Oct. 29 (UPI) -- A Georgia food writer who missed visiting restaurants amid the COVID-19 pandemic found a unique way to bring the experience home: creating a miniature eatery for a chipmunk that frequents her front porch.
Angela Hansberger of Tucker said the forced closing of restaurants during the coronavirus outbreak came as a blow to her both professionally and personally.
"I was facing a lot of anxiety. I kind of hid it," Hansberger told CBS News. "Gosh, I'm crying. I was really sad for all the people in the industry that I worked with."
She said her chipmunk restaurant project began when her uncle sent her a tiny picnic table that she had originally intended to nail to a fence for squirrels to climb.
"I set it down on my front porch while I took the packaging to the recycle bin," she told NBC's Today show. "When I walked back, there was a chipmunk sitting there like a little person. I gave him some nuts I had leftover from a holiday pie and he ate them. The next morning I did the same. He came every day, sometimes sitting at the empty table waiting for me."
Hansberger started creating chipmunk-sized versions of popular restaurant foods to feed her daily guest, who she named Thelonious Munk.
"I began plating his dishes, learning about what was good and not good for a chipmunk diet and trying to make entrees using nuts, grains and fruit," she said.
The food enthusiast said she soon added a miniature bar to the restaurant for serving rodent-sized sushi and ramen bowls.
"One day he came up with this little tiny bundle -- wadded up leaves -- and put it on the table. So, I take it to mean he brought a tip," Hansberger said.
Hansberger has been chronicling the chipmunk's al fresco meals on her Instagram page.