Homestyle Cooking

A diverse meal composed from three different cultures


I picked this appetizer of a buttermilk bacon salad due to the fact that it appears to be a high end dish that Piper Kerman had before she entered jail. The dish contains greens, bacon, toasted pecans, heirloom tomatoes, soft-boiled eggs and buttermilk-herb dressing. This would have been a part of a meal Piper would have had as she was in Los Angeles or in Chicago as she was spending time with friends after she found out she was going to jail. Piper tried to live as much as she could before she went into jail and that included eating the best dishes she could knowing that she would be turning to bland jail food soon.


In Pakistan during the late 1900s and early 2000s the common entrée consist of rice and chicken, called murgh (chicken) pulao (rice), often with some vegetables (peas, peppers) thrown in. Malala says, “we would sit on the floor...and eat with our right hands, as is our custom, balling together rice and meat” (Yousafzai 23). This is a staple in Pakistan and eaten almost everyday for dinner, hence why I chose it for the entrée.


In Sierra Leone, located in Africa, vegetables are common to include with an entrée. Onions, potatoes, corn, and beans are seasoned and occasionally mixed to create a variety of different flavors. Ishmael Beah, a traumatized child from the 1980s, spent his childhood traveling around Sierra Leone and Liberia. He was accompanied by his older brother Junior and his parents. I chose the Sweet Potato Fries as a side dish because it connects both the African culture and the childhood of the main character, Ishmael Beah.


The dessert is going to be pudding because based on when the main character is serving her 16 months in jail she gets served pudding as one of her choices of dessert. It definitely was a big culture change for her because she went from being a high end, Los Angeles girl, eating at fancy restaurants every night, to being in jail and living off of the jail food. She definitely was not used to the change. When she was talking to one of the other inmates, they told her not to eat the pudding because before they serve it out, it comes into big pales and they usually have to scrape the mold off the top layer of the pudding. I chose this because it shows how she went from eating all fancy, high end foods to being in jail, eating moldy pudding and how it was a huge change for her.