What we eat at funerals can be a symbol for the departed, a balm in hard times, or a reminder that eating means we are still alive.
Though he wouldn’t die for another decade and a half, Alan Davidson published the plans for his funeral in 1988, when he was 64 years old. Davidson, a British food writer and a former diplomat, perhaps best known for editing the encyclopedic Oxford Companion to Food, wanted to give a souvenir to his funeral attendees: a cookbook full of his favorite recipes. “With what better keepsake could one depart from a funeral?” Davidson pondered in the essay “Funeral Cookbook,” first published in his 1988 collection A Kipper with My Tea. “What other would equally well keep one’s memory green among friends?”
The Ultimate Guide to Purée
We ate a mostly pureed diet for almost two years. Yes, I said we, because I ate what Grandma ate. I never wanted her to feel different. Also, it was...