Year of the Bento Part Five: Bento Box Two

OK, I have so much to share, it’s hard to make myself bring the blog up to date in the right order, and not just skip to the end, which is the part I am giddiest about. My bento box and accessories finally arrived this morning, so I’ve had a fun evening playing with my new toys and packing myself up a nice lunch for tomorrow. However, before all that, there was bento box two, a great improvement on bento box one I’m sure you’ll agree (or you will face my wrath).

I took it to work for lunch today, and I must admit to feeling a bit self conscious about it; that odd combination of abashed and proud, if anyone else knows what I mean? Anyway, nobody flushed my head down the toilet or teased me for having a fancy lunch, not even good-humouredly. Not that you could good humouredly flush someone’s head down the toilet, even if you were laughing at the time. Also, it served as a warm up for tomorrow’s properly fancy lunch in my gen-you-ine bento box, with my chopsticks in their own case and everything – this was an intermediate step.

Box two contained some of the pork, one of the brown rice onigiri, one of the summer rolls and one of the rice hearts that I had cooked and frozen on Friday. Then I added some salad items: cucumber that I made stripey by peeling strips of the skin off before slicing; tomatoes cut into little flowers using the garnishing tool that I got free at a knife demonstration years ago (knew it would eventually come in handy) and some carrot sticks. I tried to make carrot flowers but kept just breaking them, so I’ll put in some more practise hours and bust them out once I’ve got them perfect. Finally, I added some cooked veg; the tenderstem broccoli from Waitrose, steamed in the microwave, and sliced courgette and mushrooms cooked in a spot of oil and seasoned with salt and black pepper.

The only frozen item that wasn’t a success was the summer roll. Surprisingly, the rice wrapper was fine, but the inside was too vinegary – my own fault for putting too much vinegar in there, although possibly the rawness of the grated veg had something to do with it? Cooked veg might be less squishy and therefore release less liquid when I bit into it. Otherwise though, all the freezing was worthwhile, and I am glad of that – it means I can put together nice lunches without too much effort, though on quiet evenings like tonight it’ll be worth putting a bit of effort in to have something fresh and different. It’s worth noting that the onigiri didn’t hold together once I’d got a fork into it, possibly because I used Italian rice (but it was short grain!) or possibly because I wasn’t convincing enough in shaping it before I froze it. Anyway, it tasted fine, and the joy of putting the pork and the sauteed veg in individual cupcake cases (apart from my food not touching) was that there was a little liquid in the bottom of each that I could mix the rice into, so I didn’t miss any delicious food by being too abashed to lick the cases clean.

Thus concludes my second tale of bento making, and this one hit the mark – it was nice to look at and good to eat; in fact, it kept me going from lunchtime until 9pm, which is a real achievement. Don’t get me wrong, I was hungry from about half six, but not so hungry that I couldn’t wait. An all round success. Huzzah!


About Rock Salt

Seasoning while rocking out since 1983. View all posts by Rock Salt

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