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26 June 2007 @ 12:48 pm
My first bento  
neadods wrote a post about Bento on Thursday. I had never heard of Bento although B, japanophile that he is, had and was quick to inform me that the quality of the Bento you prepare your husband is indicative of how much you love him. Hmm...

I'd been feeling that I ought to do something about packed lunches to both save money and improve the general healthiness of my diet but I don't really like sandwiches and, partly as a result, certainly couldn't be bothered to prepare them. However, suddenly, here was a whole packed lunch methodology that a) avoids sandwiches and b) fetishises tupperware (and I'm a woman who adopted (and still uses) a whole "organise your life" methodology on the grounds that it let me buy more stationary). I spent the weekend eyeing up Bento Box sets on e-bay. Most of these are too cute to live but some are rather stylish (although naturally I can't find any of the really good-looking ones when I specifically go looking). I also realised that, even if I resisted spending money on real bento accessories, I suddenly had an excuse to purchase the various tupperware accessories from Lakeland catalogues that I've never been able to think of a use for*.

I cooked curry on Sunday, so I made extra rice and stored it in the fridge. Yesterday I cooked up a mushroom and aubergine "veggie gloop" from the Sainsburys Vegetarian Cookbook on the grounds that it looked like it went well with rice and I quite like cold aubergine. Advice on portion quantities in bentos varies but I went for providing a 600ml lunch consisting of 300ml carbohydrate, 200ml fruit and veg and 100ml protein. I packed a 300ml plastic pudding basin full of rice but this looked like a huge quantity so backed off and filled a 150ml pudding basin instead. The aubergine and mushroom thing fitted neatly into three 250ml screw top pots (it was pretty gloopy and I only had 250ml screw tops so that quantity was pretty much fixed). I then part filled a 300ml pudding basin with cubed cheese and grapes. So the proportions are all wrong though I reckon the overall quantity was about right and I stuck with only 100ml protein. I wouldn't have wanted more rice though, 150ml was plenty. In fact I feel pretty full and being, as I am, very short, I might try cutting back to a 500ml lunch. I was going to photograph it (photography seems to be a big part of the general bento fun and games - although perhaps not when packed in "misc. tupperware found in the cupboard") but I distinctly heard Bill scoff (something about this being altogether too much like hard work) so gave up on that idea (and any idea of expressing love through "bento-packing for husband"). Incidentally, if you feel that a lot of pudding basins are being mentioned this is true. A tupperware inventory taken on Sunday evening revealed a vast number of unused plastic pudding basins purchased in a fit of enthusiasm from Lakeland at some point. I think I had some idea of making Christmas Puddings in them but they are all way too small and Christmas pudding still gets made in pyrex bowls.

* two of my former flatmates were horrified to discover my mother had a whole room full of carefully washed and stacked margarine tubs and yoghurt cartons. At that point it became their mission in life to prevent me placing small pots of left-overs in the fridge. They traced this impulse back to war-time rationing and theorised it was passed down from mother to daughter.
king_pellinorking_pellinor on June 26th, 2007 12:47 pm (UTC)
Have you come across Really Useful Boxes?

I think they run into three figures in my room alone, never mind the rest of the house :-)
louisedennislouisedennis on June 26th, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
Ooh! useful boxes!