Hilah Happy Hour!


I had the best time talking to Hilah about everything from American death history (Corpses on tour! Forest Lawn aka “The Disneyland of Death”!), to cooking with cremated remains (a FAQ I get), and of course, funeral and death ritual foods. Check it out right here!

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An Ice Cream Truck at the Funeral

Here’s my latest piece for Modern Loss, An Ice Cream Truck At The Funeral. In it, I talk about meaningful ways to incorporate food – and cocktails – into a memorial.

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Swedish Funeral Candy


During the mid-nineteenth century in Sweden hard sugar candies, typically in the form of a corpse and wrapped in black crepe paper with fringes became a popular funeral favor.

Offered to funeral attendees with wine prior to the service, these little candy corpses wrapped up in a black shroud soon became a Swedish custom.

According to Mats Bigert, “The wrapper was fringed, and the length and width of the fringes suggested the age of the deceased; long and thin would indicate the death of an old person.” Shorter, wider fringe would then be indicative of a child or younger individual.

The wrappers would sometimes be adorned with ornately patterned silver paper, pictures of cherubs, or the more somber choice of a silhouetted crucifix or graveside setting.



Verses, prayers and poems attached to the candies were also commonplace. They ran the gamut from such grim treasures as:

The dark, quiet abyss;
All our days will end like this.

To an odd, moralistic pep rally:

Death shall one day all us fetter.
Pray, repent, act and make better.
Consider, human, what you do.
You never know when life is through.


World War I and imposed sugar rationing proved to be the death knell for these funereal favors. Interestingly, I have found a few references to people now using the surviving candies as ornaments on Christmas trees, which I find strangely fitting.


Mats Bigert, Sweet Kiss of Death, Cabinet Magazine, Issue 49, Death, Spring 2013

Special thanks to author, Bess Lovejoy for the source info.

Image Sources:

Images 1-3 Begravnings Museum

Image 4 Vintage By Nina

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Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) – Welcoming the Dead – Part II

altar 1

Dia de Los Muertos is a period of days when the souls of the dead return to visit the living, evoking the feelings and preparations surrounding a family reunion.

There has always been the understanding among families that the things we have in our lives are inherited from our ancestors: our homes, our furniture and household items, often the family business, our skills – our lives and our physical selves in a sense, are inherited from our ancestors, so we want very much to thank them and offer them the best.

When this feeling of good will is absent, any Mexican will tell you that we love resorting to scare tactics. Mexican children are brought up on a steady diet of rice, beans and fear.

Countless versions of this story are told, but they generally go like this:

Once upon a time, there was a man who did not believe in the dead and made no preparations for his dead parents. He went off with his friends as usual, and set out for home when the ceremonies were ending. He noticed that there were many people following him, but they were all were the dead returning to the other world.

Among them were his mother and father who were returning empty-handed, with no offering, whereas all the other dead were laden down with their gifts. His own dead carried only a piece of broken pottery as an incense burner, so that they burned their hands. They were crying and very sad.

Then the man no longer doubted, that the dead returned; he rushed home to set out his offering, and called for food to be brought. But, shortly after he started to feel sick and fell ill. A little while later he suddenly died. The food which he had ordered for the offering to his dead parents, became the the food at his own funeral.*

The key elements of the celebration include cemetery vigils, the erection of home altars, the preparation of special sweets, the presentation of flowers, candles and food to the dead and the performance of ritualized begging.

Symbols and Icons

The ritualized begging is tied to one of Mexico’s most iconic objects, the sugar skull.

By the 1800s the wealthy were especially under pressure to give money, clothing and food to the poor when a family member died. It is in this context that the term, “a skull” – una calavera, was first used to signify funerary charity. The poor would go around the graveyards and approach funeral processions begging for “una calavera.” With regard to the calavera as donation, it is the poor who receive the contribution as the little skulls act as symbolic surrogates of the souls in purgatory.


A form of this tradition is still widely enacted each November, when families give gifts of calaveras in the form of sugar skulls to all the children they know, as well as assorted dependents and close friends. Children still go through the act of ritual begging when visiting friends and relatives on November 1st, by asking for their calavera, or as it becoming more the case their “Halloween.”

The other image most associated with Dia de Los Muertos emerged during the years following the end of the wars and just prior to the beginning of the Revolutionary period in 1910. Here, the image that would arguably define Mexico’s identity emerged, La Catrina Calavera.


