Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bento lunches week of 8/16

What a crazy week! Anticipating the switch from Kylie's Goddard School to her Discovery School has taken up a lot of room in my head this week. Making sure we've got her paperwork in order, uniforms ready and such has had my head questioning over and over again "Have I done everything needed? Have I forgotten something?" Added to that is my half-marathon training (I got in 21 miles this week!). I've also been unearthing and replacing buried sprinkler heads in my front yard, weeding and mulching the backyard. Whew!

So the bento lunches were made but were thrown together each morning and were uninspired. There was a lot of repetition in the lunch items this week. Reviewing them all together like this has jolted me to put some more thought into them next week. There are only four this week because Kylie and I had lunch out together on Friday afternoon.

Rolled up turkey slices, shredded cheddar cheese, pirate booty, chocolate covered plum bites, grapes, strawberries, wateremelon.

Shredded cheese, wheat thins, marshmallows, raisins, watermelon, blueberries, mandarin oranges.

Cinnamon raisin toast, pretzels, carrot slices, grapes and banana. I thought this was the best lunch of the week even though it lacked protein. Kylie must have thought so too because she ate every bit of it. I liked using two baking cups in the one box. And Kylie's at that wonderful age where she could care less that her banana has brown spots on it. She gobbles it up anyway.

Carrots, bacon, pirate booty, grapes, raspberries, celery. These were the first raspberries Kylie has eaten. I usually avoid them because they are so pricey and perishable and can be so tart. They were on sale at my grocery store. Kylie loved them so I plan to use them again.

This is The Worst Picture. I need to figure out a way to properly shoot her bento lunches without going into a lot of time. I don't have a lot of light in the house in the very early morning. The artificial light looks horrible on food. And the low light has meant a low shutter speed which creates a blurry picture. So I need to figure this camera formula out so I can stop wincing when I see the pictures I've taken. And while I love her little red bento box, it looks awful for the photos. Watermelon and strawberries just get lost in it.

I plan to go to San Francisco in September and already have my eye on some stores that sell bento boxes. I plan to get some more blue or green boxes then.

Thank you to all of you who have commented and sent emails letting me know you enjoy the bento lunch posts. Even on my hectic mornings, I enjoy putting the the lunches together. It's like an early morning puzzle to figure out which foods to use and how to pack the boxes.

And they delight Kylie. When I bring her lunch to the breakfast table to photograph, she wants to peek in her boxes and always gives me a little squeal of pleasure. That alone makes the effort worthwhile. But for me, making a bento lunch is a small way to keep things interesting. I go a little crazy with too much repetition which is why I scope the Food Network channel and am always interested in new dinner recipes. I've had some people comment that I'm crazy, or too anal or have too much time on my hands. But I don't see it that way. It takes such a small amount of effort to make something that was once mundane into something beautiful. Looking for the beauty in everyday life, the beauty that is all around me is a large part of what my life is about. When I take so many pictures of Kylie or when I study the shape of a carrot of all things, I get to really SEE IT. And admire and be grateful for it.

So call me crazy but bento boxes are right up my ally.

I first learned about bento boxes from Wendolonia. Her bento lunches are amazing and she's been doing them for quite a while. She recently wrote an article on getting started with bento lunches. If you are interested, you can read it here.

In her article she mentions some people who make exquisite food art and she lists these three links. I'm posting them here too because they are freaky amazing. Click on them!
Cartoon Characters
Scenes from movies

Have a great weekend everyone!


Teaberry said...

I love these! There's an article on them this month in Parenting, I think!

Rhiann said...

You're coming to SF? Just you or with the family? Will you be here long? Can we have lunch? LOL I'm in the Bay...

And I just LOVE your Bento lunches. :-)

Louise said...

Don't listen to the mean people! Your bento boxes are fabulous! Really, the only person you need to make happy is Kylie and if she loves them, you are doing just fine!

K J and the kids said...

I never comment, but am a DEVOTED reader. I love your blog. Thank you so much for sharing all of the information that you do.
I also enjoy of course looking at your photography. It helps to have such a DARLING subject I'm sure.

Any ways. I can't wait to pack lunches this year (for the first time) with the help of your ideas.
Thank you thank you thank you.

Shamanda said...

I also love the bento lunches. It's inspiring if motiong else and I enjoy the pictures!

Jane said...

How can anyone make unhelpful comments about these ?!!! I think the care and attention and thought is great and its giving Kylie a great food experience which will help her develop a healthy food relationship !

f said...

Wendy - these bento boxes are kind of like the food version of your scrapbook pages! Everything artfully arranged, telling a story ("eat me!!") and keeping it all in a nice balance. I can totally see why it's a fun game and a constructive approach for both you AND Kylie.

My mom used to include a little note everyday and I still remember them well - just "love you" or "can't wait to do x this weekend!" or "good luck in spelling."