By Gini Rainey
Don’t you just love all of the surveys, quizzes, etc., that keep popping up on social media sites? And, if taking one isn’t enough, they seem to lead to a rabbit hole that you can get lost in for hours, if you decide to go there. I like the ones that ask things like “what is your favorite color? What is your favorite food? What is your favorite smell?” and then you click a button and it calculates an answer that is very revealing as to your personality, your best friend, or what you’re going to be when you grow up. I just don’t know how “they” are able to figure all of that out from the very generic questions that are asked.
Along those lines, have you ever had anyone ask you “if you could have anything to eat – what would it be?” I have, and I must say that I really don’t have a “favorite” food. I pretty much like just about everything, but if asked what I would like to eat, I have a hard time coming up with anything specific. When I was in grade school, my go-to-lunch was always peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and chicken noodle soup. THAT was my favorite food at that time. Now? Well, right now I’m challenging my brain with what we should have for dinner. I have a ton of cookbooks, a lovely kitchen, food in the freezer, and a husband who will eat just about anything I fix, but I’m at a loss for what it should be tonight.
So, where is all of this heading, you might ask. Well, when I’m fortunate enough to have a conversation with one of my faithful readers and she just happens to mention that there is a cookbook that would make for an interesting blog entry, I just have to find that book, give it a once over, and fill everyone in about it. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I surely don’t need any more cookbooks, but I’m a sucker for something new and unique.
“The Death Row Cookbook” by John Fleury is one of those kinds of books that asks the question “what would you like to eat?” Well, not you specifically, but that group of folks that are a captive audience on death row. Published by Absolute Crime Books in 2014, this little 147 page book goes where no other book has dared to go before – Death Row. Not only does Fleury give the background information on the 28 featured criminals, but he also shares what their last meal requests were, along with their last words, and their method of execution.
This book gives some insight into the criminal mind shortly before the owner’s death, as the last meal is a way for the penal system to offer a last minute nod to humanity. If you’ve ever wondered what Ted Bundy, who may have committed nearly 100 murders, asked for his last meal, perhaps it will come as no surprise that one of the things he requested was a medium rare steak. Then there was Velma Barfield who murdered more than half a dozen people by politely lacing their food and drinks with arsenic. She requested only two things and they came in packages – cheese doodles and Coca Cola perhaps so that it would be harder for them to be filled with poison than prepared foods.
Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, chose 2 pints of Ben and Jerry’s Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream for his last meal. It is also rumored that PETA had contacted him to request that his final meal contain no meat. Then there is the maximum calorie award winner, Gary Carl Simmons, Jr., who was a butcher who took his craft a bit too far by carving up his dead victim and disposing of the dismembered body in the alligator infested bay. Coming in at a whopping 29,000 calories, he managed to consume a medium-sized deep dish Pizza Hut Super Supreme pizza, 10 packs of parmesan cheese and 10 packs of ranch dressings, a family-sized bag of cheese Doritos, 8 ounces of cheese, 4 ounces of peppers, 2 large strawberry milk shakes, 2 cherry Cokes, a super-sized McDonald’s French fry order, and 2 pints of strawberry ice cream. His last words were “I’ve been blessed to be loved by some good people, by some amazing people. I thank them for their support. Now, let’s get it on so these people can go home. That’s it.”
Well, all of this talk about food has made me hungry, and although I’m hopeful it won’t be my last meal, I’m thinking that Ted Bundy’s Medium Rare Steak sounds mighty good to me today. What is surprising to me is that the recipe in this book is so close to the way I prepare steaks around here! It involves the marinade that my Uncle Eli always used for his grilled chuck roasts, and I know that I’ve shared it before in this blog. Just in case you’ve forgotten it or can’t find it, and seeing as how we are coming up the prime grilling season, here’s a refresher for you.
Place your favorite cut of steak into a large zip lock bag along with ¼ cup teriyaki or soy sauce along with 2 cloves of coarsely chopped garlic. Allow to marinade at least 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Turn every couple of hours to evenly [wdi_feed id=”1″]distribute the marinade over the meat. Remove from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Remove from the bag and salt and pepper to taste and grill to your level of doneness. Believe you me, this is some mighty fine eating. Maybe this would be my favorite food! Yup, I think it is!