Tuesday, January 3, 2017


When I reviewed the book Food in the City, I stated that there were no recipes.  I was wrong.  I  wrote the review having read as far as page  290 of  355.   

And there on page 291 was Rikers Island, a prison familiar to "Law and Order" fans, that as a rule has 12,000 prisoners, all of whom get three squares a day. 

Paulette Johnson who runs the food services directs the items purchased, the menus served  for a total of 47,000 meals a day or 17 million meals a year.  She also has to take into account special diets for the prisoners - Muslim, diabetics, cardiac patients and vegetarians ...who said prison wasn't any fun at all?  Get tired of one diet?  Declare your new allegiance to the vegetarians or diabetics and eat "new" food about every three months. 

Johnson said they serve three meals a day - a continental-type breakfast at 5 a.m., lunch at 11 a.m. and dinner at 4 p.m.  Rikers has 170 dining rooms; they are divided into "pantries" for 50 prisoners and "congregate" for 300.

Johnson says the prisoners do not hesitate to criticize the menu.  She said that in an effort to make prisoners eat a better diet, her kitchen has shifted from white to whole wheat bread and lowered the salt content of anything served.  There are NO fried foods due to the possibility that prisoners who are allowed to work in the kitchen might run amok and start tossing kettles of hot fat around. 

She said that the Riker Island Carrot Cake is a great hit.  It is served at Thanksgiving,  Christmas and Ramadan.  Each loaf weighs 9 1/2 lbs. and serves 25.  They make 2,500 loaves +/- per year.

With no further ado - RIKERS ISLAND CARROT CAKE
makes 25 loaves

25 lbs. sugar
25 lbs. flour
8 oz. cinnamon
6 oz. nutmeg
4 oz. clove powder
6 oz. allspice
1 lb. baking powder
8 oz. baking soda
8 oz. salt
20 lbs. raisins
25 lbs. carrots
8 lbs. walnuts
25 lbs. eggs
3 gallons vegetable oil
8 oz. vanilla extract

Mix together the dry ingredients
Add all of the rest and beat until well mixed
Pour into loaf pans and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. 

And that really is the only recipe in the book! 

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