BENTO BOX LUNCH
Bento boxes are enchanting me right now. I have known about them for a long time and remember that Whole Foods created what they called a bento box in their food service area. So bento boxes are not a new thing for me. Now I am just in love with them.
In case you don't know, Bento boxes are basically what the Japanese carry their lunches in. They are divided into small sections to keep individual foods separate. There is some proportion of grain to veggies to meat that they sort of go by but I can't tell you exactly what it is. I'm just now researching them. In past times, the boxes could be made from Cypress or woven bamboo. Then there were lacquer boxes, aluminum ones and now the ubiquitous plastic. However, its the plastic ones that I love.
I found a website that an American guy runs. He lives in Japan with his wife and family but has available many, many kinds of Japanese "stuffs". I chose a beautiful little bento box to be sent to my home straight from Japan. It came in a matter of weeks and was not expensive. Well...for me who shops the thrift stores, I guess it was a bit...20 bucks which included shipping. But it is sweet and compact and came with it's own cup and chopstix in a tiny chopstix bag. The entire bento box set up comes in a little cloth bag to carry it in. It's lovely!
What I've read thus far is that a lunch packed in a bento box is like bringing a little part of the person who packed the lunch for you along...or if not the person then the love they feel for you. I'm all over the concept that a packed lunch can really be something sweet and a real reminder that someone cares for you. It seems here in America we throw a lunchables, a fruit stix and a juice box in a superheros box and bang! We're done. Not the same it seems to me.
I like the bento box concept because it defines my lunch size. I'm not just bringing a bunch of stuff to then eat until I can't eat anymore but it really lets me eat a lunch that is of proper portion size. It's really interesting to compare the size of a bento box lunch that the Japanese carry and the size of a lunch that many Americans think we need to eat...hmmm...Can anyone say obesity???
When I take along my bento box, I find that I am completely satisfied. The point is not just to throw something together, it's to make something beautiful so that when you open that lunch box, you'll be very pleased. I found myself yesterday making rice balls, small cuts of cukes and celery and even looking for some way that I could use a cookie cutter to make little stars...couldn't find anything to do that with yet. If you go seeking bento box info on the web, you might find a site that I did. Sorry that I don't have it yet. I'll look for it and post again. But it is a site where people prepare their bento box lunches and then submit photos of them. Presumably to show how lovely they look...and they do.
Well, enough of that. I just love the idea of eating a lunch that I prepare for myself with love and care...since I don't have a man to do it right now : ) and I even found another beautiful bento box so I will be able to change boxes now and then.
I found my new one at a large Asian grocery store on Olive a mile or so west of the oddly named North and South street.
Whereas my original one (20 bucks) is yellow with cool flowers, my new one (9 bucks) is green and I mean intense green with a grass green cloth bag to carry it in and cute graphics.
On the front of my new bento box and on the bag is a white leaf and white letters that say "Leaflet tight". Just under that are these worth-remembering words: "It is so wonderful to be able to maintain your dreams."
Now, what's not to like?