Thursday, May 29, 2008

Idle Flap

Tamalehawk apologizes. He never intended to leave you grappling the gravity of grapes for such a gaping gap of time. He has been eating nonstop, craving brownies at almost every turn, fighting impulses to shun normal food forever and embrace full-wingedly the blaring beckon of the constant dessert lifestyle. If it weren't for sandwiches like these, on fresh ciabatta bread from Bennison's in Evanston, he might tumble beakward into the chocolaty void.

Acting on the spurred curiosity of an owl, Tamalehawk pulled the trigger on Sarpino's, a strange sliver of a store situated in a nearby stripmall. It's kind of shocking how many things Tamalehawk will commit to based solely on morbid intrigue. He ordered a hilariously complicated taco pizza that was wildly overpriced, and some garlic-cheese breadsticks. The whole operation hinged on the suspicious dipping sauces. Final evaluation: Take Papa John's, add a Napoleon complex and a baffling global presence, and you've got Sarpino's. The pizza was very weird and the breadsticks were great, and he'd probably order it again whenever he feels a longing for the reckless majesty of his college days.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

True Test

Tamalehawk's life-long tendency of eating grapes until he gets a serious grape-ache and then mustering up some kind of inner strength to keep eating more blooms into a full-blown habit in the spring months. There is just never enough room for all the grapes he needs to eat, and as his wing muscles gently vasodilate, beak agape in a kind of grape paralysis, he wonders if there were any strays left in the bottom of the crisper that could be fervidly foraged.

Each grape session sparks stark images of the most powerful grape challenge Tamalehawk has had to date; one that tests the very limits of your will by posing a single, haunting question: Can you eat 100 grapes in a minute? The scope of the task seems manageable, even laughable in its apparent modesty. You want to stand up and proclaim, yes, of course I can do that, any person with any shred of focus can achieve this lowly goal. It is this very hubris that contributes to your inevitable demise. You go in half-cocked, shoveling in wing-fulls at a time into your manic mandibles, spurred on by the ticking of the stopwatch. It's not long before that colander of innocent grapes looks like a bucket of tiny, live grenades.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Little Help

So, Wikipedia is calling this an Egg in the Basket, and since society has spoken on its formal title, who is Tamalehawk to object? You guys make these, right? Tamalehawk is a big fan of constricting the egg's reckless sprawl. Nothing is worse than setting your egg adrift like a jellyfish in poaching liquid, albumen tendrils ghostly coasting along. So, clearly, using the fried toast to fetter the egg is a satisfying solution. It's also a great use for terrible Trader Joe's bread that you got fooled into thinking was edible and have since been neglecting.

Speaking of being pleasantly fettered, Tamalehawk is officially on the search for a silver bullet take-out options to supplant the dine-in experience he so cherishes. He has long exhausted his folder of the usual suspects, and has grown resentful of their uninspired selections. Here are his judging criteria: Speed - it has got to be reasonable. No longer than an hour average. Packaging - it has got to be secure and appropriate. Friendliness - they've got to have a distinctly detectable tone of appreciation in their voices. Even a tinge will do. Selection - can you offer me something different? Tamalehawk has even stopped to inspect rain-soaked menus on the sidewalk for new contenders. That's how desperate he's become - it's a cry for help.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Your Future

It had been a while since Tamalehawk completely destroyed his kitchen in a frenzy of clattering pans, slamming drawers, and feverish slicing. Based entirely on Ladyhawk's idea, he set to work on this strange creation. The goal was to scavenge the pantry and freezer, transforming neglected ingredients into a stronger, more delicious new entity. Can Tamalehawk turn a spurned assemblage into a beautiful bounty without getting burned?

Rag-tag Chili Mac: Purge some veggie burgers from the freezer, emerging as icy pucks, and were chopped into small chunks. Dice onions and garlic and get them going in a pan. Season it with what you have on hand - Tamalehawk chose a distinct dirmexion and added coriander, oregano, and cumin. Add some corn that has been hiding in your freezer door. You could probably add some languishing legumes at this point, maybe black beans if you have them? Add some tomato paste and stir. Slide in your chopped veggie burgers, and some canned crushed tomatoes. Throw some pasta into a pot a boiling water and turn the sauce down to a simmer. Add some pasta water to the sauce to loosen it up if you like that kind of thing, and spoon it over the pasta and serve. Bonus: pry open a bagel from the bag on your counter and make some garlic bread by topping with cheese, garlic powder and olive oil and throwing them under the broiler. BOOM. You've just made something healthyish that will get even better when you eat the leftovers the next day.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Earth Curves

Each year when the weather gets warm, Tamalehawk must cater to his constant crippling craving for snacks. Anything in sight is fair prey, from bursting a bag of bagel chips open with his beak or slashing open an ice cream canister with his grasping talons. He can be anywhere when the hunger hits, in the middle of a service road on a routine fly-over, nuthatches chattering on a nearby wire. He'll eschew chewing if time is tight, sliding the snack sideways down his gawping gullet. Shame never enters the equation.

Thanks to an ashy drongo in the know, Tamalehawk followed up on a hot tip about some new chips. He's too lazy to go check the bag for the name, and if he did, he'd devour another wingful without looking down. OK, he checked for you, and if you must know the bag was twisted too tight to fight it open for a final feral feasting. They are called Flat Earth, the Peach Mango variety, and they are bonafide chip innovators (someone please find a way to combine this concept into one word; Tamalehawk's claws seize in anticipation). UPDATE: The tomato ranch version is a sheer delight, a new savorite. That's savory favorite, everyone.