Recreating Rituals as a Vegan Mortician: The Funeral Biscuit

One of the great things about my particular situation is that I am surrounded by really inspiring women. One of whom, that’s how you say it right? whom? Bleh. Anyways, one of those awesome chicks is Sarah Troop, Executive Director of the Order of the Good Death. One of her passions is food, which come on, how can you not relate to that? She writes pieces from time to time on the intersection of death and food on a blog called Nourishing Death. After reading her work I became obsessed with the idea of baking these items for my own families. After all, I run a funeral home that is all about embracing the ideas of our past funeral rituals in a modern world. And since the idea is about creating our own rituals, I decided that I would make these recipes a little different. Vegan.

Why vegan? Well as you can imagine I am surrounded by death and sorrow constantly. And, when you see and take in an almost inhuman amount of grief its hard to imagine inflicting that on other animals. And whether you want to admit it or not, we are animals. And to be honest, I flat out do not see the difference between eating a dog and eating a pig. They are both loving sweet and sentient beings and they deserve to have a happy and healthy life like all of us. So, my mission is to help make life and death little bit better, not just for humans, but for all living creatures. And it is my hope that by showing you how easy it is to tweak everyday-or not so everyday-recipes, that I can inspire you to make small steps to living and eating ethically too.

If you want to know more on the story of these yummy cookies you can visit Sarah’s piece Funeral Biscuit Wrapper – Pitt Rivers Museum Artifact about the creepy poetry written on the wrappers. You can also read an excellent in-depth description by Hoag Levins, called The Story of Victorian Funeral Cookies.

Now for the yummy part. The recipe for Vegan Funeral Biscuits adapted from Meg Favreau’s article A Snack Called Death

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Earth Balance butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart (100% Plant-Based Egg Replacer)
  • 2½ cups flour (I used whole wheat Pasty Flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In the larger of the three bowls you are going to need, cream together butter and sugar; add molasses.
  • Create your Vegan egg. This process is done by taking 2 level tablespoons of VeganEgg and mixing it with ice cold water. I used a Magic Bullet (small blender) but you can whisk it together until there are no lumps as well
  • Add the fully blended egg to the butter, sugar, molasses mixture and now set that shit aside
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients
  • Next mix the dry ingredients with the wet. Pour slowly don’t just dump it in there.
  • Don’t over mix. Dough gets tough if you mix it too much. Once it looks good plop it onto a flat clean surface. ( I like to dust the surface with a bit of flour first but as you can see in the photos I forgot)
  • Cut in circles (I used the top of lid for a mason jar and the cookies came out the perfect size)
  • Cook for 10-12 minutes
  • Let cool and eat

DeathAndTheCity

I'm a licensed funeral director living in Los Angeles. This is a place to put my thoughts so I'm not always blowing up my friends' Facebook feed or Twitter with my asinine musings on life and death, and that cliché idea of, everything in between.

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