Monday, August 30, 2010

Bento style

I've been playing around with the idea of making bento-esque lunches for Toddler J and perhaps for the husband for some time now. I've gotten most of the supplies I think I'm happy with, after MUCH searching online, reading the bento lunch sites (of which there are MANY), and coming to terms with the fact that I will never, ever use an ice cream mold to shape my boiled eggs or make beautiful edible art out of my vegetables. I just like the idea of having separate compartments for different kinds of food and having BPA free silicon cupcake liners to heat hot foods in the microwave. In my search, I've found some inspiring sites, most recently Another Lunch, where she handily provides, in addition to requisite pictures of lunches packed, pictures of supplies used, such as these:

Of course, the most comprehensive site is one of the first I found, Lunch in a Box. This is serious bento building, folks, and as such is incredibly intimidating, but she's also got lists of online as well as bricks and mortar shops in the US, which is helpful (note: ZERO retailers in SC, in case you were wondering. As usual, we are a retail desert. It's like shopping exile out here!) The first image is one of her "simple" meals; the second, she admits, is edible art, but both are beyond my means or needs:

So far, my most successful bento-esque packing has occurred during travel, as I have tried to pack enough snacks for hungry Toddler J and meals for us that incorporate TSA restrictions. So far, I've been most happy with a Lock&Lock container (available all over the web) divided up with plastic baby food containers, which have the advantage of being a free and a perfect fit! But I have plans to be more ambitious, particularly since, while I was writing the post, Toddler J wandered over and saw the fishes above and said "That looks good, Mommy. Let's make that!" Ah, to dream the impossible dream, my son. But, we can sure try!

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