Hi. You don't actually expect me to teach you how to make the perfect bento, right? I mean, surely you've been reading long enough to know that the only thing I feel qualified to teach you is that life is hard (but fun) and we are all a little imperfect.
That said, I DO make a lot of bentos, so I thought I'd offer a photo essay.
|This is a stock image. My wiener animals never look that good.|
Wiener animals separate the good moms from the bad ones when it comes to Japanese o-bento. The possibilities are endless, and there are an infinite number of guides to help you perfect the art of making them.
The last time we were in Japan, I tried to improve my skills by buying a handy wiener cutting tool. Alas, it turns out that not all wieners are created equal. American wieners are larger than Japanese wieners. No matter how hard I try, I can't get my wieners to fit. This greatly hampers my wiener cutting ambitions.
|One size does NOT fit all.|
|Wiener octopus, chrysanthemum, and squid; broccoli, carrots, apple, and rice with furikake.|
|GF homemade meatballs in teriyaki sauce and tomato sauce, broccoli, lettuce, rice, grape tomatos, and grapes.|
|GF pork cutlets on rice, lettuce, carrots, and apples.|
By the end of the week, Ren and I are spent, and I resort to more desperate measures to make sure the kids have something to eat come lunch time. I'm usually scraping the bottom of the fridge at this point, particularly if we forgot to go to the grocery store over the weekend.
|Hummus, carrots, cucumber, corn chips, and grapes.|
|Celery and carrots, Snapea Crisps, blueberry pancakes with jelly, and fruit snacks.|
Making bentos every morning is a lot of work. But, thanks to the kids' allergies and to the fact that they just feel and act better when we limit their processed food intake, there doesn't seem to be a better option.
The payoff, I guess, is that the kids instinctively eat pretty well (and, also, I get to make wiener jokes on my blog). Another bonus is that because we tend to only have things on hand that they are able to eat, when they cook for themselves, it's pretty healthy. Sky made this for dinner one Sunday a couple of weeks ago when Ren and I were both sick.
|Rice with furikake, corn chips, carrots, hummus, green beans, mini-pepperoni, and clementine.|
Ah, well, you win some. You lose some.