Prison Visiting Room Food Tips
There are so many moments that families who get to see each other every day take for granted. One of many things we took for granted was eating together. It was just something we did, no big deal. Well, no big deal until we couldn’t do it anymore.
Visits were about more than just seeing each other; they were also about eating. Eating TOGETHER. That is a huge deal when you only get to eat 2 or 3 meals together a month, and we decided to make every meal together special (Read our story on visiting rooms).
That may sound wonderful, but it was not easy. Our choices for a meal were all found in the prison visiting room vending machines. We all know that not much good comes out of vending machine unless it is covered in chocolate!
Although our choices were often limited, we made some pretty good meals in the visiting room. There are some important steps you have to take if you want to have the best meal together. Buying and preparing vending machine food so it tastes as good as it can is a process.
First, as soon as you get into the visit room, take the time to scope out the selection in the machines. First come, first served, and if you snooze, you lose. If you see something decent, buy it! Don’t wait, or someone else will get it, and you will be left eating the egg and cheese biscuit and Triscuits.
Once you get the food, don’t heat it up right away. You will want to wait until you and your husband are ready to eat it. Heated vending food that has turned cold is disgusting, so this is super important. You need to eat as soon as you heat it up. It is totally worth “losing” those 5 minutes to stand in line and warm it up right before you eat.
Now, here is the fun part
Don’t just heat up a sandwich the way it comes in the package. Open the package and separate your food by group. Leave the meat in the container and place the bread on a napkin and the vegetables on another napkin or inside the plastic wrap you took off the sandwich. Warm the meat up first, because it usually takes the longest (about 1-2 minutes, depending on the portion size). Next, put any vegetables, like green peppers or onions – that you want to be warm, on top of the meat and heat that for 15-20 seconds. Finally, put your sandwich back together and put it all in the microwave for the final 15-20 seconds. This will soften the bun.
Once your sandwich is hot, add your ketchup and mustard and black pepper. Mmm, mmm, mmm, it will taste pretty good now!
When you heat up your sandwich this way, it will take you about 3 minutes longer. If you do NOT do it this way, you will have saved 3 minutes to spend with your husband. But, you will be eating rubbery, wet bread with a room temperature piece of meat in the middle. Gross!
Since you have the gift of eating a meal together, spend the extra time to make it taste as good as possible. The experience will go a long way toward helping you connect and bond together in spite of the prison walls (Read about how our family went through my husbands incarceration).
I am rooting for you!