Saturday, March 14, 2009

Death Warmed Over: The Food Order for my Funeral

These comments in no way are meant to malign any funeral food or those sacrifice to make it, no matter what it is. If you want to be mean, wait until I'm dead.

In our ward we have a funeral about every two months. The menu is down to a science: ham, funeral potatoes, rolls, bagged salad, and cakes. It works, people like it, and yet, I find myself wanting to change the system. I am on the committee that organizes these luncheons, so I've had some time to think about this. I'm clearly psychotic.

A few weeks ago we were standing around the church kitchen during a funeral luncheon sampling the leftover funeral potatoes, guessing which condensed soups were used and how each one was a little different.
Then someone asked: "What did we do before funeral potatoes?"
We stood there, mouths stuffed with hash brown potatoes and cream of chicken soup. Silence.
Finally a lady in her 70's piped up. "What about scalloped potatoes?"
Oh yeah. Scalloped potatoes. Half of us pretended we knew what they were.

It got me thinking, what do I want served at my funeral luncheon? (Side note: don't be alarmed, I'm obsessed with food and death, so this is not a stretch. I planned my funeral when I was eight years old and think about food every 27 seconds.) While many of us have thought about what our last meal would be, what would you have people eat when they're thinking about you? (Other than them being mad because you so selfishly changed up the long-standing funeral menu.)

This is going to ruffle some feathers, but hey, I'll be dead so I don't care if you're mad.

Meat: No ham. I mean it. I like Losing me is bad enough without having to eat a nice thick slice of HAM. What about a nice pot roast or roast chicken? Even a chicken casserole would be lovely.
Potatoes: No canned soups. Go retro and make scalloped potatoes. Or real mashed potatoes.
Salad: I'm ambivalent about salad. This one you can do what you want. You're welcome.
Rolls: If anyone brings grocery store rolls I will personally come back from the dead and sneak them into the garbage. Please, can someone make some good homemade rolls? Cheers.
Dessert: Pies. Fruit pies. Apple, cherry, berry, with real fruit and real crust. Cakes are for celebration. Pies are for going home.

Aw, who am I kidding? By the time I die we'll probably all be living off MREs, government cheese and canned beef chunks.

I must add some foods that have made it on to the funeral food table of shame:
- A meatless meatloaf made from some sort of barley and soy product. It was so bad, we sat and laughed our guts out while the younger ones spat it back out on their plates. I don't think Aunt Till would have minded.
- A sad, half-set green Jell-O in a metal cake pan with 3 lonely pear halves sliding around in it.

And lastly, because it's better to be grateful than ungracious and snarky:
Thanks to the awesome Relief Society that served a luncheon for 170 family members when my grandpa passed away. Straight to heaven for you ladies.


Amanda said...

mmmm.... meatloaf. that's YUCKY!

Fab Fisher Family said...

I love it! I think we had this conversation about funeral food at the last funeral we helped with. Gotta love Mormon traditions!

Willardsen Family said...

You are hilarious. I always look forward to a good laugh when you have updated. I hope you guys are doing well.

Sarah said...

you are my soul sister. where have you been all my life?

Mom to Many said...

We did a funeral once for a gentleman who wrote his own funeral menu. His plan included how he wanted the funeral potatoes to be prepared. The fun part about it was people liked them better. Sadly, I can't remember all of what he chose. What I do remember is the family, panicked about there being enough food requested jello salads as an add on to his menu at the last minute. The deceased specifically *did not* want them. (He asked for fruit salads instead.) NOBODY touched the jello salads. It was hilarious. Almost like, that's what you get for not listening.