Friday Night Pizza
Steve Clemens, FPC Duluth. June 21, 2006
Since the prison served fried fish fillet (or grilled 'cheese' sandwiches) every Friday, it is often a night when the inmates "eat out." Obviously the source for this culinary excursion is either the commissary or the black market. Muff, one of my cellies, used to be a cook at several of his previous seven prisons and he wanted to show his solidarity with me by "cooking" a pizza.
I ordered a 'pizza kit' from the commissary, which consists of a pizza shell and a packet of pizza sauce. I also purchased a spicy beef log (summer sausage) and three packets of string cheese. So I thought we were all set.
It would cost us about $7 from the commissary for a pizza about 8-10 inches in diameter.
That same Thursday evening, another inmate stopped by the room and asked if we needed any pizza shells. He works in the bakery section of the kitchen and had 4 pizza shells he had made for sale--for 1 stamp (39 cents) each—a real bargain. He said they were made from flax seed and whet germ and also included some jalapeno pepper in it to give it a little extra zing. I looked at Muff and he agreed it would be a good deal so I made my first prison purchase from the 'alternative economy' inside. The beef log was large enough to accommodate an extra pizza or two but we obviously needed more cheese, sauce, and, if desired, other toppings.
Friday afternoon, another inmate stops by with an onion and a green pepper! I don't know if Muff "purchased" them or whether it was a friend of his doing him a favor. We went to the chow hall for supper (fried fish nuggets, overcooked carrots, and macaroni and cheese--with a hardened piece of something like pound cake topped with frozen strawberries and sauce, meant to approximate strawberry shortcake), ate a little to tide us over, and then went to the Harrison Ford movie, "Firewall," showing at 5:30 pm at the theater. (Supper is served at 4:45.)
I stood back and watched Muff do his thing. With a plastic knife from food service and with no plate or cutting board, Muff cut up the beef log, cheese, onion, and pepper on the inside of the lid to his tupperware bowl he had purchased at one of his previous prisons. (Here, everyone "cooks" in either a tupperware bowl or a pottery bowl made in the Hobbycraft area.)
These ingredients were cooked for two minutes in the dorm microwave, stopping to stir them halfway through. The pizza shell was prebaked in the food service kitchen so the next step was to spread the pizza sauce on the
shells. Since we had only enough for one, Muff tracked down someone who had salsa from the commissary and that got mixed with the pizza sauce. Muff's piece de resistance was adding mackerel as a topping. I was not convinced of the efficacy of such a move so he only put it on his own pizza. It sounded too much like anchovies to me!
Since we needed more cheese, Muff found a guy down the hall who had 3-4 more pieces of string cheese and in exchange we made a third pizza to give to him since we had enough toppings. Since the mackerel was already mixed in, he got his "with" but he didn't mind at all. Each pizza was “baked” for 2 minutes in the microwave and with a cold can of soda pop each, we had our Friday night feast.
When I get home, I'll have to call up Domino's and see if they deliver a "prison Special"!