donutsBecause I talked about food in a recent blog, I’m going to continue on with the topic and tell you a story about my love for donuts. While growing up once a week….usually on a Sunday morning….we would have a Donut Day breakfast. On those mornings I would wake up super early before everyone else because I wanted to get first dibs at my favorite donuts to eat. Of course, I was only limited to three or four at each sitting. Just kidding! But I knew the day would eventually come when I could buy and eat unlimited amounts of my favorite food!

It was the year 2000, the summer before my junior year in college. I was working at Kanakuk Kamps, the largest Christian sports camp in the world. It seems like a lot of my stories evolve around my Kanakuk Kamp years. These were some of my favorite summers, both as a camper and a counselor. At dinner one evening, the chow hall was serving sloppy joes, along with some sides and a dessert. We never knew what the dessert was going to be until it would be placed on the counter halfway through the meal. So when my co-counselor and I saw that it was donuts, we looked at each other and decided it was time for a little friendly competition. We wanted to see who could eat the most donuts before leaving the chow hall.

Now the donuts they were serving us were identical to Krispy Kreme glazed donuts, except a generic name brand. But the size, look, and taste were all similar. Since our group of campers was the last group to eat, there were plenty of extras, too. So we could eat as many donuts as we wanted to. Now I’m not a big guy….tall and skinny actually. My co-counselor has the same build. And we both already had some food in our belly before the competition began. We started eating donut after donut. We decided to keep the amount of donuts consumed to ourselves until the very end and then say how many we ate simultaneously. This competition was a dream come true.

Chow was nearing the end, and clean-up was underway, but we still kept popping donuts in our mouths. I started to sweat really bad with the amount of sugar I was taking in, and I felt like I was about to pop. But the other counselor kept eating, so I knew I had to continue on. As clean up was winding down and the chow hall was clearing out, the donuts were being put away.  When the last of the campers and counselors left the hall my co-counselor happened to find a few more donuts, and started shoveling them into his mouth. There was no way I could let him beat me. I wouldn’t hear the end of it. So my adrenaline kicked in, I jumped behind the counter and smashed a few more donuts. Finally, with donuts still in our mouths we were forced to leave the hall so it could be locked up.

Miraculously, I didn’t feel sick. I was just dripping with sweat and felt I was about to explode. As we exited the chow hall, the moment of truth was upon us. I for sure thought this was in the bag. As we counted out loud to three, we both said our numbers at the same time. He said 29 and I said 27. I lost. I couldn’t believe he beat me by two!!  But I didn’t care, as it was just for bragging rights anyway and turned out to be a lot of fun.

I also couldn’t believe I was able to eat 27 donuts in one sitting. Donuts are good, but excessive donuts – just like anything in life – are not so good for you. To this day I still think about that memory every time I eat a donut. It’s a moment I’ll never forget, and will probably never do again. But….my love for donuts is still the same as it was as a kid, so who knows what may happen. I wonder if 28 donuts is a feasible goal in my future donut-eating. Anybody up for a friendly competition! HA!


Let’s Eat!!

t-bone steakI love to eat. Who doesn’t enjoy a good meal! The aroma of a pizza or brownies fresh out of the over; biting into a fresh strawberry or watermelon in the summertime; cream oozing out of an oversized cream puff.  It gets me every time. I absolutely love sweets. Not so much candy (although I can always eat a Butterfinger), but the pastries, cakes, and donuts. Unfortunately, my life in prison doesn’t allow a whole lot of opportunity to eat my favorite foods or sweets.

pizzaPizza is my favorite food, with Pecan Pie being my favorite sweet, although gooey butter cake is a close second. However, here in this place, I cannot choose what gets served at meal time. The only option we have is whether or not we want to go to chow or not. Most of the time I do go, although the meal is hardly filling. But it does hold me over until the next meal. And no, the food is not like the mush you see on prison movies. It’s more like the hot lunches we would eat at school as a kid. However, during a holiday, the prison splurges a little and feeds us very well. They feed us a meal according to the type of holiday it is. For example:

Thanksgiving: turkey, ham, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberries, pecan pie, etc.

4th of July: hamburgers, hotdogs, brats, corn on the cob, etc.

Martin Luther King Day: chicken, collard greens, cool-aid, etc.

Cinco de Mayo: burritos, tacos, enchiladas, etc.

Yes, it is comical to see grown men get excited about the kind of food we are served, but it’s the little things in life (Ha!), and I do feel stuffed afterwards. Of course, you have to hope the food doesn’t run out by the time your building arrives…..that has happened and it is so disappointing.

We also have the option of buying extra food at the commissary (small convenience store with various food, clothing, and hygiene items). Some inmates take full advantage of that and can cook extravagant meals with the small amount of food they can purchase. Of course, it costs money and it’s not cheap. And with me making a mere 17 cents an hour (or $22 each month), I buy only what I absolutely need.

Before coming to prison I was blessed to have a fridge and pantry full of food. I could eat when I wanted to, and often did. When I was hungry I ate. When I was bored, I ate. Or I would open up the fridge every ten minutes to see if something new would pop out at me that I never saw before. I’m sure most of you can relate.

Food was always at every social gathering and events. It was everywhere. My diet has drastically changed while being locked up, and for the better I believe. I feel the last few years have prolonged my life down the road as I get older. I no longer eat those greasy or fried foods and hardly ever eat sweets. I must say I do miss them, but feel great at the same time, and I can certainly do without them. I guess we’ll see what happens when I get out of this place!