Egg Salad Sandwiches, the Quintessential Funeral Food
Growing up in my house, the making of egg salad sandwiches meant death. Someone had died and egg salad sandwiches were made.
What an odd combination.
I always felt funerals were to be sad, but I think secretly most people were a smidge happy at knowing that all the rare funeral food would be laid out across the white clothed table with just about the same love, care, and attention to detail as the person who was laid out in the coffin. (A bit macabre but we are talking funeral food.)
Once I heard my mom in the kitchen. I could hear she was peeling hard boiled eggs and mashing them together with the fork tinging against her large glass pyrex bowl. I immediately asked, “uh oh, who died?” She laughed and said, “I had time so I just thought we could have egg salad sandwiches today.”
With a sigh of relief in my voice, I responded with a “whew” and then raised my voice and my eyebrows to question, “even with the crusts cut off?” “Even with the crusts cut off,” mom echoed.
For some reason the egg salad sandwich did not taste the same. It felt like something was missing…perhaps when someone dies, and food is prepared, it is made with love, memories, and tears.
These were just Saturday sandwiches. Made on a whim due a craving and extra time.
I remembered when my own mother died, and the Lady Shriners prepared an impeccable lunch. There on the table on decorative china plates, delicately stacked, lay the coveted egg salad sandwiches.
Precious yellow mashed eggs and mayo, spotted with pepper were tucked neatly between two crust less triangles of white bread. I had to smile – funeral food.
My mind flashed back to that Saturday in the kitchen, “who died?” I whispered, while reaching for the topmost triangle.
That bite tasted like a comforting hug. It was all I needed to be reminded that this sandwich was made with love, care and memories of my mom.
Egg salad sandwiches mean death and love. The quintessential funeral food.