Remembering "The Goner Records Cookbook." The WHAT?

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This holiday season, why not whip up some Broke-Ass Ramen?

Or maybe Cheesy Tongue on Rice?

Then again, why not add some Curry Dogs to your Christmas dinner?

All these recipes — and a whole lot more — are in The Goner Records Cookbook. Goner Records co-owner Eric Friedl reprinted 200 copies of the original cookbook, which first made the scene in 2004.

Unfortunately, all those are gone. “They’re being printed and they’re all earmarked to go all over the place,” Friedl says. “We had orders from all over the country. And internationally, too”

But take heart. You can practice on some of the recipes from that book, which are included at the end of this article. These include Hazil “Haze” Adkins Fried Chicken, which includes “a bunch of corn flakes” as one of the ingredients. And Ernie Quintero’s Top Ramen and Spaghetti-O’s, which asks the chef to “add the noodles to a bowl of spaghetti o’s [sic], the 3 for 99 cents at the 99 cent store kind.” 

These will give foodies practice on making some Goner-style cuisine before Goner’s new cookbook comes out next year.

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Friedl came up with the idea to do the original cookbook. The Goner Message Board was the inspiration, he says. “We had our bulletin board going, and one of the main things that everybody was discussing was food and eating and recipes and bars and where to go in some cities for food and good places to eat. It  sort of was a natural.”

He began asking around for recipes. “I hit up some people I knew who were into cooking. There are some serious recipes, some silly recipes. So it turned out really well.”

The cookbook is “a little different” from other cookbooks, he says.“I kind of lifted parts of the Message Board discussions and put it in the cookbook. So, you have a bit of banter and back and forth.

“This is more of a time capsule as well. Recipes from places in Memphis, Detroit and New York, and Chicago that don’t exist anymore.”

The look of the spiral-bound cookbook is reminiscent of something a women’s organization or church would publish. “The classic form with the ladies auxiliary and different clubs putting their cookbook out and having Goner put one out — especially in 2004 — was really funny and really fun.”

The cover mentions “Goner Records Kitchens.” What is that? “We don’t know. It just sounded like something the Junior League would say.”

Friedl also is featured in the cookbook. “I have some recipes. Like my black bean recipe.”

Asked how he came up with that recipe, he says, “Just improvising and getting drunk and cooking.”

Friedl enjoys getting in the kitchen. “I do like to cook. I’m not a good cook. I’m a practical cook. I cook with whatever’s in the kitchen. I don’t really need too much subtlety.”

The original cookbook “sold really well” in 2004, he says. “People have been bugging me ever since about it. And I just kind of decided to do it this year. I didn’t anticipate that many people would be that interested. And we sold 200 in less than 24 hours.”

Friedl already is working on the new cookbook. “We’re just starting on it. I don’t have anything really nailed down. My brother sent a recipe for his father-in-law’s beef stew.”

And Friedl again may be included. “I hope so. If my own recipes pass the cut.”

He’s open to submissions from people who might want their recipes considered for the new cookbook. 

“It took me two years to get the last one together. Asking people for things that never arrived or took a year to show. Some things just take time.”

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From  Eric Friedl.
  • From Eric Friedl.

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