Yes, you read that headline correctly. I’m going to write about funeral food.
You know what I mean. Those potluck dishes you create for the family dinner at the Baptist Church or the Civic Center or the American Legion Bingo Hall that follows any memorial service. Where the requirements are that each creation, unless it’s fried chicken or roast beef or posole, must contain at least one of the following: cream of mushroom soup, velveeta cheese, cool whip or Eagle Brand Milk (aka sweetened condensed milk).
Except in New Mexico, where there’s an additional requirement. Green chile.
And there are other requirements for funeral food. It has to be comforting. It has to almost make the family forget about their sorrow, at least for a minute or two, and it has to travel well, because you’re going to send it home with them for later in the week when the hubbub has died down and they’re not feeling up to cooking yet. It has to hopefully taste better the second day.
And one would hope that it tastes better than that carrot raisin salad someone always insists on bringing. Honestly!
One of my favorite dishes to take to a funeral lunch is cream cheese corn with green chile. This started out as cream cheese corn, handed down to me by my Kansas mother-in-law. When I moved home from Kansas, I naturally added green chile and this dish rapidly became a family favorite.
Here’s how you make it. Combine one large bag of frozen whole kernel corn, two cans of white corn (drained), one package of cream cheese, 1/4 cup milk and two tablespoons sugar and at least a 1/2 cup of chopped roasted and peeled green chile. The amount of green chile you use depends on your personal palate. Throw everything into either a saucepan or a crock pot. I always use a crock pot. It’s something easy to carry to the church kitchen.
Cook until everything is heated through and the cream cheese has melted, which is about 30 minutes in the saucepan and a couple of hours in the crock pot.
That’s it. You’ll be a rock star when you take this dish somewhere, and if you don’t have a funeral to attend, consider making it for the next office potluck.
Here’s another great funeral dish, and I don’t know the name. I’m not even sure what category it falls into. Dessert? Exceptionally sweet side dish? Not a clue. All I know is that this covers two of the required ingredients and it is decadently comforting.
Combine a tub of Cool Whip with a can of cherry pie filling, a handful of walnuts (if you like nuts) and a can of Eagle Brand milk. That’s it. Chill prior to delivery if necessary, but this is not an absolute. In fact if you’re somewhere and you forgot to make a dish, drop by the grocery store, buy all these ingredients and then assemble it wherever you land. It’s that simple.
People will swoon. This is some amazingly good stuff.
What’s you favorite go-to dish for funeral dinners? Potlucks? If you provide a comment, you have to say which New Mexico county you’re from. . .