Another piece of writing by Father Joe author, Tony Hendra, has emerged that has eerie resonance to the growing scandal over claims made by his daughter Jessica that he molested her as a child. This piece, from National Lampoon, is entitled “How to Cook Your Daughter,” a satire that could be described as Jonathan Swift meets Humbert Humbert, and ran in the magazine in September 1971.
Mr. Hendra has told People magazine that his daughter’s allegations are “false in every respect . . . They are hurtful because I love Jessica very much. . . . My daughter has a long history of psychological issues. . . . I am sad about this whole matter and hope she finds the help she needs.” Others have risen to Mr. Hendra’s defense, including Davis Sweet in this week’s Village Voice.
Hendra, a satirist, screenwriter, actor, and author, was the editor of National Lampoon in 1971 when the article excerpted below was published along with a sidebar, “How to Cook Your Father,” by Hendra’s other daughter, Katherine. It was sent to villagevoice.com by a reader.
People often ask, “How do I tell when my daughter is ready for the table?” Well, there’s always some little variation, but generally the exact age falls somewhere between the fifth and sixth birthdays. During this period, the daughter acquires a smooth firmness totally free of flab or muscle, especially in the shoulders, buttocks, and thighs, areas which are the gourmet’s delight. . . . A slight nip of the teeth will quickly reveal the precise degree of succulence. An ancient and surprisingly accurate test of readiness is to hold the buttocks one in each hand and squeeze gently. If the daughter says, “Grrrugchllllchllll,” she is not yet quite ready. If she slaps your face, you have missed your opportunity. But if she giggles, she is just right.
The recipe printed here is the traditional one said to have been originated by the eleventh century Duke of Thuringia, Julian the Fertile. (Julian, incidentally, is said to have died from a surfeit of daughter.). . . .
For this recipe you will need:
1 pint of freshly pressed sunflower oil
1 bottle of very good Riesling
Fresh herbs: rosemary and marjoram
12 ripe sliced papayas
3 cups Grand Marnier
Dressing—a bikini top, black velvet choker, ankle socks (a gout)
1 gallon of whipping cream
1 red apple
1/2 lb. sesame seeds
And, of course,
1 moderately plump daughter
First wash the daughter thoroughly. (If she does not object to this, it is certain that you have misjudged her readiness.) Some gourmets omit this stage, finding that the pâté of scrambled egg, chocolate, and sand found on various parts of the body greatly enhance the end result.
Next take a larger platter, curved to catch the juices, and place the daughter on it. Rub oil gently into the skin, particularly around the rump, shoulder, and cheek, these being the most exquisite delicacies if properly browned. . . .
Now turn the daughter on her tummy in a kneeling position so that her head rests on her hands. Place the sprigs of herb in the gently rounded crevices that will be formed. If she giggles at this point, reprimand her. Then scatter the sliced papaya all over her and rub the liqueur wherever you like. If she persists in giggling, tap her lightly with a rolling pin. . . .
At this point, the daughter will probably want to get up and go to the bathroom or play something else like prince and princess. If so, let her get up off the platter and give her some chocolate. If not, eat her.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 20, 2004