Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bentos for Nick

Penguins with Salmon-filled Mountains
After years of wishing for quail eggs, I found some in a mexican market in Fruitvale. I made them into penguins. I think the one with a nori nose looks more streamlined and classic but Nick liked the one with a carrot nose. I was worried that they'd be finicky to handle because they are so small but they are hardly any trouble and taste extra good. They are $1.19 for 10, and each one is 1/4 the size of a chicken egg. So they are not quite a frugal choice. In terms of calories it's like getting a dozen chicken eggs for $5.70, but it's really worthwhile in terms of teeny tiny penguins, pandas, and chickens.

Pasta and Fruit
Pinwheel apple slices are only a bit harder to cut than checkerboard, and much prettier I think. I kind of ruined my first try by melting caramel onto their undersides. Now I know that caramel doesn't stick to the whites of apples. I felt so clever, buying two pieces of caramel from the bulk bins (you just put your quarter in a little metal box, which is really an elegant solution to folks who want to snack on candy in the supermarket). Oh, well. I made the container for the marinara sauce by folding foil around a heart shaped cookie cutter. I based the panda on this one, but it didn't turn out very adorable.

I don't send my special dollar store boxes when I pack bentos for other people because we'd all feel bad if I didn't get them back, but they also don't hold enough for Nick. Hardly anyone could take worse care of my bento boxes than I do. I have two and I've bought about 10. Even though I have everything I need for bento, I want to get more at the dollar store, Ichiban Kan, when I go to SF next week. What if they have a penguin mayonnaise container whose beak is a little spoon? What if they have bento boxes big enough for a grown up lady and covered in bunnies?

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