Bentos R saving us during kitchen remodel

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Bentos R saving us during kitchen remodel

Postby Folly » Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:03 pm

DH and I are in Week 3 of our kitchen remodel. I've got my refrigerator and access to the kitchens of several neighbors for cooking. Once a week I go to my mother's to cook freezer stash. When I packed up the kitchen, I naively kept available two sets of dishes and bowls. That proved awkward and too much hassle on TV trays in the bedroom. Tried paper plates, but that was just too flimsy and wasteful. Then I remembered that I had kept out several bento boxes in case I could make some bento lunches. Now I pack bento dinners. We've each got an 800 ml single tier bento box for room temp meals, and a two-tier box for meals that may have a portion that needs reheating. I put fruit or dessert in side boxes; stack all the boxes in a basket; and easily carry them home. Anything that needs reheating gets zapped in the microwave that I set up in the upstairs hallway.

So far neither DH nor I feels hungry or deprived -- and I'm losing one pound a week. Following the usual guidelines of five colors and variety, we are eating well-balanced dinners in a neat presentation. Seven weeks to go. ^_^
Last edited by Folly on Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bentos R saving us during kitchen remodel

Postby Pangolin » Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:12 am

Awesome! That's a great use for bento!
My mom has talked about remodeling her kitchen for 30 years - and never gets around to it, because she would go crazy without the use of the kitchen. My DH and I live in an apartment, and we're going to be re-organizing (with a little remodeling) our kitchen sometime next spring - at least my brother lives next door, so we can use his kitchen!

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Re: Bentos R saving us during kitchen remodel

Postby Folly » Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:44 am

Pagolin, I'm your Mom's generation and my kitchen was 29 years old, so I completely understand her reluctance to remodel. But the longer she waits, the more that needs to be done. The hardest part is the cleanup. Washing up in a bathroom sink is miserable. Luckily all the bento boxes have lids, so if I have to, can close things up and put off washing til the morning when I can get to a real kitchen sink. So be nice to your brother, your neighbors, and your friends. I've even offered to cook dinner for neighbors in exchange for the use of their kitchen and dining table (TV trays in bedroom get old very fast).

A week of rain is supposed to start tonight or tomorrow, so I may get a little grouchy about carrying my basket of bentos back and forth. ^_^
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Re: Bentos R saving us during kitchen remodel

Postby varenikje » Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:09 am

Now 6 weeks to go. Aren't you getting excited?! :) How is it going now?

Are you and your husband doing the work with this remodel, or is there someone coming?
"In general, mankind, since the improvement in cookery,
eats twice as much as nature requires."
Benjamin Franklin

"It's so beautifully arranged on the plate
- you know someone's fingers have been all over it."
Julia Child

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Re: Bentos R saving us during kitchen remodel

Postby Folly » Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:57 am

varenikje -- Almost half way there. Fortunately for us we have a great contractor who has a neat, reliable crew. Next week when the cabinets go in I will start getting excited. These days I'm mostly numb and trying to stay warm.
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Re: Bentos R saving us during kitchen remodel - update

Postby Folly » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:36 pm

The kitchen is 95% complete. I can begin vacuuming, drawer lining, and moving back in tomorrow! It is gorgeous. I can hardly wait to start playing with the induction cooktop.

The bento boxes really did save us; we didn't have to eat out nearly as often as we thought we were going to. Cooking freezer stash in my mother's kitchen worked well, I was always able to pull out mini casseroles, soup, mini meatloafs, rice and side dishes for dinners. One of my neighbors was travelling a lot during our remodel and invited us to use her kitchen whenever she was away. While it was a pleasure not having to carrying my little red basket full of food back and forth, it was even more pleasurable to sit at a table with real dishes. And surprisingly, we found that we continued to eat in the Japanese manner, with small amounts of assorted foods. A tablespoon of roasted peppers. A mound of steamed spinach. Cucumbers in seasoned rice vinegar. Carrot kinpira. Broccoli florets. On and on. It was easy because I cooked with storage in mind. I researched and added quite a few dishes to my johbisai/stash repertoire.

Just as the real plates and bowls were quickly put aside, so were the cute bento boxes. When we ate at home (on TV trays in the bedroom) we ended up rotating between two different single-tier, microwaveable boxes that I got at Daiso for $1.50 and $3 each. The 800 ml boxes worked for most dinners; with a piece of fruit on the side. The 950 ml side-clip boxes were reserved for bulky arrangements like salads, or meals with tiny containers or silicone cups that needed to be removed during reheating. In both size boxes, I packed my dinner lighter than DH's. We never went hungry. In fact, sometimes, there was so much food that we actually repacked some of the bentos for lunch the next day.

Oh, BTW, my weight loss levelled off at 6 lbs. The holidays and no exercise kept me humble.
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Re: Bentos R saving us during kitchen remodel

Postby varenikje » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:10 pm

Folly! It sounds like you are nearing the end! I am so excited for you! And it really does sound like using bento meals helped you out a lot!

I am so happy for you! :D

Will we get to see the finished product?
"In general, mankind, since the improvement in cookery,
eats twice as much as nature requires."
Benjamin Franklin

"It's so beautifully arranged on the plate
- you know someone's fingers have been all over it."
Julia Child

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Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:53 pm
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