+
upworthy
Pop Culture

Librarian is sharing her 'gravestone recipes' to help others find comfort with death

Rosie Grant has delighted folks with wholesome recipes for cookies, pies and more—all passed down from those who have passed on.

graveyard recipes
Photo used with permission from Rosie Grant

Apparently they're "to die for"

You really can combine any interests and make them into something truly unique. Such was the case with digital librarian Rosie Grant, who has somehow been able to blend cemeteries, social media and baking into a sweet way of sharing memories of those who have passed on.

Grant’s @ghostlyarchive TikTok is filled with video tours through gravesites, uncovering lesser known cemetery facts and stories from history. It was while she was traveling through the Greenwood cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, that she stumbled upon the grave of Naomi Odessa Miller-Dawson—along with a recipe for something called “spritz cookies” printed on her gravestone.

Grant had no idea what a spritz cookie was, other than it required seven basic ingredients. But she decided to follow the recipe as best she could to find out.


With the guidance of her followers, Grant was able to successfully bake what she describes as “if a sugar cookie and a shortbread cookie had a baby,” delightfully buttery treats that were “to die for.”

Grant soon discovered more gravestone recipes using various news reports, tweets and a graveyard archive site called Find a Grave. Grant told Today that she's been able to recreate “12 or 13” recipes, including fudge found on a grave in Utah, blueberry pie in Washington and snickerdoodles from California.

It should be noted that savory dishes are certainly not excluded from Grant’s cemetery baking journey. She has also made delicious cheese dip and apparently the “best meatloaf.”

Occasionally Grant is able to bring back treats to the graves that provided the recipe, as she was able to with Miller-Dawson’s spritz cookies.

As a library science student at the University of Maryland in 2021, Grant was given the assignment to start a TikTok account from scratch to better understand how networks work. Coincidentally, Grant was also interning at the historical archives of the nearby Congressional Cemetery.

A professor wisely suggested that Grant combine the two. And thus, the @ghostlyarchive TikTok Channel was born. Grant quickly found that others shared her passion—within a year, Ghostly Archive racked up more than 100,000 followers and millions of collective views. In an interview with BuzzFeed, Grant credited a lot of the channel’s popularity to the “death positive community” of #GraveTok, a TikTok subculture that celebrates the stories of those who have died.

@manicpixiemom Lottie ❤️ #gravetok #gravestonecleaning #history ♬ original sound - manicpixiemom 🧽 🪦

"[It's] the idea that society is better if we understand our own mortality and change our mindsets so that [death is] like a celebration of our lives, rather than something to be feared or ignored,” she told BuzzFeed.

Folks have viewed the gravestone recipes in particular as an endearing way of connecting those who have passed to those in the land of the living. “When we’re in mourning, food is very comforting to us,” Grant told Today. “These recipes feel like a more tactile, all-senses-included way to remember someone rather than only using your memory. When you’re eating grandma’s special cake or cookie or whatever it is, you feel a little bit more connected to her.”

“People will comment what they would want to put on their gravestone if they had to pick a recipe, or some people say things like, ‘Oh, snickerdoodles, my mom made it this way.’ And so there’s just this whole nostalgic connection, which has been really cool,” she added.

Grant, who admits to having her own fears about mortality, has found that gravestone recipes can help make potentially hard conversations a little more lighthearted. “My family and I talk about it more regularly. What will our final resting place be? How do I want to be celebrated in life? How do I want to be celebrated in death? And it's made me personally feel a lot more comfortable with this, like the absurd thing that we'll all die someday,” she told NPR.

Death is not always an easy thing to embrace—whether it’s the grief of losing a loved one or coming to terms with our own impermanence. But as Grant’s recipes show, there are so many ways in which memories really do live on, especially through the things that made our time on Earth a touch sweeter.

By the way, if you've seen a gravestone recipe, you can reach out to Grant via Instagram or TikTok.

Family

Woman goes to huge lengths to adopt husband's ex-wife's baby to save him from foster care

She had lived in foster care and didn't want it for the newborn with no name.

Christie Werts and her son, Levi


Christie and Wesley Werts have taken the idea of a blended family to the next level. When the couple fell in love five years ago and married, they brought together her children, Megan and Vance, and his children, Austin and Dakota.

As of January, the Ohio family has five children after adopting young Levi, 2. Levi is the son of Wesley’s ex-wife, who passed away four days after the child was born. The ex-wife had the boy prematurely, at 33 weeks, and died soon after from drug addiction and complications of COVID-19.

When Levi was born, he was a ward of the state with no first name or birth certificate.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Couple lives permanently on cruise ships because it costs ‘half’ the price of life on land

"We now have a telephone bill, a ship bill and a few credit card bills for when we go ashore, but that's it.”

A white cruise ship crosses the sea.

Given the rapidly changing cost of living in the United States, lifestyle options that once seemed luxurious are now starting to look like good deals. A growing trend is that retirees are choosing to spend their golden years on cruise ships instead of living in a retirement community.

The latest examples of this trend are John, 76, and Melody Hennessee, 64. Before retiring, John was a doctor and the couple also owned an art gallery in Stuart, Florida. In 2021, the couple sold everything and purchased an RV to see the country, but after a few years, they were exhausted.

“The constant maintenance, fueling, and planning,” he told Realtor.com.

Keep ReadingShow less
Image via Amanda Ripley/PopTech.

Map demonstrating scores of the Program for International Student Assessment for each state compared to a country that has similar scores.




This is not news: America does pretty badly when it goes up against other countries academically.

This is true even if we take it one state at a time—no single state, no matter how wealthy or small, matches the top scoring countries. And yet, the U.S. spends more per student than many other countries in the world.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Why Beyonce's 'Protector' song has parents bawling

"Beyonce you gonna need to start paying for my therapy cause the way these tears are flowing."

Beyoncé/Youtube

Brb, grabbing tissues.

Not even 24 hours after its release, Beyoncé’s soulful, genre-bending “Cowboy Carter” album broke records on Spotify, becoming the platform’s most-streamed album in a single day so far this year.

With 27 tracks—ranging from thought-provoking covers to an eclectic array of originals—there’s a little something for everyone. There’s even a more whoopass version of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.

But there’s one tune in particular that’s striking a cord with parents. Not to mention making them shed a few tears.

Keep ReadingShow less

It all can happen at just the right time.

Media outlets love to compile lists of impressive people under a certain age. They laud the accomplishments of fresh-faced entrepreneurs, innovators, influencers, etc., making the rest of us ooh and ahh wonder how they got so far so young.

While it's great to give credit where it's due, such early-life success lists can make folks over a certain age unnecessarily question where we went wrong in our youth—as if dreams can't come true and successes can't be had past age 30.

Keep ReadingShow less

This isn’t comfortable to talk about.


Trigger warning for discussion of sexual assault and violence.


A recent video by Just Not Sports took two prominent female sportswriters and had regular guys* read the awful abuse they receive online aloud.

Sportswriters Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro sat by as men read some of the most vile tweets they receive on a daily basis. See how long you can last watching it.

Keep ReadingShow less