Beyond Bars: Prison Recipes

Original Airdate July 2, 2014; Updated September 3, 2014, KCET

stinging_for_their_suppersCrossroads is a rehabilitation house in Claremont that provides recently incarcerated women the chance to rebuild their lives. The six month program equips women with new skills and a support system to help make a smooth transition into everyday life.

Jackie White is a former inmate who has been in and out of prisons for 17 years. In this episode of “SoCal Connected,” she shares her famous potato soup recipe: A combination of potato chips, creamer, pepperoni, and a bag of Hot Cheetos.

With little to no resources to cook their meals, inmates are forced to come up with creative ways to heat up their food. White used a stinger tool made out of old electrical chords and spoons. To get even more creative, White used the lids of canned food to substitute as a knife for cutting vegetables and meat.

“In prison, I really felt lost at times. I was recovering from my addiction in prison and needed something to bring me back,” White told reporter Jennifer Sabih. “Cooking for myself and preparing something made me feel worthy and good. That brought back a taste of home and kept me sane.”

White is now the program director for Crossroads.

The women of Crossroads also teamed up with Scripps College Writing Program director Kim Drake to combine more recipes and inspirational stories in a published book, “Stinging for their Suppers.”

Find out how to make potato soup and other recipes with just the help of a stinger and a few simple ingredients in this episode of “SoCal Connected.”