José Guadalupe Posada was a Mexican artist who was known for his political art which frequently satirized the upper class.

His iconic etchings of skeletons dressed in upper class finery were intended as a satirical portrait of those Mexican natives who, Posada and many others felt were aspiring to adopt and value European traditions, values, and beauty standards in the pre-revolutionary era. This attitude of casting aside one’s culture, after centuries of incredible efforts to preserve it, was disheartening and infuriating to many.

Altars and Offrendas

The altars are made and decorated to display the offrendas – the offerings or gifts to the dead. These can be as simple as a table, decorated with a few key items, to incredibly elaborate and massive multi-tiered altars constructed by special builders.

Common gifts may be clothing, food, toys, personal objects and photographs. The dead should be provided with a basket or a special cloth to carry back all the gifts they have received. Anything the person enjoyed while living, we give to them in death.

Flowers are an important component, especially these yellow-orange marigolds, which we call cempasuchil or “flowers of the dead,” as the dead are especially attracted by both the color and scent. Not only are the flowers placed on altars and graves in abundance, but paths of the flowers can sometimes be seen leading to a cemetery or into a house to help the dead find their way.


Along these lines, copal incense and candles (long tall candles for adults, smaller versions for children) are very important. These are lit in homes and cemeteries to help ensure that the souls will not only find their way to their offerings at home, but back to the cemetery. During the days of the dead, the air is full with this beautiful, unforgettable light and warmth combined with the beautiful scent of the incense, flowers, and my favorite, food.


There was a friar in the 1600s whose favorite pastime seemed to be spying on the surrounding indigenous people. He kept detailed records of everything he witnessed. One night, he followed some Indians into a huaca, where they interred their dead, and the friar confronted them, telling them how foolish they were to offer all this food to the dead, and asked them why they did it. One man answered:

“I know Father, that the dead do not eat the meat, nor the bones, instead they place themselves above the food and suck out all its virtues and the substance that they need and leave behind what they don’t need. And if this is not so, why do you allow the Spaniards to place bread, wine and goats on graves in the churches?” **

On November 1st when we receive the children, everything is made just for them and is done in miniature. Small versions or portions are served on little plates. Any food made, like tamales, are done without containing anything spicy. If a child died before it was weaned or was too little to drink from a cup you will sometimes see milk in a bottle on the altar.

A lot of candies are put out, many of them in the shape of skulls, skeletons or coffins.

chocolate skelly

Pan de muerto – bread of the dead, is everywhere. Traditionally, it is made in the shape of a little grave mound with bones or made to look like a corpse, (pictured below are some I made last year). You can find pan de muerto everywhere, both inside and outside the cemeteries, they are in every panderia and even at Starbucks.


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After the souls depart, the food is enjoyed by friends, family and neighbors – it is a time for visiting people or for hosting them.

Root vegetables, carrots and jicama are eaten a lot around this time as it is believed that these things which grew under the ground were nourished by the corpses and this is another way we can be closer to the dead. Vendors selling root vegetables can be seen in some places outside the cemeteries and markets.

The Reunion

On the afternoon of October 31st it is time to receive the angelitos, the spirits of the children who have died. When the spirits of the children arrive, we imagine it as though they are coming out of school, happy and excited, all gathered to meet their loved ones.

The candles and incense is lit on the altars and people open the doors or go outside to receive them. Everyone sits near the altar and keeps them company.

The following day on November 1st, it is time for the adults to come and the same rituals are repeated. This is now a time for many to go to the cemetery to visit loved ones there.


Just outside the cemeteries, there are huge markets selling various flower arrangements, foods, toys and many things. The cemeteries are incredibly crowded and lively. Families carrying buckets of water up tall ladders to wash a grave, food vendors selling ice cream, children playing tag among the headstones or playing with toys right on top of a tomb.

Family pets are brought to visit, there are strolling musicians to serenade the dead, families having picnics and laughing – the love and joy shared with the dead during these days is something I wish everyone could experience.


Each town or region of Mexico has its own way of celebrating as a community as well.

In Iguala, the centerpiece of an altar is a rented coffin against a scenic arrangement and living tableaus featuring relatives of the deceased.

