Funeral Food

The other day I mentioned casually on Facebook that a nice neighbor of ours had come to the door with a Tupperware container full of tuna noodle hot dish (minus the crumbled potato chips for the top).  I added snarkily something about it being almost as much fun as attending at a Lutheran funeral. Well, that seemed to wake up the Internets a bit. Almost two hundred Facebook friends chimed in with comments.

Most spoke favorably–almost wistfully–about funeral food, past and present, like hamburger hot dish and homemade chocolate bars.  Although, one Facebooker called the ever popular Cheez Wiz and sliced olive bun-topping “death spread.” (I thought that was a little mean. Maybe just because I like it.)

Jello as a side dish was discussed. Jello etiquette, even.  One Facebook friend suggesting that Jello with vegetables, like chopped carrots and cabbage suspended in it, only be served to people you don’t particularly like.   And yet another spoke rather highly of it, especially when topped with a thin layer of mayo.

One comment suggested that Catholics feel a little left out in the funeral food area. Oh, well.

The most elegant funeral food I ever had in North Dakota (or anywhere) was at a reception held at the North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks following an Episcopal funeral one summer. Cucumber sandwiches and chocolate covered strawberries were served with a nice variety of red and white wine. (All true.) I commiserated with the family at the reception a very long time.

If it weren’t in such bad taste, I would suggest that the viral Marilyn Hagerty move on from writing about chain restaurants and set her highly cultivated foodie sights instead on funeral food. Marilyn seems fixated these days on sticky menus and the size of parking lots, anyway. I think funeral food reviews would be a nice diversion for Marilyn and one that would be welcomed by readers. Also, it might perk up the church basement ladies a little. They’ve been resting on their laurels way too long, it seems to me. Just an idea, Marilyn.

2 Responses

  1. AllisonK

    Here in SW Minnesota, a variation of the “death spread”: instead of buns, the Cheese Whiz is spread on rounds of cinnamon bread (a Minnesota variation that bakeries bake in closed tubular pans—the loaves look a bit like small sections of field tile and are commonly labeled “Cinnamon Crimp bread”). One olive slice is festively placed in the center of the film of cheese spread. The cinnamon-cheese-olive combo is an acquired taste, but turns out being not that bad!

  2. Anonymous

    my father’s favorite food was barbequed ribs. For his funeral we had Famous Dave’s cater. 18 months later the funeral director is still saying it was the best funeral meal ever.

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