Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral

Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral

by Gayden Metcalfe, Charlotte Hays
4.6 18

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Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Forget Scarlet, Zelda, and Tallulah, they pale beside the ladies of the Mississippi Delta who are dedicated, determined, and (pun intended) dead set on seeing the dearly departed off in style. 'Being Dead Is No Excuse' is laugh out loud funny, true, and chock full of recipes for must-be-served dishes at after funeral receptions. Tomato aspic with homemade mayonnaise tops the list that includes Aunt Hebe's Coconut Cake and Virginia's Butterbeans. Those who doubt the import of a table groaning under countless casseroles will learn that 'Nobody eats better than the bereaved Southerner. We celebrate weddings, christenings, birthdays, and just about every milestone in life with food. But every southerner knows that death cooking is our very best.' Now, it's not only the food, but it's also the presentation. For Southern ladies, polishing silver is a form of grief therapy thus the serving pieces will be immaculate. In addition, linens are required. 'We do not want Mildred to go under with paper napkins.' Metcalfe forthrightly addresses the vanity often ascribed to Southern women by describing an older lady who passed away and wanted to be 'laid out' as she looked during the happiest days of her life - when she was a waitress. Thanks to the craftsmanship of the local undertaker she appeared in her coffin in waitress uniform with ruby red lips and the same color hair. Then there is Lavinia, the former wife of a philanderer. Not wishing to be outdone at his services, she made a Botox appointment, bought designer duds, and hired a King Air private jet which she directed to buzz the church. There wasn't anyone with ears who didn't know 'someone' had arrived. Then, Lavinia strode smartly down the aisle stage-whispering, 'I don't want anybody to know I'm here.....I just came for the children.' Greenville, Mississippi native Metcalfe hasn't missed a beat in relating the rollicking rites and rituals necessary for the Southerner's final goodbye, including the frequency of their visits to the local cemetery. 'We won't forget you just because you've up and died,' she writes. 'We may even like you better and visit you more often.' Few will forget 'Being Dead Is No Excuse.' - Gail Cooke
LLindy More than 1 year ago
I'm a westerner from Old South stock here to salute the authenticity of this well-written cookbook on a cherished culture. The recipes are right out of my greatgrandmother's kitchen--except these printed ones read more true to the originals, undiminished by generations of substitutions by forgetful minds sharing kitchen staples through oral tradition.
The laughs at ourselves during the worst of times reflect the genteel spirit of the Old South, too. If you aren't Southern in roots, believe every bit of this commentary on the customs surrounding death as more true than you'd dare imagine-- this while you mentally feast on the comfort food within. And if you're Southern? Oh, well. Bless your heart and aren't you lucky to have found this little book! Polish the silver and brace yourself for a good laugh. This is a self-portrait, just chilling in the fridge before serving.
Southern or not, if you enjoy food and/or people-watching, pour yourself a bloody Mary, grab a plateful of cheese straws or lace cookies and settle in for a unique treat. (Location, location, location: I recommend reading this book while draped under a crocheted afghan. It's a short book and an easy read. A gardenia nosegay in your lap will add a dash of local color. You'll finish the book before you can say "crab cakes", so you'll be able to drop the flowers off at the nearest gravestone before they wilt too badly.)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is hilarious. In addition to providing all the time-honored and tested recipes that are required for a Southern funeral, this book is quite helpful when explaining the Southern death concept to 'outsiders.' I found it to be a wonderful tool for explaining to my northern and midwestern friends the etiquette of Southern dying.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This one joins Three Guys From Miami Cook Cuban as one of my two favorite FUNNY cookbooks. This may not be a trend, but with so many pseudo-serious chefs eating up the airwaves, it's nice to read a book that doesn't take food so seriously!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the chapters of this book pretty quickly. Good stories to which most Southerners can relate. Even better recipes with which most Southerners are familiar and which all other Americans should be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book about southern women and funerals is so true. Enjoyable read. Can't wait to try some of the recipes!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jsweet1 More than 1 year ago
I have loved this book for years! It's hysterical, and now I "get" Bless Her Heart. The recipes are good, but if you're in a bad mood, open to any page and just read...you'll be laughin in minutes, and you'll face the world with a smile.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely hilarious. And it contains the recipe for the BEST vodka cake I've ever had. All the recipes look scrumptious (which is actually why I bought it), but the side benefit of the tongue-in-cheek narratives of weddings the author attended was a bonus! You can't go wrong with this one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book for a gift exchange for a reunion of seven friends who became "The Wild and Wonderful Women of Louisville" over 25 years ago. We met at a Newcomers Club meeting in Louisville and kept finding ourselves at the same events. We acted in plays; played canasta for hours without realizing that we had no jokers in the decks because we were laughing until we cried; and, generally, loved every minute of being together. Most of us were not born or raised in the South, but we quickly became Southerns "by choice." This book brought to mind many of our good times and contains many of the recipes that we enjoy today. I am a Southerner and found a reference to "hummingbird tongues on toast" which we say all of the time when someone wants to know what's cooking or what we are going to have for dinner. My father-in-law was the first person I heard use it and had never seen it in print until now. Great laughs and good eats!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I live in Mississippi and I found this to be the best quide for newbees when participating in a funeral event. This book should be kept with your cook books, as all the recipes are "tried and true".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is too funny. I laughed thru the whole book. Being from the South myself, I could relate to this story and could put names to most of the people in this story. I even enjoyed the recipes in the book, most of which I already had. This is a great book for a book club.
pinkbooks More than 1 year ago
This is a very funny book despite the title. I remember smiling alot as I could imagine those women discussing things among each other. It contains some great recipes and I love the cupboard staples you need to make an emergency casserole..!! Will be buying this as a gift several times for friends who like to cook and need a relaxing funny read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The_Knitter More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved the book! As a Mississippi native, and having lived in the Delta (God's country), I wholeheartedly attest to every word. Do yourself a big, old favor and try one of the recipes - perhaps a grits recipe or pimento cheese. Honey, ya can't go wrong. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago