Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sweet Endings

I've been trying to think of a way to commemorate my hospice patients, a way to mark in some ritual our meetings and their deaths.  I thought of a vase filled with rocks with their names, plants in the yard, a granny square for an afghan.  I don't want more things, though.  I realized perhaps an experience would be better, something to do with my family not so much about my hospice patients, but a way to enjoy ourselves together.  You know, embrace life in light of death.

And then I had an idea:  baking!  For each hospice patient, sometime after her or his death, I'm going to choose something (probably something baked) I've always wanted to make and then take the time to prepare it and enjoy it with my family.  Something special, something new, something decadent even.  We'll gather together, I might say a few words, and then we'll feast.  I think it will be lovely.  Besides, eating and funeralizing go hand in hand in many cultures (see Being Dead is No Excuse:  The Official Southern Ladies' Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral by Gayden Metcalf and Charlotte Hays.)

I have some ideas:
  • Some kind of fancy new ice cream for my first patient, to represent our talks of Coney Island in the 1940s and 50s.  
  • A fruit galette for my second patient, who was apparently a talented cook and baker (though, she made poppyseed rolls and the like; I would've chosen kolaches for her, but I'm not quite ready to try those.)
  • A lemon meringue pie or lemon poppyseed cake for my last patient, who was cheerful and kind and sympathetic.
Baked Alaska, cheesecake, homemade pudding, flourless chocolate cake, German chocolate cake, poundcake, hand pies, challah, different ice creams, traditional fruitcake, coconut cream pie, flan, chocolat pot de creme, beignets, and the list goes on.  It'll be a sweet end to a sometimes bittersweet experience.


  1. If you were to do something for me I would like 'Steak and kidney pudding'. I know that would not go down well in USA, especially for an A merican so how about 'Rock cakes', to symbolise an enduring friendship.