After what felt like an eternity, my order from Japan Centre arrived yesterday. In reality, it was only a week and two days, but it’s all about context; to a gnat, that’s an eternity. To your average fruit fly, that’s several lifetimes worth of feasting on unattended bananas and getting in innocent people’s faces. To an opened packet of crisps in my house, that’s… well, that’s an impossible length of time. I had to wait for the courier company to have caught up on their backlog of orders before I could get my eagerly awaited new toys, which is completely reasonable when you think about it logically. I still spent a lot of time checking my order status for any sign of it progressing towards being delivered, and making lots of plans for what I was going to do once it did arrive, then checking the order status again… But hooray, hooray, and happy day, it was on my desk come Mo-onday! Luckily my colleagues are tolerant of my eccentricities and got involved in my excitement, rather than seeing it as an unwelcome distraction. I think.
Here is a series of pictures showing the workings of my onigiri press – it’s just three bits of plastic that slot together to form perfect little rice cylinders. It’s really simple to use and quick, too, though I did end up with a lot of rice on my hands. I think that might be a theme of the upcoming months.
Here my egg moulds, and the ace results. Now, I didn’t believe the instructions when they said that I should use a large egg; I just couldn’t see it fitting in there without some kind of major ‘egg yolk everywhere and me in the middle with a sad face’ situation. I tried one mould with a large egg, as suggested, and one with a medium egg. Sure enough, the medium egg was too small, and the large egg was perfect, with just a tiny bit of raggedy white round the middle that needed tidied up. One star shaped egg, no waiting. Well, five minutes of waiting. And the ten that it took the egg to cook. And then the hour or so steeping in a mix of water, teabags, soy and sesame oil to stain and flavour the egg. So an hour and fifteen minutes of waiting, but worth it for a star shaped egg. The kind of star that looks like a flower, you understand.
Next up are my picks and sauce bottles – they are painfully cute. My favourite is the lion/hedgehog. I shall call him Ledgehog. I also like how happy the elephant pick is, although I am concerned by the worried look on the elephant bottle’s face. It comes of having no mouth.
Finally, here is my bento box and my new chopsticks, with their own little sliding case. The bento box is very small, but does hold enough food to keep me ticking over. I felt hungrier today than yesterday, which I put down to having white instead of brown rice, but I still went all afternoon without thinking about snacking. I think that having lots of different kinds of food can be more satisfying than just a sandwich (depending what’s on the sandwich), and of course as I was eating with chopsticks today that does make lunch last longer, and give me time to feel fuller. It’s partly psychological, too, I’m sure; I enjoy making and looking at my lunch, I enjoy eating it, so I’m more likely to be satisfied with it. However you want to justify it, it’s a Good Thing, and long may it continue. I’m not kidding myself that I’ll make a bento for lunch every day, although I’ll certainly try, but if I can keep it up at least a few times a week I think it’ll be a good thing all round. Or all oblong, as the case may be…