Back around Christmas I wrote about the creative cooking that goes on in the living units using the items offenders can purchase for themselves and a few extra items they lift from the chow hall. Last month the newsletter committee suggested I round up a couple of legal recipes, meaning that I find a prison chef willing to share a recipe that didn’t contain ingredients smuggled from the kitchen. His cheesecake recipe sounded better than the first one I posted:
Ingredients: You Will Need:
22 Packs Cream Cheese 3 Bowls
1 Bag Hot Cocoa Microwave
1 Box of Graham Crackers Freezer
6 Packs of Reeces
1 Milky Way Serves: 1 Bowl
In a bowl, crush up enough graham crackers to fill the bottom. Mix enough water in to moisten the crumbs (but don’t put too much water). Place the bowl of graham crackers in front of a fan to harden into a crust.
Meanwhile, in a second bowl, empty 11 cream cheese packs into the bowl. Break three packs of Reeces apart and add them to the cream cheese. Then pour a quarter of the bag of cocoa into the bowl. Mix until everything is smooth and you can no longer see any chunks of Reeces. (This takes a lot of stirring.) Put the remaining 11 cream cheese packets, another quarter of the cocoa, and the rest of the Reeces in the cheese. Mix until it’s smooth like regular cheese cake, adding water as needed to make that happen. In another bowl melt the Milky Way and pour it on the cake. Finally, place the cake in the freezer for four hours. Enjoy!
Cheesecake is a bit extravagant and only made on special occasions. You’re more likely to find three guys sitting back on the metal benches watching the latest sporting event with a bowl of nachos:
Ingredients: You Will Need:
1 Bag of Tortilla Chips 6 Bowls
2 Bags of Nacho Chips Microwave
2 Bags of Hot Corn Chips
6 Chili With Beans
6 Sausages (chopped)
9 Squeeze Cheese Serves: 3 Bowls
Put a mixture of tortilla, nacho, and hot corn chips in the bottom of three individual bowls, but not too much. Then place all the chili with beans in three separate bowls. Divide four of the chopped sausages evenly into the three bowls of chili. Add water to the chili mixture so it won’t be too thick and heat in microwave for about two minutes. Pour just enough of the chili and sausage mixture into the three bowls to cover the chips. Then put as much cheese as you want on top of that. Next, mix more of all three chips together and place them on top to create a second layer. Then place more of the chili with beans and cheese on top of the chips. Top the bowls off with the last two sausages. You’re ready to eat.
On Thursday, as we combed through offender property boxes, I saw for myself the staples our population lives on. Almost everyone had a container of peanut butter. In the third room I looked up from my documentation long enough to note a bottle of Asian chili sauce. That’s when an idea started brewing.
During lunch yesterday I pulled a recipe for Thai Peanut Sauce (one of my favorite condiments ever) and started scribbling on it. I happened to know two hungry, well-supplied students in my afternoon classes, one who has repeatedly told me that his favorite cuisine is Chinese. When I told him Thai food is Asian, he said he’d try my recipe if I’d write it down.
Throughout the class period I would interrupt him periodically to ask what was available to him; my recipe had to be legitimate. When it came to vinegar he evaded my question a couple of times before he admitted someone used vinegar, taken from the kitchen, to help with facial acne; and, yes, he could get a teaspoonful. Sans the vital Thai ingredients of coconut milk and curry, I cobbled together a Thai inspired peanut sauce recipe to make a Ramen noodle based Pad Thai.
Warning my curious student that I have no way to test this recipe myself, he assured me he had a praegustator, and when he told me the name of the individual I just nodded. I find out on Monday whether anyone was able to choke it down, or if I will starve if I ever find myself behind bars.