Archive for September, 2008
A common concern I hear from parents is, “How do you make sure your kid brings back all of those cute bento containers? I’m afraid to send anything expensive to school as my child would lose his own head if it weren’t attached to his body. I’ve lost so much stuff!”
I hear you! Even my husband sometimes forgot to bring lunch containers back home when I was sending lunch to work with him during his celiac disease misdiagnosis. Unwashed containers would age in his desk, until I asked him to start washing (or at least rinsing) them out after he ate. Even then, if he brought a large lunch container such as a Mr. Bento-style thermal lunch jar with him, he’d put it under his desk or in a drawer and forget about it when he came home. Out of sight, out of mind.
I think there are both hardware and behavior approaches to the problem, and came up with the following six ways to ensure that your lunch gear comes back home. Have you come up with any creative ideas? Let us know in comments! (Read on for the full list and an expanded section on labels.)
Published by Biggie on September 15th, 2008 tagged equipment, for kids, organize, parenthacks, tips | 49 Comments »
1. Request from Southern U.S. journalist
I got an e-mail from a magazine journalist looking to do a story on bento lunches in the U.S. South. The journalist would like to interview people in the South who make bento lunches, as well as a Southern chef who can speak about bentos. If you fit the description and would like to be interviewed for the article, please e-mail me at lunchinabox (AT] gmail (DOT} com and I’ll put you in touch. Cheers!
2. Bento lunches in the media
The St. Petersburg Times newspaper ran an article on bento lunches last week that quoted recent guest poster Amorette Dye and me, as well as Lunch in a Box reader Sabrina Berger. Sabrina replied to a request for a Tampa Bay area bento-maker that I posted last month — I’m pleased to see that the article turned out nicely for her!
I’m also going to be on New Hampshire Public Radio’s (NHPR) Word of Mouth program this morning (Monday 9/15/2008) at 12:43 pm Eastern. If your local NPR station doesn’t run the show, it should be up on their website afterwards. (UPDATE: Here’s the link to the show podcast.) My first live TV appearance about American-style bento on the local Fox40 morning news went pretty well; I’ll be posting more about it this week with photos.
3. Bento haiku contest at Lunch Bucket Bento
Lisa at the Lunch Bucket Bento blog is running a Haiku that Blog! contest for the best haiku about a specific blog detailed at the link, with the prize being a Parasite Pals bento box and bag. The deadline is October 1, 2008, so about two weeks from now. (I keep an updated list of current lunch-packing contests and blog events at my Lunch Blog Events page.)
Published by Biggie on September 14th, 2008 tagged admin | 8 Comments »
Fresh back from my family vacation in Alaska, I’d like to thank Amorette (Sakurako Kitsa) for her great series of how-to posts for making artistic bentos that she wrote for Lunch in a Box while I was away. The techniques are more time-intensive than I’m up for on a weekday morning, but they’re good tricks to have up my sleeve for the rare decorative lunch I might get motivated to make for a special occasion. A full list of her guest posts is below, under “Further Reading.”
Also, Lunch in a Box was recently featured in an article about packed lunches in The Boston Globe, so welcome to new Boston readers! If you’re new to bento lunches, you might be interested in the Bento FAQ and the Bento Store Locator with Google Maps for local store listings with reader-generated feedback. Back-to-school season has been a big news time for me; I’m scheduled to go on live TV this Friday 9/12/08 to do a brief segment on the Sacramento morning news (Fox40 at 8:23 & 8:48am — time updated). This’ll be my first TV appearance for bento-related stuff, so wish me luck!
When we were on the road, I brought along a selection of compact bento gear to box up leftovers from restaurant meals so we’d be more independent and not totally at the mercy of airlines and trains for our meals. (See my post on How to pack a bento lunch for the airplane.) I used a combination of collapsible sandwich cases that fold flat when empty, Bug’s stacking and nesting Thomas the Tank Engine bento boxes, reusable utensils in travel cases, elastic bento bands to keep things closed, and a carrying bag. Here you can see breakfast leftovers and Bug’s new tricked-out Sigg water bottle on a domed sightseeing train from Fairbanks to Denali National Park. I brought along little travel packets of powdered drink add-ins to add to the water, especially in the airports after we cleared security with empty bottles. Fill up at a water fountain and we were all set! I wrote little snippets about the travel portion of our trip on my Twitter. (Read on for more travel bento info and photos of edible table centerpieces made from carved fruit and vegetables.)
Published by Biggie on September 9th, 2008 tagged admin, bento, decorative, equipment, for kids, sandwich case, tips | 35 Comments »
The beautiful natural coloration of foods is always best, but you can also accent a bento with edible “paint”. I use it from time to time. The paints in the palette above are made from sour cream, which is just one option. Read on for some pointers on painting with foods and what to expect from the different types you’re working with.
Published by Amorette on September 6th, 2008 tagged Amorette, bento, decorative, tips, tutorial or how to | 20 Comments »
Amorette’s note: I’m sorry about the ongoing spacing problems. I’m still trying to get the hang of this!
Although it can get a bit effort-intensive, there are a few ways to exactly duplicate a logo, font or photo in your bentos. One of the least expensive ways is to use wax paper and do a transfer.