Monday, September 29, 2008

Bento box bonanza!

Once again my gf (Ponine in the link list to the right) has come through for me. In our hunt for a bento box and all of the accoutrement that go with it we have not been successful in the very least in finding a damn thing in San Antonio. Big surprise there! Ok, not really. So Anna went a hunting for us and found this adorable little box for our spoiled little wonder (on evilbay I think), lady bug themed, with a matching bag and chop sticks, all that fit together in said bag:

How stinkin' cute is that? We're keeping all this in hiding until the kid's birthday at the end if October, it's all hidden on top of the fridge but she spent most of the weekend at her grandmother's so I was able to pull it all down to take an inventory and photograph it all. You now get to have a schooling in Japanese soccer mom competition and what all these nifty little foreign things do. Now as I understand it many of these cool jobbies Anna Marie purchased at a Japanese dollar store that opened in San Diego after we moved away (the nerve!) which is probably a good thing. My dd loves the dollar section at Target and if there was one at an Asian cutsie store we'd be screwed and probably never get out of there.

I've pictured all of the items separated by use and I have a bento example so that you know what the hey howdy hell I'm talking about. Mind you I have not really the patience to make one of these lunches, it's the dh that wants to do this and hey, more power to him right? In Japan the moms go at this as a form of competition. And we wonder why they have the highest rate of suicide over there...I think some of these lunches take hours to prepare.

Lets start with the onigiri, little rice shapes. They are supposed to be savory rice balls but seemed to have mutated into some things more complex over the years. I prefer the sweeter versions but hey, I'm American and have very little Asian heritage and no Japanese in me whatsoever.

You can color the rice, shape it into a variety of shapes, put little things on the insides such as sweet meats or beans, etc. The ones we have are a little bear face and a little boy face. Eventually I think we'll get the little Hello Kitty face (must be ordered special from Japan because it's Sanrio i.e. licensed) and other cute shapes. Traditionally onigiri are triangular in shape and you make the shapes using your hands and saran wrap. Whatever, these things are being made by a dad here people, we're using plastic shapers to try and stave off insanity.

Next would be, hmmm the soy sauce bottles. Above are the little piggy, fishy and round shaped bottles (some of the piggies have wings). Not so sure how much we're going to indulge the child on this one. She's a soy sauce addict. As in, would you like some rice to go with that soy sauce dear? She's not allowed to pour her own soy sauce any more, it's that bad. She has no sense of soy sauce control, she ends up with a bit of rice in a bowl full of soy soup. Good thing she's at least got enough Asian blood in her to make her immune to the salt content. All you whities out there that swell up every time you go out for an Asian meal? Yeah we Asians don't have that problem, even us halvsies and apparently the little quarter that my dd has too. These cute bottles have animal heads on the tops, she's going to love them...

What's next? Ohh ok the separators, tooth picks, and the mayo boxes. They are simple so I'll do them all at once. We could not for the life of us figure out what the hell the mayo boxes were when we first looked at them, they look like little monkey heads (emphasis on little) but if you turn the package over there is a translation on the back that says mayo box. So yeah, it's for condiments. Strange but ok, I never thought of sending that little tiny amount of mayo in a container to school but it's cute! The separators (below) you'll recognize if you've ever eaten sushi, they are like the green fake grass they have on sushi trays but you can use them to separate anything in a lunch so they come in all shapes and colors. The tooth picks are self explanatory right? And reusable, I may have to get on the kid about that but they are cute so I may not. She does hoard cute things as it is.

And one last thing, because one must be neat, an apple with a wash cloth inside....

So for all you readers who for some odd reason wanted to know all about Bento, the shortened condensed version, there you go. If you want a little more detail feel free to pop on over to Ponine's blog, she's got more links. I don't bother listing them here, I just use her site cause I'm lazy like that....

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