For some, tombstones can evoke mourning, for others the homage paid to a loved one, or even, with a little imagination, a emaciated hand that emerges from the freshly turned earth.
But there is hidden, for the discerning eye, a real culinary recipe book that an American started exploring on Tik Tok, where her videos published under the account @ghostlyarchive have been viewed millions of times.
Peach crumble, blueberry pie or soft caramels: for each gourmet epitaph, Rosie Grant, a 33-year-old librarian, proceeds in the same way.
Faced with limited instructions — “not a lot of room on a tombstone”, she told AFP — she must first guess the cooking time and temperature, before the comments posted under the video of his first attempt only allow him to refine the following ones.
It was by chance that Rosie Grant came across her first recipe from beyond the grave, that of Viennese shortbread by Naomi Odessa Miller Dawson, who died in 2009 at age 87 and was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. .
While an intern at the digital archives of a cemetery in Washington, she discovered the world of taphophiles, lovers of tombs and other necropolises. She launches a Tik Tok account dedicated to the unexpected wonders of these places of meditation and, by inquiring, ends up finding Mrs. Dawson’s recipe on the internet.
“It’s not just that this woman loved cookies (…), she had the ingredients on her grave! I found it incredible,” says the librarian, who has since moved to Los Angeles. “What is it? What is this recipe? How do they taste? I was so curious.”
– Appeasement –
Since this first video posted in January, Rosie Grant has discovered a dozen recipes – most of them sent to her by Internet users –, garnered 108,000 subscribers and millions of views on Tik Tok just before Halloween, the American holiday which puts honored returnees.
Relatives of the deceased whose recipes she makes have even contacted her.
All the recipes she found are on the tombstones of women, most of whom died less than thirty years ago.
“So many of them have grandchildren and great-grandchildren on Tik Tok. Several of them commented on the videos saying, ‘Hey, that’s my grandma, that’s the recipe I we were doing, I recommend that you do it like this,” says Rosie Grant enthusiastically.
Between two sweet and savory dishes, the librarian explores catacombs in her videos, recounts the lives of women accused of witchcraft during the famous Salem trials, shares anecdotes about the lives of buried celebrities or recounts, for example, how the custom of picnicking at the cemetery went out of fashion at the beginning of the 20th century.
For Rosie Grant, who lost her two grandmothers during the pandemic, this journey has brought some relief.
“This whole process made me realize that people and society are better off when you think about your own mortality. It doesn’t matter that we all die one day+ and live our lives to the fullest.”
For Halloween, Rosie Grant will try a new recipe from beyond: apricot ice cream. And at the end of the video, she will add these words that conclude, with the meaning of the formula, each of her Tik Tok: “It’s a killer.”
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As Halloween approaches, an American resurrects cooking recipes from beyond the grave
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