Cookbook Review

My family likes to give me cookbooks for presents because they know that it is something that I’ll really like. I will get on my sofa with a cookbook and read it just like I’m reading a novel. My sister-in-law gave me this cookbook a few years ago and I honestly didn’t pay much attention to it. I think that I glanced through it and then put it away thinking that I’d look at it at another time. Fast forward two years and I rediscovered it hidden away in my piesafe along with my other cookbooks.

Isn’t this an unusual subject for a cookbook?

(Copied from the Old City Cemetary website.)
How often have you been unsure of what to say or do when confronted with the death of a friend, relative, or acquaintance?

Food to Die For will help in many ways. Inside you’ll find…

Over 100 great recipes for Central Virginia’s favorite comfort foods, including Jane’s Corn Pudding, Cheese Straws, Mur’s Peas, Bookstore Punch, and Sweet Briar Cookies
Lighthearted looks at funeral customs, old and new
Practical advice for writing obituaries and condolence notes
You’ll also learn…
Useful terminology like “funeral tsar” and “dying order”
How to make a gingerbread house
Why thousands of people each year visit Lynchburg’s public cemetery
The cookbook contains 180 pages of recipes, etiquette, and anecdotes. It is fully indexed and profusely illustrated with black-and-white photographs of the Old City Cemetery. We guarantee Food to Die For will be one of the most delightful and entertaining cookbooks you’ll ever read!

Jessica Bemis Ward, the compiler and author, is an experienced cook, hostess, and, most importantly, funeral-goer! Having married into a large, well-known (and aging) family over 40 years ago, she has found herself many times in the midst of funeral arrangements. She shares her ringside observations in this new book. Her wit and wisdom are bountiful, her suggestions helpful, and her taste in both food and style “to die for.”

We’ve had warm weather this week and my meal plans included grilling two nights. I found two sides from the cookbook to serve with our grilled meals. Neither of these recipes are anything new. You probably have your own version that you already enjoy. The dressing on the slaw was different from what I normally do. We enjoyed both of these dishes very much and I’ll definitely make them again. I’m scanning the recipes so that you can read the comments made by the author. One thing I like about the book is reading the comments that she makes about each recipe.

(Click to enlarge.)

I will be happy to type these recipes out for anyone who thinks they might like to try them.

There are many more recipes from this book that I have marked to try. I’ll be reporting back with the results and hopefully some more good recipes to share.


  1. We share a love of cookbooks! I love to read cookbooks just for fun, cover-to-cover. I especially like cookbooks that share a little story or history with each recipe. This one looks very entertaining and informative. I love the title! I hope you find lots of delicious recipes in it.
    Warm regards,

  2. What an unusual cookbook. Sounds like it has some good info. Both of the recipes sound good. I think I will try the spinach and artichoke salad this weekend. I collect cookbooks as well. I just love trying new dishes. It keeps cooking from becoming boring! Have a great day!

  3. I’m a cookbook junkie too!

    I saw a cookbook similar to this many years ago, although it was from a Midwesterner’s point of view and explained the etiquette of the “dead spread.”

    I’ll have to look for this one on Amazon.

    Thank you for sharing and feeding my addiction!

  4. I can’t wait to grill out! We are supposed to have warm weather next week. Today, it’s 40 degrees again.
    Thanks for checking out the patio, I was thinking of an outdoor rug too. Staining is going to be the hard part, I just hope I don’t ruin it, then I will defintily need a! Kristen

  5. We are quite the same with cookbooks. I love to sit & read them, but they make me so hungry too~that’s the down side! This sounds like an interesting book and I like both recipes. I’m always looking for an alternative to potato salad in the summer.

    Thanks so much!


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