10.11.2007

FUNERAL POTATOES

The first time I heard of Funeral Potatoes was when I was living in Utah. There was a potluck at church and someone called me to ask if I could bring either a salad or Funeral Potatoes. I said, "Excuse me?" He said, "Funeral Potatoes." I said, "What is that?" He said, "You know, like the potatoes you have at a funeral." Still confused, I said, "Uh, I'll make a salad."

There's been a death in our ward, and I received a similar call yesterday asking if I could make Scalloped Potatoes (that's what Funeral Potatoes are called everywhere else in the world), a salad or a sheet cake. I have only been to two "funeral lunches" in my life, in two different states, but both have had the same exact meal at the LDS church following the services: Ham, salad, Scalloped Potatoes, and cake. Is this a church rule? If I am ever in a position to organize a "funeral lunch" will I get in trouble for deviating from tradition? If anyone has had anything other than this exact meal at an LDS church following a funeral, please share.

So, I chose to make the Scalloped Potatoes. I don't normally post recipes on my blog, but this one is from my sister, Kaci. She picked it up when she worked at Melisse in Santa Monica. It is seriously so good, that I have forgotten how to make Scalloped Potatoes any other way. This recipe may seem a little rough because I just estimate everything, but you'll get the idea:

Russet Potatoes
Heavy Whipping Cream
Shredded Parmesan or Romano Cheese (not in the green can, the real stuff)
Couple Cloves of Garlic
Thyme
Salt

Pour enough whipping cream into a pot to cover all the potatoes you intend on cooking in a casserole dish. Place 2 or 3 garlic cloves in the cream (for flavor). Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Remove cream from the heat and remove the garlic cloves. Peel and slice the potatoes with a mandolin or knife to get a uniform thin cut. Place a layer of potatoes in the casserole dish, brush with cream, sprinkle with salt, thyme, and cheese, and repeat with each layer until done. (I usually pour the remaining cream over the potatoes, but that's up to you. I don't count calories, as you can tell.) Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for one hour. Remove foil and brown the top for 5 minutes.

20 comments:

  1. So funny and so true! My dad attended his uncle's funeral in the nicer part of SLC, and he said despite him hoping for a luxury meal, the ward served the ever traditional menu: ham, cheesy potatoes (that's what they call them here, and they are more cheesy than scalloped), salad, and brownies.

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  2. (cristin's mom) I had the exact same reaction to the exact same question the first time I was asked to bring either "a salad or funeral potatoes." When I asked what ingredients were in funeral potatoes, I was told something like "frozen hash brown potatoes, cream of something soup, and crushed corn flakes." Scalloped potatoes are NOT what they are talking about. I've never had the ingredients on hand for that unique Mormon recipe, so I am more than happy to bring a salad.

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  3. Sounds good. I can't wait to try them

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  4. Thanks for the yummy sounding recipe! I looooove scalloped potatoes. I've never heard them called funeral potatoes, but you're right. That is the exact menu that I've had at all LDS funeral meals I've ever been to.

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  5. Scalloped potatoes are NOT funeral potatoes. Shredded potatoes are funeral potatoes. And no, I have not had anything other than the traditional Mormon meal at a funeral.

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  6. (Caitlin) kaci gave me this recipe a while back and I was obsessed with it! They are sooo good! And its really easy to make too!

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  7. we call it cheesey potato casserole in my family and it's yummy. my sister and i are obsessed with it. but shredded, not scalloped potatoes. i'll have to try your recipe. it sounds yummy as well.

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  8. ATTENTION: first of all: WHAT is ROMAINE cheese?? Do you mean pacorino romano? and you are really supposed to use FRESH thyme. Trust me it will make a big difference. Cristin doesn't ever put pepper, but you should put fresh ground pepper at least every other layer. Rotate the direction of the potatoes each layer and it will come out looking very nice. Use a brush to spread the cream too.

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  9. I've heard them called all these names and a few more. It think it is served at all the funeral lunches because everyone seems to love them. I've seen them shredded, but mostly sliced. Mine is called Krunchy Potatoe Bake (nice name, huh :-}because of the cornflakes on top). Camarillo 2nd wards' is the "True" recipe: 6-7 washed & scrubbed red potatoes, cooked with peelings and cooled. Leave peelings on. Slice or grate. Mix sauce together: 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1/2 cup chopped green onions, 1 cube real butter softened, salt & pepper to taste.
    Place sliced potatoes in bottom of 9X13 casserole dish, sprayed first with Pam, then cover with sauce items. Top with 1 cup grated longhorn cheese, then sprinkle with 1/2 cup crushed cornflakes. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Feeds about 8 people. (I never have any leftovers when I make it...I usually have to make 2 or 3 9x13 sized dishes at our house!
    But...hey, I'm going to try Kaci's gourmet recipe..with the fresh thyme and everything. That sounds DELICIOUS!

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  10. Hey Cristin- I snuck to your blog via Tyler and Candice. I am Dave Knapps' wife Larin. My brother and his wife just moved to your neck of the woods. Dustin and Kasea Lazenby. Just a little FYI. Not sure if you have met them at church- but I guess now you know them in a round about way. -small world-

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  11. I thought the pain of taking 50 baked potatoes home from Thanksgiving dinner would have taught you that deviating NEVER works like you hope it will!

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  12. I have never thought about it, but you are absolutely right about the Mormon-funeral menu. Creepy. I too have had the the exact same post-funeral lunch more than once...and never anything else.

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  13. I am a friend of Trine's and she told me to look at your blog when we were talking about witty bloggers (you being one of them). Anyways, I just got a calling in my ward that puts me in charge of a bunch of random stuff and funeral luncheons is one of them. So my question is, what else could or should be served so that I can get a little creative when this assignment happens?

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  14. I wished that someone would have made such yummy sounding potatoes at any of the funerals I have attended, instead I think it is more like what your Mom described frozen, cream of something, and cornflakes.

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  15. Tiffany -

    I was wondering this same thing. Instead of ham you could do chicken or tri-tip maybe. I mean, ham is usually kind of expensive... maybe do different salads. It's hard doing a nice dinner that is inexpensive and easy for lots of people.

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  16. Hey Cristin- I tried calling my brother to find out which ward he is in. I guess verizon has terrible service there. I had no idea that the church is that big up there. Wow.!! My sister in-laws' mom lives there as well her name is Liz Cummings and I think Devon Perry from Camarillo lives there also. I'll have to try my brother again.

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  17. Oh my gosh who died?? Tehachapi sure sounds a lot more exciting since we moved! Death, hay rides, FHE Phantoms! You've got it all!!! Now I wish we hadn't left at all----NO WAIT I TAKE IT BACK!!!! the other night i had a dream that we moved back to tehachapi...because you know, i'm a city girl. i woke up in a cold sweat and mad at dan. i told him later and he really didnt care but started twitching when i mentioned tehachapi. get out soon. get out while there is still time!

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  18. I love to prepare some recipe with potatoes although i know that a person can gain weight if eat potatoes frequently, but i can´t deny that i really like the flavor, most of all when is combine it with some ingredients. Simply delicous. And when i cook, my husband usually is very happy.
    Actually i was looking information about how to buy viagra but i reached this blog, i really enjoyed reading.

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  19. These are not what the LDS community refer to as funeral potatoes. Wrong recipe. Sorry but you got it wrong. Just search "funeral potatoes."

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