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Recipe Contest

There's a recipe contest that Management wants to enter, and a memo is sent out to request that the African greys don't laugh at her cooking attempts.

Patricia Sund

Memo to Parker & Pepper, illustration by Thomas Kimball/I-5 Studio Memo: To Parker & Pepper
Dept: African Greys
From: Management
Subject: Recipe Contest

I have an exciting announcement! I want to let both of you know that I will be spending some extra time in the kitchen for a few weeks and that you will be testing some new recipes you haven’t sampled before. I came across a Bird Food Recipe Contest in a magazine that I want to enter.

Now, despite the problems we’ve had before with some of my "creations” (meaning I made something and you refused to even look at it), I intend to trudge on. For instance, my "Go-Go Organic Collard, Cabbage and Kale Klusters” hit the deck as soon as I offered them to you. I’m sorry about that; I thought I was on to something.

I do believe some of my recipes have improved, and one of them might be worth entering in this contest. One concoction in particular is loaded with nutrition, and it’s quite easy to prepare. It has been parrot-tested (meaning you didn’t smear it all over the branches of your playgyms before flicking the remainder onto the walls), and I am mulling over a name for it.

For some inspiration and new recipe ideas, I went to a website where they have all of those winners from the "Bake-Off.” I was especially interested in some of the dishes that were big hits in the 1950s and 1960s.

I like some of my recipe names to rhyme, but it’s difficult to find something that rhymes with "spelt” and I know of nothing that rhymes with the word "orange.”

I was a bit disheartened because I also like exotic and clever-sounding names. Everything from the ’50s and ’60s was "Quick- ‘N’-Easy,” "Hurry-Up” and "Snappy-This-And-That” because convenience foods had just hit the shelves for the first time. If the name didn’t emphasize the fact that it didn’t take any time to prepare, everything was a "Ring” a "Bubble,” or a "Pull-Apart.” Or it was a bar, a twist, a pinwheel or a square. Obviously, fondue pot recipes are out, and to be truthful, I simply shudder at the idea of giving you guys anything to "dip.” Face it; the walls would never be the same.

I know you think I give really bad names to my recipes, but that doesn’t discourage me and, I am quite proud of a few. Sometimes I come up with names for dishes I haven’t even devised yet. Here are some examples:

  • Mexi-Mango Quinoa Cup Cakes
  • Spelt-Berry Sunrise Surprise
  • Silly Rabbit Carrot Cartwheels
  • Loosey-Goosey Guava Grits
  • Hazelnut-Wild Rice Henhouse Hash
  • Parsnip Peach Piccata
  • Beak-a-Boo Parrot Pasta Pie
  • Tangy Cajun Cauliflower Calypso
  • Yam it Up Sweet Potato Picnic
  • Mom-Made-It-Quick Broccoli Barley Almandine

Don’t they all sound just delicious?

Those ideas are for the next contest. I have yet to develop them, but I find it fun to start with an appealing name and build the recipe around the title.

I hope you remain supportive of my time in the kitchen, and don’t give me a hard time like you usually do, especially when the smoke alarm goes off.

While I realize you both have a sense of humor, I find it a tad disconcerting when you, Parker, watch me add an ingredient and say "Whoa!” and then Pepper starts laughing. This isn’t nice, and it hurts my feelings.

Everyone’s a critic, but the end result is what counts. In the meantime, Mattie the dog seems to be having a wonderful time finishing up what you fail to appreciate. A little positive reinforcement from both of you would be nice. Please make a note of it.

— Management 

Read more memos to Parker & Pepper here.


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Posted: December 6, 2013, 12:00 a.m. PDT

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