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Recipe Tribute Memorial Service Program

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Being creative and thinking "flirty" can even be incorporated into something as traditionally solemn as a memorial service.

My inspiration for this very unique idea is that my Auntie and Mom have a Chinese Chicken Salad recipe that's a "family secret" recipe. I remember growing up that whenever my mom would make this dish people would always ask for the recipe to which her response was always "You can have it when I'm gone." This was her polite way of saying "I don't want to share my secret recipe with you." A few years ago I got to thinking about it and wondered how many people are waiting to get her recipe after she passes away? Then it hit me, it would be really cool, and a wonderful tribute, to put her top secret "you-can-only-have-it-when-I'm-gone" recipe in her memorial program.

I ran this idea by her and she laughed. It was, I suspect, a promise she had never intended to keep :)

I felt I was on the right track with this idea when I attended the memorial service of one of my best friend's mother. As family members and friends went up to the podium to speak and offer their eulogies, there was a common thread that everyone mentioned: What a great cook she was and they all talked about their personal favorite of all of the dishes she used to make.

As I listened it only confirmed that sharing the recipes of a loved one, known for their cooking or even one special dish, carries on their legacy in a really wonderful way.

My friend Katherine mentioned that her Grandma always shares her recipes with everyone, but everyone suspects that she holds back a single ingredient each time because nobody is ever able to perfectly replicate her dishes. That made me giggle a bit to think that her program could have a list of the single ingredients she had withheld over the years... It could look like this with the ingredients printed in the program or to a recipe card that is attached so that people can remove it and add it to their recipe box:

So if you have a special trademark dish and want it to be shared with your loved ones after you pass away.... Be sure to plan ahead. Make your wishes known to your family or friends and make sure your recipes are written down somewhere so they can be easily located and added to your memorial or funeral program. It would be a gift that keeps on giving.

I know memorial and funeral sprograms usually consist of the following elements:

  • A brief bio
  • Photos
  • Favorite song lyrics
  • Favorite poems
Food is different. It's a tangible kind of memory that you can touch, taste and smell. It brings the memory of a person back to life in a way that words or pictures on a page can't. Personally I would love to see recipes become part of the traditional, printed, memorial program.

Idea submitted by: Stacie Tamaki

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JenniBeanParks • 2011-01-11 00:55:13
As a funeral professional, I hear of many ideas to memorialize our loved ones. This is a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing!!

Jaime • 2011-02-24 06:43:23
What a nice idea.

The Flirty Guide • 2011-02-24 11:53:39
Thank you Jenni Bean Parks and Jamie. I hope this idea brings comfort to those who use it.

Krick • 2012-02-14 16:58:35
Absolutely brilliant! In the years since my Nana has passed, many in the family have spent days working on the old recipes and testing each other's results. You are a genius :)


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