Sunday, October 14, 2007

Mama, don't bury me with the spuds.

Published October 14, 2007
St. George Spectrum & Daily News

Shameless plug alert: Ladies, October 25th is the expected launch date of, a new Spectrum sponsored website created by moms, for moms in the Southern Utah area. As a committee member, I've had a hand, along with many talented and dynamic moms, in creating this truly wonderful place for local moms on the web. Check out the page on the launch date and stop by our booth at the What Women Want Expo next weekend!

Now that that's taken care of, we can get to the topic at hand. Perhaps it's better referred to as the topic at stomach, as it is food related. I use the term food loosely, however.

Earlier this year, I wrote a column detailing my final wishes...those very important things I'd like to have done when I leave this life (kicking and screaming, of course). If you'll recall, and more importantly, if you don't, I want my organs donated, my body donated to science, and then I'd like to be cremated and have my remains released from Angel's Landing in Zion National Park. I'm currently taking applications for the job of "Most Honored and Blessed Hiker." Who knows? It could be you!

I was going to leave my final wishes at that, but it occurred to me that after 12 years in this state, I've pretty much "settled" in Utah. In all likelihood, this will be the state in which I die. For the most part, that's not a bad thing, but there is one custom peculiar to this area that makes me want to drag my sick and dying body across any available border before I kick that proverbial bucket.

People...I'm talking about funeral potatoes.

Often served after a Mormon funeral, hence the name, funeral potatoes are diced or hash brown potatoes swimming in fat, covered in fat, drizzled with fat, and then baked in fat. Sometimes, they're topped with corn flakes (for balance, I guess). I've also heard them referred to as Yummy Potatoes, Good Potatoes, and Mormon Potatoes. I like to call them Massive Coronary in a Casserole Dish.

I am asking, nay, begging. Please, for the love of all things holy and cholesterol free, don't serve funeral potatoes at my funeral. I know I'm a member of the LDS church. I know that membership carries with it certain responsibilities and even more certain peculiarities. I know I'm supposed to be "in the world, but not of the world." Funeral potatoes are where I draw the line.

The truth is that I just don't like funeral potatoes. No offense is meant to people who love them, though I express my deepest concern for your health (really...have you seen your doctor lately?). While I know I won't actually be around to eat the meal lovingly prepared for my grieving family and friends, I'm not keen on having many of them follow me in death just moments after my memorial service, you know?

If I may be so bold, I have tentatively drawn up a suggested menu for the...uh...festivities. It's nothing fancy, in fact, it represents the simplicity and practicality of Sarah: spaghetti, garlic bread, and green salad. Jello salad is optional. I don't love it, but I don't have a big problem with it either, and I'm pretty sure it's a commandment that every Mormon function must include jello salad in order to be sanctified in the eyes of God. Far be it from me to plan a funeral God couldn't look upon with approval.

Of course, if funeral potatoes are required for sanctification, I'd rather take my chances.