Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Hungry Little Bento... and other stories.

I have been trying to get back into my bento groove, honest I have!  It has not been working out though.  With my kids both home all day and no car while my husband is at work, there isn't enough structure to my days most of the time.  So we usually end up doing something super simple for lunch.  Plus, of course, I've been caught up thinking about the upcoming move and I spend a lot of my spare time these days researching our next adventure.  (Well, when I'm not reading, that is.)

A couldn't stop asking me about WHEN we were heading to Germany, so I made her a paper chain.  This was it a couple of weeks ago - it's even shorter now.  The anticipation is certainly building!  I've been house-hunting, outing-planning, and travel-arranging from afar.  I still don't have specific dates yet but with conditions in our apartment building becoming ever-worse, I have to hold on to something.  So I've been occupying myself with the fact that there IS, in fact, an end in sight.

I did go bento shopping last week for the first time in a long time (the ¥/$ rate these days is REALLY not in our favor, unfortunately!  I've been trying to limit my out-in-town excursions as a result) so I was inspired.  I made the girls teddy bear bentos for lunch the next day, and that went over really well.  Poor photo quality, when I made these my camera's memory card was full so I had to take iPod photos.

A's lunch
C's lunch

These were really simple - a quick little salad with olives and heart shaped carrot slices, slider patties with hot dog, pepperoni and nori details to make them "beary" cute, a couple of fresh strawberries, a fruit jelly, and some pink star puffs.  My kids were really excited to have a bento for lunch so I think it could have been liver and onions and they'd have eaten it.

Then we had a sushi party.  Be jealous.  This was fantastic and I think we're planning to do these sushi nights at least twice a month from now on.

But what I am most excited to post is a bento I made with my friend the other night for her son's lunch.  We were experimenting with hot dog "sculptures" and I had the bright idea to do a hot dog caterpillar.  And then it came to me - her son's most favorite book in the world is Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  He talks about this book like crazy and it was the first book he read aloud to his class.  Whenever he comes over, he volunteers to read it to my girls.  It's adorable.  So why not make a Very Hungry bento lunch?  Hello inspiration!!

So my friend and I put together his lunch box and had a freaking blast doing it.  It was the most fun bento-ing I think I've ever had.  And the finished product was nothing short of awesome!

The very hungry hot dog caterpillar with spaghetti antennae and legs was sooo hungry on his bed of rice that he ate through two slices of pepperoni, one slice of "swiss cheese", and one (soy sauce filled) apple.

This side of the box is a little bit of a jumble, but he had a salad, two pickles, two strawberries (both snacked on by the caterpillar), a leaf with a caterpillar egg, and a butterfly.

This lunch was a total hit with him.  He was quite excited about it.

Of course we had to make my friend's daughter a super girly fun lunch too, so we did that - it's not nearly as awesome as the caterpillar lunch but it's still pretty cute.

She got a Hello Kitty onigiri with hot dogs, a salad and some grapes.  All decked out with hearts and cuteness.  :) You can't ever go wrong with Hello Kitty rice balls.  And when you have a Hello Kitty onigiri mold, it couldn't be easier!  Seriously, this is like a favorite tool.

So there is an update on the food happenings here.  Nobody has starved just yet.  ;)  OH!  And as a side note, did anybody happen to watch the Season finale of House?  I was a little miffed with it.  And VERY miffed to learn that Lisa Edelstein will not be returning for season 8.  I can understand the series ending after next year, but I can't imagine a whole season without Dr. Cuddy.  Hmpf!

Oh well.  I still think that Hugh Laurie is like the coolest guy ever, so I'll just try my hardest to savor the fact that there is going to be a season 8 at all.  And in the meanwhile I can just busy myself with Army Wives, Modern Family, 30 Rock, and the fact that hopefully soon Dexter season 5 should be coming available on iTunes.  See?  I do have things to keep me occupied.

Bento Lunch


  1. Let's shake hands! I've been out of the bento groove as well. :( Thankfully I finally made one again yesterday.

    I love the bears and your sushi caterpillar!

  2. WHAT?!? Cuddy isn't coming back!? I didn't know that. :o(

    I love the bentos. I think that they are adorable. Oh and I am SUPER jealous over your sushi parties. I love making sushi. I have relied on making them with the nori on the outside because I don't have a sushi pad to roll them up with.

  3. Thank you gnoegnoe! Let's get back into the groove. I miss bento-ing!

    Kristin - I KNOW! I didn't believe it so I had to Google it. There are several articles published about her not returning. Really disappointed. Oh, and I can get you a sushi mat, you know. I'll pick one up next time I'm at the ¥100 store. :)

  4. Great lunch ideas. I love it. Following you. I hope you'll visit and share these ideas with my fan-ilies.


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