In a cooking rut? Why not whip up some "Post-Mortem Potato Soup"? Or perhaps some "Rice Rigor Mortis"?
Those are two of the 42 dishes Brian Price, a former inmate and cook in the prison that houses Texas’s busy death chamber, offers in his upcoming book, "Meals to Die For." While serving 14 years for sexual assault and kidnapping, Price prepared 220 last meals for the condemned, a job other prison cooks turned down because "it gave them the creeps," Price said.
The 504-page paperback, to be released soon, details Price’s memories of the condemned and graphic descriptions of the crimes that landed them on death row. It also features copies of handwritten last meal requests and mug shots of 200 prisoners executed in Huntsville, north of Houston.
"This book is not for everybody," said Frank Wesch, 39, Price’s nephew, who left his job in a family-owned paper business to publish "Meals to Die For." Nonetheless, Wesch said, "it is a masterpiece."
Since his release last year, Price, 52, has lived in the east Texas town of Crockett, where he and his wife co-host a prison ministry radio show. On his Web site, Price calls himself "a prisoner of Jesus Christ."
In response to critics who have called his book an unsavory attempt to profit off crime, Price says he never meant to offend.
"I’m just trying to put flesh on these men and women who were executed," said Price, who is working on a novel about political corruption in Texas. "I’m trying to humanize them."