — who was then-owner of Avenue Gourmet, a food distributing company — purchased the Bubbie Jeanne sauce. It was sold at Giant, Graul’s, Edmart, Gourmet Again, Whole Foods and Eddie’s.
“It was the sauce’s flavor. It was my type of brisket and I’ve tried every style Jewish brisket,” Mr. Cohen said. “Its something about the flavor that is unbelievable and it was a really, really good product. It’s just great.”
Bubbie Jeanne’s, which was was manufactured in Brooklyn, New York, is currently not on the market, Mr. Cohen said — but he hinted at its possible return.
“She was a really sweet lady who cared deeply about her family,” he said.
The former Jeanne Oliner, the daughter of Abraham Oliner, owner of the National shade Co., and his wife, Mary Oliner, a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and raised in Liberty Heights and Reservoir Hill neighborhoods.
She was a graduate of Western High School and attended the Maryland Institute College of Art. During World War II, she worked as a draftsperson at the old Glenn L. Martin Co. in Middle River.
“My mother was very proud of her work and contributions during the war,” her son said in the JMore interview.
In 1946, she married Paul H. Schlossberg, an installment salesman and World War II Army veteran who had attained the rank of major, and then settled into a home on Midfield Road in Pikesville, where they raised their three sons.
After they were grown, she took a job as a medical interviewer for the University of Maryland and the University of Michigan, and continued working until retiring in the 1980s.
Following her husband’s death in 1991, Mrs. Schlossberg sold her home and moved into One Slade in Pikesville, where she lived until moving to North Oaks nearly 20 years ago.
She enjoyed Senior Hostel trips and maintained an interest in artistic and cultural activities, and liked visiting museums. She was also an inveterate reader and needlepointer.
Mrs. Schlossberg had been a member for more than nine decades of Temple Oheb Shalom.
Funeral services were held Jan. 22 at Sol Levinson & Bros. in Pikesville.
In addition to her son, she is survived by another son, Mark Sandford Schlossberg of Ellicott City; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.