Being in prison is sometimes called 'doing porridge'. This recipe is for basic porridge which can be improved by adding flavours and sweetness as required. Making and serving a porridge or gruel of this kind offers and opportunity to identify with those unjustly imprisoned in many countries.
- 50g porridge oats
- 350ml milk or water, or a mixture of the two
- Greek yogurt, thinned with a little milk
- Clear honey, maple syrup, or chopped fruit such as bananas, berries or strawberries
House of Unjust Imprisonment
Prisoners, hostages and detainees have to be fed. In most prisons, people are fed what they need but in some places prisoners, especially those unjustly imprisoned, can be given fare that is very basic indeed, just enough to keep the body going.
The kidnapped hostage Brian Keenan wrote than when he was finally given an orange after months of captivity he just sat and marvelled at it. Prison food which is designed just to keep people going without much cost is often based on thin porridge (gruel) of various kinds and is made by mixing cereals with water or milk.
We invite you to think about sharing a meal which reflects a prison diet and to remember those who are being provided with only basics. Or you might like to organise a family fast day.
- What do you think are the basic foods people need to survive?
- What do you think might happen to people who are not properly fed?
- What happens when food = power?
- Imagine you were in Brian Keenan's position, how would you have felt about that piece of fruit?
- If you had been unjustly imprisoned and then released what would you feel about your first meal?
We hope you find 'food for thought' in sharing a meal together. Perhaps there are other recipes you would like to share or suggest for this space where people can reflect and pray about the needs of prisoners and the basics for human existence. Write down any thoughts you might have in your notebook, journal or blog. Are there any ingredients you would like to carry in your rucksack for your further journey?
Where would you like to go now? Where else will this journey take you?