In Guanajuato, the streets are decorated with incredible flower pictures. Small bands in costume, often with traditional calavera make up, lead groups of people through the city singing songs of Mexico’s history and daily life. It is an interactive experience and the audience joins in on songs or playing various roles. In Zacatecas there is a huge carnival with rides and games with a two story Catrina presiding. At the entrance people picnic and watch movies surrounded by life size Catrinas.


Huaquechula is very unique in that families open their doors to welcome tourists into their homes – no one is turned away. The altars are a bit on the gaudy side. Everything is draped with white satin and all the altars have several statues of crying children on them.

In many cities there are processions around the center of town. People dress up in traditional costume – the majority of people are in calavera make up, but I have seen an alarming number of clowns in recent years.


In Chinahuapan, there’s the Festival of Light and Life. Here, visitors are led by torchlight on a procession through the nine levels of Aztec Hell.

The central days that most families observe are November 1st and 2nd – however, you can find some that observe this period from October 18th – November 30th. There are certain days when specific things are done, for example on La Vigilia everyone works hard putting the finishing touches on the altars. Or, October 18th in some places it is a day dedicated to the memory of those who have died tragically, particularly by drowning or assassination.

As time goes on these practices diminish and of course, not everyone in Mexico takes part in Dia de Los Muertos. Like in the US, by November 3rd you will see many shops throughout Mexico are already decorated for Christmas. There is also the matter of the American Halloween and its ever increasing influence on Mexico’s tradition, which has also served as a catalyst to revive and preserve these long held, sacred traditions.


*Adapted from a story that appeared in The Skeleton at the Feast, Elizabeth Charmichael and Chloe Sayer

**English translation quoted from Death and the Idea of Mexico, Claudio Lomnitz

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Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead): History – Part I


In recent years, all things Dia de Los Muertos have become increasingly popular. You can find Mexico’s iconic imagery everywhere — from toilet seats to tattoos and even used as a popular wedding theme.

Although I think its wonderful that cultures all over the world are not only embracing something inherently Mexican,  as well as some death positive imagery, there is also a great deal that is getting lost in translation. Most people recognize that Dia de Los Muertos is a communal occasion on which families honor their deceased relatives however, Mexico has a far more complex and important story to share about this sacred tradition surrounding death.

In order to understand and appreciate this long held observance, we need to delve a little into Mexico’s history. First, we must acknowledge the foundation laid by Mexicas, the indigenous peoples of Mexico, who have demonstrated through archaeological and ethnographic evidence, that they possessed extremely complex ideas and practices about death and the dead. These are especially evident as you begin to explore their mythology and creation stories.


Before the Spaniards came along, the Indians were already observing a set of festival months, referred to as “The Little Feast of the Dead.” These involved ritual offerings to the dead and the God of Death as well as feasting. Aztecs and Mexican Indians have demonstrated through archaeological and ethnographic evidence, that they possessed extremely complex ideas and practices about death and the dead. These are evident as you begin to explore their mythology and creation stories.

Much has been written regarding the horrors of the Spanish conquest of Mexico. What I want to highlight from this period is the incredible tenacity the Mexicas exhibited when it came to maintaining their death rituals and relationships with their dead. Although the church gave the directive to eradicate their “pagan” practices surrounding day of the dead festivals under severe punishment and torture, in practice, it didn’t go down like that. In reality, the local Friars were profiting off of the lavish offerings intended for the dead. Clothing, money, household goods and incredible amounts of food were all being taken by the church for personal use.

It seems as though this specific tie to their established traditions surrounding death particularly infuriated the Spaniards. Perhaps because it was the one thing the church had not been able to control – try as they might.


As time went on the Spanish attacked with a renewed fervor by introducing burial in church graveyards, creating laws controlling and abolishing many funerary and mourning practices, created a grave tax, and in the late 1700s issued a series of laws that included the following edict:
“The use of food and private banquets on burial days, during funerary commemorations or on the Days of the Dead is absolutely forbidden and reproved.”
Their goal?
“So that these abominations can be entirely uprooted.”

There is the incorrect belief held by many that Dia de Los Muertos is a “church created” or “Catholic holiday” – it existed long before the church came and continued to thrive, in spite of the church. As with many pagan holidays, Dia de Los Muertos was transplanted to All Soul’s Day and All Saints Day in an effort to “uproot” the “abominations.” Luckily, it didn’t work out as they had hoped, although you can certainly see the influence of these church mandated days in modern Dia de Los Muertos observances.


