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A public conversation about our worlds.

  • Monday: Morgan J. Locke
  • Tuesday: Madeleine E. Robins
  • Wednesday: Maureen F. McHugh
  • Thursday: Bradley Denton
  • Friday: Steven Gould
  • Saturday: Caroline Spector
  • Sunday: Rory Harper

Brain Activity



Fantabulous!

December 6th, 2007 by Bradley Denton

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

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.)Fantabulous Fried Chicken (p. 26)

Fantabulous Fried Chicken (Malice's Restaurant, p. 27)

Posted in Barb, Brad, Daily Life, Food, People, Personal History, Writing | 7 Comments »

7 Responses

  1. Steven Gould Says:

    Back when you guys lived in your first apartment in Austin, I was privileged to be present at one of your BD celebrations when you made this and your famous home-made pizza.

    It helped to make me the man I am today.

    (Twenty pounds over weight.)

  2. Maureen McQ Says:

    Serve with broccoli, nachos and beer. Gotta love a recipe that gives the appropriate sides. (Looks like a good recipe!)

  3. Rory Harper Says:

    I laughed half of my broken ass off while reading this post.

    Not only does the recipe sound delicious, it’s some of your best writing that I’ve seen.

    Tragically, as did Steve, you peaked early, Bradley. Close analysis of your published writing will likely reveal that all of your following efforts have just been re-workings of this brilliant seminal piece.

    Perhaps some day, you’ll accidentally write this well again.

    Uh, also — from your recipe, I suspect that you can get anything you want at Malice’s Restaurant

  4. Madeleine Robins Says:

    What might one substitute for sesame seeds? Assuming that one doesn’t want a massacree of all household denizens who are allergic to them? Poppy seeds? Styrofoam chips?

    It sounds yummy. It’s 8:29 am and I’m craving fried chicken. As usual: Damn You, Denton!

  5. Maureen McQ Says:

    You know, besides making me hungry and faintly nostalgic for grad school–very faintly–your recipe reminds me of when ‘generic’ was a big deal. Generic mac and cheese. Generic corn flakes. Those white boxes with black lettering. I wonder what ever happened to ‘generic’.

  6. Paula Helm Murray Says:

    Gonna have to make that again soon. Cookbook is still on my cookbook bookcase downstairs near the kitchen.

    Yummy.

    (i think you could leave the sesame seeds out, there’s enough dry ingredients and it would still be tasty… )

  7. Barbara Paris Says:

    Hey, Brad! I was looking to see if any Malice’s Restaurant Recipe Books were on e-bay and found your article through a Google search! How kewl is that! I had lunch with Jane Garrett yesterday, and we were talking about the great time we had putting Malice’s together–on a TYPEWRITER!
    So where the heck are you and what are you doing?
    I retired in 1991 and moved to SC to be closer to my kids, but was going through withdrawal for Lawrence and returned almost three years ago. Jane and I are still best friends and I’m loving it here! Working on genealogy and volunteering for K.U.’s Audio-Reader.
    Best of luck to you and Barb!

    Fondly,

    Barb Paris

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