I’ve just realized that 2007 marks the 25th anniversary of my first adult publication.
No, not that kind of “adult publication,” you pervs. (That came later.) I mean the first piece of my writing that was published after I turned 21.
Note that I didn’t say “professional” publication. Because I wasn’t paid.
Note also that I didn’t say “story” publication. Because it wasn’t a piece of fiction.
It was a recipe.
That’s right, a recipe. It appeared in 1982 in this little 80-page cookbook:
Malice’s Restaurant was the brainchild of the University of Kansas English Department’s then-secretaries, Jane Garrett and Barbara Paris . . . and such was their power over the mere professors and graduate students in their realm that they received contributions from just about everyone. Including yours truly.
My bit was a recipe I had developed during the first year Barb and I were married. See, we were students, and therefore Poor, which meant that most of our suppers featured Rice-a-Roni and not much else. But once in a while we were able to take turns cooking something more substantial . . . and fried chicken nights were mine.
So now, lo these many years later, I’m going to share that chicken recipe with my fellow Brainiacs.
As with most of my early writing, I’m tempted to revise it before re-introducing it to the world. But I’ve decided that to do so would be disrespectful to the 23-year-old who wrote it. So you’re going to see it exactly as the readers of Malice’s Restaurant saw it in the spring of 1982.
It’s a real, usable recipe, and you can actually follow it and wind up with a nice piece of chicken. Honest.
In fact, one of my fondest memories from my and Barb’s pre-Texas years is of one night when Jim and Paula Murray invited us to dinner . . . and when we arrived, their house was filled with the unmistakable aroma of Fantabulous Fried Chicken. Made directly from my published recipe.
And it was dang good, too.
So now, photocopied from pages 26 and 27 of 1982’s Malice’s Restaurant, here’s my own “Fantabulous Fried Chicken Fixings.”
Bon appetit, y’all.
(Note: Squeezing down these page images to fit our EOB space rendered them just this side of readable . . . and I’ve had no luck sharpening them up. So to make them easier to read, I’m oversizing them. That means some white space here, and then some horizontal scrolling. But it’ll be better for your eyes.)