With this almost constant siege from outside sources specifically targeting the Mexican’s relationship with death; it becomes evident that this was something of immense importance to them, something that defined them and stirred their souls in a unique and important way. Mexico, for centuries has fought to maintain and cultivate this intimate relationship with death.

Octavio Paz, a Mexican writer and diplomat, describes the Mexican’s special relationship with death in his “Labyrinth of Solitude” as follows:

“To the inhabitant of New York, Paris or London death is a word that is never uttered because it burns the lips. The Mexican on the other hand, frequents it, mocks it, caresses it, sleeps with it, entertains it, it is one of his favorite playthings and his most enduring love. It is true that in his attitude there is perhaps the same fear that others also have, but at least he does not hide this fear nor does he hide death; he contemplates it face to face.”


In Part II I will cover the origins of the iconic imagery and symbols of Dia de Los Muertos – sugar skulls, La Catrina and what exactly happens on the days when the dead return and of course, a heavy emphasis on food.


Image Sources

All images used are work of the author, unless otherwise noted.

Photo 2 by Damien Hirst

Photo 3 by Agustín Víctor Casasola, Mexico City, 1935


Manuel Aguilar-Moreno,  Handbook to Life in the Aztec World, 2007

Hugh Thomas, Conquest: Cortes, Montezuma, and the Fall of Old Mexico, 1995

Claudio Lomnitz, Death and the Idea of Mexico, 2008

Elizabeth Carmichael and Chloe Sayer, The Skeleton At The Feast, 1991

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This Is What The Deacon Died Of

Deacon Pratt memorial

The following post originally appeared on Strange Company and is shared here with permission from the author.

In 1889, an incredible display of food and death takes place in Lambertville, Pennsylvania:

The story of the queerest tribute to the dead on record comes from Lambertville, in Hunterdon County. Near that town lives Mrs. Elisha Pratt, widow of Deacon Pratt, who was famous as a farmer, a genial soul, and an ardent Methodist. He was particularly fond of tickling his appetite, and was deemed considerable of an epicure. His wife was an excellent cook, and her dinners were rare exhibitions of culinary skill for a rural neighbourhood. The deacon enjoyed nothing better than a houseful of clergymen around a table laden with tempting victuals. And Mrs. Pratt, who doted on the deacon, was in her element when preparing such a feast and helping entertain such goodly guests.

About a year ago a number of ministers were on their way to the camp-meeting at Ocean Grove. There were just a dozen of them. Deacon Pratt had them all stop over night at his farmhouse, and gave them a rousing dinner early in the evening. It was a dinner modeled on the New England plan, as Pratt came from Vermont, and so did his wife. There was everything conceivable to eat and plenty of reasonably hard cider to drink. The deacon was in the best of humour, and partook even more heartily than usual of the food. His wife, accustomed as she was to her husband’s large appetite, was astonished at the amount he consumed. and made a mental inventory of the various articles and the amount of each that he swallowed.

The next afternoon Deacon Elisha Pratt died of cholera morbus. The physician said the dinner knocked him out. The funeral was the largest the neighbourhood ever knew. Eight of the twelve clergymen present at the dinner acted as pall-hearers, and the other four officiated at the church and by the grave.

The widow was inconsolable for a while, and talked about the tribute she proposed having prepared in memory of her husband. Everybody supposed she was going to erect a handsome monument, and the makers of tombstones sent in bids. But they were all mistaken. Mrs. Pratt had in view the most remarkable and yet suggestive of memorials. She had the work done quietly in Philadelphia, and it required some weeks to finish it. When it arrived at the farm and some of the widow’s intimate friends were invited to call and see the tribute, they were at first astounded and then shocked, and finally they felt a disposition to laugh that was controlled with difficulty. On the table in the parlour stood a large glass case. On top of the case was a small arch, made of solid silver. Surmounting the arch was the figure in silver of an angel blowing a trumpet. Inside the arch and suspended from its centre was a tablet of white marble, on which were inscribed the following words in deep, black letters:


This, my friends, is where the story gets good. To read the rest of the piece, courtesy of Undine at one of my favorite blogs Strange Company: A walk on the weird side of history click here

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Modern Loss

7 Los Angelitos

Here’s a recent piece I wrote for the wonderful site, Modern Loss, on ten ways people have honored their dead with food.

