Last Friday I drove to Sacramento to do a TV segment about American-style bento on the local Fox40 morning news. I brought two big bags full of bento boxes, three packed bento lunches, thermal lunch jars, bags, and accessories, with an electric kettle to make molded eggs and an apple to make some quick apple rabbits on air.
I came prepared to cook and assemble an actual bento lunch live, but breaking news about Hurricane Ike shortened the time available and killed some other segments. Hey, at least I survived and got on the air! The original live spot was a little longer, but was edited down to 3.5 minutes for the website. In other news, there’s a lengthy interview with me up at the Food Interviews blog; have a look if you’re curious and check out some of the other interesting food interviews.
My three-year-old was a little puzzled as to why I was making four bentos the night before the TV shoot, and kept asking me which one was his lunch. He was just fine with his normal speed bento until he saw the super-cute Japanese food art lunch that I made to illustrate the other end of the bento spectrum, and made me promise to save that one for him to eat after preschool. I kept it on ice in an insulated lunch bag to make sure it survived the day, only taking it out briefly for the actual filming. Here it is, setting the bar too high for normal rushed parents (sorry!). I showed it live on-air, but it was edited out of the online segment.
* * * * *
Contents of preschooler bento lunch for TV: Rice balls shaped like an elephant, fish, and bird (flavored with green hana-ebi fish powder, pink sakura denbu sweet fish powder, and salmon furikake rice sprinkles, decorated with cheese and nori seaweed). Mini cocktail sausages, a hard-boiled quail egg molded to look like a bird, edamame skewers, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, edamame shumai dumpling and dipping sauce. (Click on any photo for a larger view.)
Prep time: 45 minutes, WAY too long for a speed bento (contrast this with Bug’s actual lunch, below). I used frozen rice and shumai to speed up the process, but this was still too time-consuming for a regular weekday lunch. Honestly, it was a little irritating to make as I don’t usually spend this much time on a single lunch. (Read on for three more Western lunches and more about the TV shoot.)
Continue reading Post ID 468