Cruising around TikTok can be quite an adventure, and I never expected it to take me into the art of the gravestone recipe. I was scrolling through the other and Rosie Grant caught my eye.
She’s made a social media presence her hobby of collecting recipes off of people’s headstones, creating the dishes, and reporting about them on social media. She is known as ghostlyarchive on TikTok, where she has 95,000 plus followers.
I am completely enamored by the practice and artistry of gravestone recipes. Cooking is the ultimate language of love in my family, with recipes being passed down from generation to generation, keeping us connected through tradition. According to Seven Ponds, “Many memories of the beloved dead seem to be tied to food – our lost loved one’s favorite recipes, what they baked and/or cooked, what they ate, and even what they brought to gatherings, even if they did not prepare the food themselves.”
Seven Ponds says these recipes have been found only East of the Mississippi River.
“One relatively well-known example of a gravestone recipe was the headstone of Kay Andrews, who lived to be 97. Her locally famous fudge recipe was engraved, at her request, on a part of her tombstone. Anyone who thinks that typos are found only on paper or in pixels is mistaken. The recipe initially called for three times too much vanilla – a tablespoon rather than the intended teaspoon. Just in case you’re wondering, yes, a new stone was created with the correct measurement.”
Rosie’s TikTok is a wonderful mashup of history, cooking and exploration. However, I know if I shared my granny’s pound cake recipe on her headstone she would probably come back from the Beyond and give me what for!