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This TikTok creator makes the recipes she finds on gravestones



"Edamame" by bbno$ is a TikTok favorite set to images of dogs and beachy vacations and other things that people post. Rosie Grant uses it on her account ghostlyarchives (ph), which she bills as about cemeteries and beyond. That is, so many of her recent posts flash from a headstone to a kitchen.

University of Maryland grad student Rosie Grant joins us. Thanks so much for being with us.

ROSIE GRANT: Thank you so much.

SIMON: What's the connection between headstones and spatulas?

GRANT: Oh, Scott, I really love that question and the way it's phrased. There's a lot of connections. I mean, tombstones, when you think about them as being this, like, sort of connection to the living in the afterlife - I discovered during this whole posting on TikTok phase that a lot of people are leaving - not a lot of people, but there are a handful of people who their final mark to the world is putting recipes on their gravestones. So I started cooking a few of them.

SIMON: Oh, mercy. And you've tried them? What's your favorite recipe from a gravestone?

GRANT: I think my favorite one is still the spritz cookie. It's the gravestone of Naomi Miller-Dawson in Brooklyn, N.Y. And her final, I guess, gift to her family was leaving the family recipe that she had never shared in life. And so she shared it beyond the grave. And it's pretty simple. There's no instructions written on the gravestone itself. It's literally just the ingredients. And I found out through TikTok after posting about it, all of these people shared how they cooked the same recipe, the spritz machine that they use. And it's a very tasty cookie.

SIMON: A lot of people have been following you - right? - and trying out the recipes.

GRANT: Yeah. I mean, it's been a really cool way to connect with people during the pandemic. In general, like, cemeteries itself has been a really fun quarantine - I guess you could say quarantine hobby just because you can go outside. You know, you can walk in nature, learn a little bit of history about different local cemeteries and people buried there. And then, yeah, like, posting about actually, like, cooking through these different recipes has been a lot of fun. And a lot of people have posted their own family recipes or how they made a recipe. Even some people have reached out of just being like, oh, I've made this before. This was my take on this gravestone recipe - so, like, kind of an interesting way to connect with people.

SIMON: Have you ever come across a recipe that has made you think, well, now I know why that person is under the ground?

GRANT: You know, no arsenic or anything, luckily. Most of them have just been very, like, beloved family recipes. There have been quite a few that I'm like, oh. Like, there's a good fudge recipe for Kay Andrews (ph) - she's a Utah woman who had her family recipe on their gravestone - that's pretty intense - lots of delicious, hearty butter, sugar, chocolate and whatnot. It's just - I mean, you could die happy.

SIMON: Oh, that's intense. Yeah. Yeah.

GRANT: (Laughter).

SIMON: Has this made you feel - well, have you gotten a little more comfortable with death?

GRANT: I think so, yeah. I think posting a lot about it has been my own way of, like, grappling with, like, getting more comfortable with the idea, even, if anything, celebrating it. My family and I talk about it more regularly of like, you know, what will our final resting place be? How do I want to be celebrated in life? How do I want to be celebrated in death? And it's made me personally feel a lot more comfortable with this, like the absurd thing that we'll all die someday.

SIMON: I think what you're doing is very healthy for all of us. Thank you.

GRANT: Oh, thank you. Thank you so much. It's been a really - it's been a really cool thing to connect with people.

SIMON: Yeah. Rosie Grant, who posts and cooks as ghostlyarchives on TikTok, thanks so very much for being with us.

GRANT: Thank you so much. It's been an honor.

(SOUNDBITE OF LUNA SONG, "THIS TIME AROUND") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.