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Happy Birthday, There’s a Corpse in Your Cake!

Last week I came across a photograph of an item that was, at one time, available for purchase on Etsy. A small, metal viewing coffin with the unnerving inscription, “Don’t talk so much.” From the viewing window a strange, pale countenance started out. 


Unfortunately, there was no further information attached to the item, just a lot of unanswered questions. Who made this? When? Why? What’s with the mega creepy inscription that seems almost threatening in tone? I’m afraid I still don’t have any answers to these questions after a week of research. However, the little corpse in the coffin had some stories to tell. 

These are no ordinary playthings. The dolls originated in the US during the Victorian era, around 1860 and were called Frozen Charlottes, (or Charlie for males), dolls. The dolls were made in response to the enormous popularity of a song, “Fair Charlotte,” which was based on an 1843 poem penned by Maine journalist, Seba Smith, entitled, “A Corpse Going to a Ball.” 

There is some debate as to wether Smith’s poem was simply a cautionary tale or based on an actual incident. Some historians claim that Smith stated he was moved to write the poem after reading a story in the New York Observer on Feb 8, 1840 in which “A young woman… was frozen to death while riding to a ball on Jan 1, 1840.” Whatever the origins, the poem and ballad served as a cautionary tale to young ladies about the dangers of vanity and not heeding your parents.


Young Charlotte is all dressed up to attend a New Year’s Eve ball with her beau, Charles, who picks her up in a horse-drawn sleigh. As Charlotte is leaving her mother warns her to wrap her blankets around her tightly, or else she will catch  her “death of cold.” However, vain Charlotte is only concerned with people seeing her beautiful dress along the sixteen mile journey to the ball. The rest of the story, in true Victorian fashion is a bit of a romantic tragedy:

“How very fast the freezing air
Is gathering on my brow.”
With a trembling voice young Charlotte cried,
“I’m growing warmer now.”
And away they did ride o’er the mountainside,
And through the pale star light,
Until the village inn they reached,
And the ballroom hove in sight.

When they reached the inn, young Charles jumped out,
And gave his hand to her,
“Why sit you there like a monument,
And have no power to stir?”
He called her once, he called her twice,
She answered not a word;
He called all for her hand again,
But still she never stirred.

He stripped the mantle off her brow,
And the pale stars on her shone,
And quickly into the lighted hall,
Her helpless form was born.
They tried all within their power,
Her life for to restore,
But Charlotte was a frozen corpse,
And is never to speak more.

He threw himself down by her side,
And the bitter tears did flow,
He said, “My dear and intended bride,
You never more shall know.”
He threw his arms around her neck,
He kissed her marble brow,
And his thoughts went back to the place where she said,
“I am growing warmer now.”

They bore her out into the sleigh,
And Charles with her rode home,
And when they reached the cottage door,
Oh, how her parents mourned!
They mourned the loss of their daughter dear,
And Charles mourned o’er her doom,
Until at last his heart did break,
Now they both slumber in one tomb.


The Frozen Charlotte dolls were very small and typically made of porcelain. As they only cost a penny, most children could afford them, only adding to their popularity in Victorian households. At some point it became very fashionable to begin baking these tiny corpse dolls into birthday cakes or in the UK, in Christmas puddings, as a prize or party favor. 

If I ever bake you a birthday cake, you can be certain there will be corpse inside. You’re welcome.


Image Sources:

Ghost Love Jewelry 

“Happy Remains of the Day” by William Powell Firth


Woodstock Historical Society

University of Maine

Little Gothic Horrors

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The Funeral Books of Thailand


If you’ve been to a wedding in the past few years, chances are you’ve been handed a wedding program upon your arrival, featuring photographs of the happy couple, tidbits about how they met, details about their families or the story of their first date. Little books like these can frequently be found in Thailand as well, but not for weddings – for funerals.

In Thailand it has been a long-held tradition to give out gifts to attendees at funerals. These small memorial books called  nang sue ngam sop, are typically written by the family of the deceased. The books are not unlike the wedding programs detailing various aspects of their loved one’s life, photographs from graduations, weddings or significant events, personal stories and anecdotes and quite often their favorite recipes. 

