Here at Monroe County Detention Center they are on the menu: potatoes at breakfast, potatoes at lunch and potatoes at dinner.  Once a month potatoes at all 3 meals on the same day.  During the repeating cycle of 4 weekly menus potatoes make 34 appearances, so they are at nearly 25% of all the repasts.

     That includes 16 times for breakfast; there are 12 servings of “cottage fries” and 4 servings of “Cajun potatoes”.  Cottage fries are peeled and cooked plain slices (usually not always dressed with oil), and Cajun potatoes has something on them that looks like it may be powdered dried cumin.  At least I hope that clumpy stuff is.  Cottage fries also are doled out twice a week at dinner and Cajun potatoes make 1 supper side dish just in case we forgot what they looked like.

     Mashed potatoes are the next most popular offering.  With 7 times on the menu, they are seen at lunch (once with gravy) and at dinner 5 times with gravy and once unadorned.  That one naked blob is presented next to meatloaf with tomato gravy, since having the tomato goo over the masked stuff apparently is considered an appetizing option.

     Lyonnaise potatoes (about the same as the breakfast slices with a little more oil and about 4 pieces of onion) show up once at lunch and once at dinner in this version and never in France.

     Potatoes salad is on the menu once at lunch although it can appear unexpectedly at other times instead of pasta salad.  Aha – a SURPRISE!

     Potatoes O’Brien (once at dinner) feature tiny bits of green and red peppers mixed in with that ubiquitous oil.

     Then potatoes au gratin are prepared once at lunch, on the same day as those cottage fries at breakfast.  With the addition of diced turkey ham (colloquially called “erasers” by the inmates because of their texture and appearance), these same au gratin potatoes make the make the main dish at dinner twice.  Curiously, again on the same day as – you guessed it – the breakfast cottage fries.

     Finally, one main dish (at lunch) is called “au gratin potatoes (with soy).”  So Oh-la-la meets health food in a hearty, exceptionally bland encounter.

     And so it goes, week in, week out… plastic sporks in, waistlines out.


Hey Ladies – this spuds for YOU!





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