Saturday, September 24, 2011
Your last meal?
I haven’t read this book yet, but it’s going on the list. Last Suppers: Famous Final Meals from Death Row, by Ty Treadwell and Michelle Vernon, not only describes what condemned prisoners last ate, but includes jailhouse recipes.
That would make for an interesting dinner-table conversation. “This soup is delicious.” “Why, thank you. It’s based on the Alcatraz recipe – with a dash of fish sauce for that Hanoi Hilton flavor!”
But for those of us who aren’t into cooking for large numbers of hungry felons, there’s still a lot to enjoy. James Smith requested a lump of dirt, which he didn’t get. Maybe the prison yard dirt was just too gravelly for him. And Victor Feguer asked for a single olive, unpitted. He probably got that.
David Castillo, though, went to the opposite extreme and ordered “24 tacos, 2 cheeseburgers, 2 whole onions, 5 jalapeno peppers, 6 enchiladas, 6 tostadas, one quart of milk and one chocolate milkshake”. I’m thinking that after such a meal, prison officials might as well have sat back and waited for his cholesterol levels to kill him.
Entertaining though this is, the authors never let you forget that the people in question committed despicable crimes – each section has at least a one-line mention of the condemned prisoner’s murders. I won’t say you need a strong stomach (no pun intended) but it’s not entirely light-hearted either.
Which got me to thinking about my own last meal. No contest, really. I’d want a full Sri Lankan spread – rice, chicken curry, murrunga (drumstick curry), mallung (chopped greens), mango chutney, poppadums and coconut sambol hot enough to cause spontaneous weeping six feet away, washed down with a glass of sweet coconut water. The only thing I’d decline would be a banana leaf platter. I am somewhat Westernized.
What would your ideal last meal be?