One of the first examples of these memorial books had an especially tragic beginning, when King Chulalongkorn had 10,000 copies made to memorialize his wife and daughter:


Recipes from funeral books have been the main inspiration for Chef David Thompson, whose now closed London restaurant, Nahm,  earned a coveted Michelin Star – the first for Thai cuisine. Chef Thompson has a collection of 500 Thai funeral books, each of them featuring a recipe. Bangkok has its own Nham location that was named the best restaurant in Asia at S.Pellegrino Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014. 

That’s right – the best restaurant, in the world’s largest continent sourced their recipes from funeral books.  


Image Sources:

Image of Funeral books by Richard S. Ehrlich

Image 2 via Wikivoyage



In Bankok, 500 Funerals and a Michelin Star, Amy Ma, The Wall Street Journal

The Final Chapter: Books of the Dead, Richard S. Ehrlich

Good Food 

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Decoration Day and Dinner on the Ground

Amidst the department store sales and barbecues that are now a hallmark of Memorial Day in the US, one fascinating origin story of this day for honoring the dead and the tradition of dining with them has been forgotten by most.


In the years following the American Civil War the act of decorating graves with flowers began on different days and different places around the South. One act of memorialization of the dead took place in Charleston, South Carolina on May 1, 1865.

When the Union soldiers finally moved into Charleston, the remaining Confederates evacuated the city, leaving the newly freed behind. These formerly enslaved people and soldiers began organizing themselves among the ruins left them.

During the war, Confederate soldiers had converted the Washington Race Track into a jail for Union soldiers. Here, approximately 260 Union soldiers died from disease and exposure and were buried in a mass grave on the grounds.

The Black community in Charleston reinterred the dead and constructed around the newly formed cemetery, a white-washed fence and an archway at the entry to the grounds. On it, they painted the words, “Martyrs of the Racecourse.” When this noble work was finally completed, a parade was held with some 10,000 in attendance. Leading the way were almost 3,000 children, their small arms heavy with bouquets of flowers which they placed over each grave as they passed. Several preachers delivered addresses and the children sang American the Beautiful as well as a number of spirituals. The cemetery was formally dedicated to the dead, then family and friends dispersed to various places around they cemetery and had what may have been the first, formal instance of a Dinner on the Ground – a ritual meal held in the cemetery as part of the proceedings.


Many folks in the American South are still familiar with the term “dinner on the ground” or “grounds,” and still practice it for the most part. According to renowned folklorist and author, Alan Jabbour who has done extensive research on the subject, incorrectly associate its origins to be exclusively associated with church suppers, or picnic meals held in conjunction with Sunday church activities. Jabbour acknowledges the term and its etymology is a matter of debate, but that “…it probably stems from the idea of a picnic-like communion on the ground at the cemetery.” He also points out that at this time most cemeteries were communal and not affiliated with a church. Jabbour says that people he interviewed during his research asserted “dinner on the ground” is the correct phrase. “It seems probable that the original sense of the phrase was a ‘dinner spread on the ground like a picnic’ in a cemetery. However, once people began building picnic tables and benches for dinners on the ground, the natural progression of the folk etymology moved away from its original origin and in modern minds became more associated with cemetery or church “grounds.” 

Dinners on the ground are of course, a social event, but they can also hold a unique spiritual aspect, with the reciting of prayers and singing. The meals are communal potlucks. Often ladies of the community are known for a particular dish that is their specialty and people in their community excitedly anticipate getting to eat these favored dishes at the event. Tables are laden with fried chicken, green bean dishes, potatoes, and there are many accounts of a very unique cake, typically associated with weddings – the stack cake. This cake looks like a tall stack of pancakes with an apple butter type spread in between each layer. In areas with large or disadvantaged families, each member would be expected to contribute a single layer of the cake which would be assembled into a single stack.


This bit of Memorial Day history should be remembered and honored far more than it is. A perfect reading to put into practice for everyone on this day is Frederick Douglass’ speech, “The Unknown Loyal Dead” delivered at Arlington National Cemetery in 1871. The tradition of dining with our dead is a lost art and one I hope you, too, will be inspired to bring back.

Image Sources:

Image 1 Wartime devastation of Charleston, Library of Congress

Image 2 – 1865 view of Union soldiers graves at the former Washington racetrack, Library of Congress

Apple Stack Cake from The Splendid Table


Read the Spirit

Alan Jabbour, Karen Singer Jabbour, Decoration day in the Mountains: Traditions of Cemetery Decoration in the Southern Appalachians, 2010

History of the Apple Stack Cake 

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