Etched in stone, grad student searches for recipes in the most unlikely place

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Rosie Grant encountered her first tombstone recipe in Brooklyn, New York — It was for Naomi Miller-Dawson’s spritz cookies. Photo courtesy of Rosie Grant.

While some people hand down a box of recipes on notecards, others choose a more permanent route, etching the signature dishes of their loved ones on their tombstones. Rosie Grant discovered the phenomenon of graveyard recipes as a graduate student for library science at the University of Maryland. 

Her first encounter with a recipe on a tombstone was in Brooklyn, where the grave of Naomi Miller-Dawson shares the ingredients for her spritz cookies. During her quest, Grant has traveled to Logan, Utah to visit the grave of Kay Andrews, which boasts of a fudge recipe, and she just received a tip about a cheese dip recipe on a tombstone of a woman buried in Iowa. 

Grant says that most of the recipes are from women and are for desserts, but she is aware of a yeast cake recipe on the grave of a man in Israel, who was a well-known kibbutz chef. 

Considering her own tombstone, Grant debates between a macaroni and cheese recipe or a clam pasta, but hopes she has some time to decide between the two.

When visiting Kay Andrews’s grave in Logan, Utah with some fudge, Rosie Grant ran into a family on the same mission. Photo courtesy of Rosie Grant.