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Peter the eater

Bentos (2009-)

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I'm finishing off a Zojirushi bento I made this morning with brisket, mashed potatoes, sweet & sour cabbage, and pickled beets. Besides being tasty, it's also hot. I put everything in the containers warm-to-hot this morning and the food retained the heat pretty well.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I'm finishing off a Zojirushi bento I made this morning with brisket, mashed potatoes, sweet & sour cabbage, and pickled beets. Besides being tasty, it's also hot. I put everything in the containers warm-to-hot this morning and the food retained the heat pretty well.

Did you warm the container prior to filling with the food?

I fill the hot food section with hot water and allow it to stand for five minutes or so, empty it and quickly add the food and seal it. As I mentioned in a earlier post, I drove from here to the bay area, stopping twice to eat, and the remaining food was still hot when I got to Livermore.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Thursday's lunch was an oatmeal cookie from a batch Ellen made, sliced avocado dressed with lemon juice, a hard-cooked egg molded to look like something, the last of the Halloween pretzels, and mixed fruit.

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No lunch Friday.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Yesterday, Monday, I found myself at a loss for what to make. I had one hard-cooked egg left from the batch I made last week, which had almost completely unmolded itself. I had a quarter of an avocado. I thought about egg salad with avocado but it seemed too messy and mushy. I've also found that PJ may or may not eat egg salad, depending on the day and his mood.

So I decided to make two small sandwiches: one egg salad, and the other hummus with avocado.

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Then I started rounding out the lunch. There were two oatmeal cookies left from Ellen's cookie-production episode last week, so I packed one of those. We still had some Halloween pretzels. A few grapes. Some cantaloupe. Eventually there was lunch.

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Just for visual variety: when all is said and done, here's what lunch looks like. As I mentioned before, a brown paper bag with the child's name written on it is a school requirement.

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Today's lunch should be easy. This is the day he spends the afternoon with my mother, so he always snacks a lot there. The lunch I pack will be fairly light.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I went a little overboard with quantity today, but here we have cheddar cheese, hummus, cucumbers, pita chips, grapes, cantaloupe.

bentos26.jpg


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Only two lunches this week. School was closed Tuesday and Wednesday for parent-teacher conferences. And no lunch on Fridays on account of the noon dismissal.

So, for Monday:

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And for today (Thursday)

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I've been chronicling the process in more detail on the Don't Shop Now topic, where several of us are cooking for a week without grocery shopping.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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My apologies for dropping out for a bit. I have been making and photographing lunches but missed most of December on account of school vacation and a medical thing. Here's the backlog of photos, including embarrassing attempts at producing maki and rice balls:

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Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Which brings us up to today. PJ has been getting more involved in choosing his lunches, which is why they're becoming a bit more eclectic. Today he had a brown-rice cucumber-and-avocado maki, a cheese sandwich, an oatmeal cookie and a segmented clementine.

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Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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It's nice to see you and your bentos back in this thread!

Were those ho ho's I saw a couple pictures up??

I have never been happy with the rice molds for rice balls, they are really easy to make with your hands once you get the hang of it. Maybe at next year's Heartland Gathering we can work rice balls into one of the dishes, they would give you plenty of practice...


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Yodels. A number of those meals were made during the period of the no-shopping challenge, so they're a bit more eclectic than our baseline. That, combined with an onslaught of food gifts in December (the Yodels were part of one gift, the smoked salmon part of another, etc.), plus PJ's increased interest and participation in the selection of menu items, made for some unusual lunches.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I haven't been active on eGullet for a while, and I haven't been bentoing either, but I was on a roll there for a while. Looks like a lot more of you have started making bentos since I was here last! Mr. Dianabanana has been demanding bentos again so I'm gearing up mentally and thought I'd start by sharing some photos with you of bentos past.

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My daughter composed some cute critters for bento lunches.

You can see the most recent here:

http://yearoflunches.blogspot.com/

The lunches she prepares are for herself and two teens, not young children and the teens really enjoy them.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Holy cow, does PJ really eat all that quantity? Is that for two snacks + lunch?

We are now in love with the idea of eggmolds.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Just getting caught up on last week's lunches. I posted Monday above. Here are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday's lunches. No Friday, as usual, on account of early dismissal.

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Are we in an egg rut? We certainly are. I keep trying to balance my desire to try new lunch strategies with his desire always to have either an egg or an avocado roll.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Re : Apples browning .

If you toss the apples with a little cinnamon in the baggie, they'll brown but be tasty

HTH

jorge

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Holy cow, does PJ really eat all that quantity? Is that for two snacks + lunch?

Quantities vary, but I always pack enough so that if he skips one or two items it's still enough. He's a very good eater, so I indulge him. And sometimes he does manage to eat through a whole one of those lunches. The school sends home the leftover food, so I get to see what he eats. On 3 out of 4 days, he eats about half of what I pack. On 1 out of 4 days he might eat everything or nothing.

Catching up on lunch photos since my last post:

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Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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When I look over the photographic record, I'm amazed at how few days of school there have been this year. I've photographed every lunch I've made -- with an exception I'll explain below. And I've made lunch every schoolday except for during a two-week period when I was laid up. But even in a full week there are only four lunches (no lunch on Friday on account of early dismissal) and there are so many Jewish holidays, American holidays, days when we missed school to visit other schools...

Anyway, getting caught up here:

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Now this next one was a comedy of errors. The night before, I thought I pushed start on the dishwasher. But in the morning when I went to get his lunch containers out of the dishwasher I learned that I hadn't started it. It was full of dirty dishes and detergent.

So I had to fall back on the lunch containers that he hasn't been using because his little fingers aren't strong enough to get them open. Plus one container he could open.

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Then, on the walk to school, PJ asked me what I had packed him for lunch. I told him all about it and, as I was narrating the lunch, I noticed a nagging lightness on my person: I had left my bag, and therefore his lunch, at home.

We negotiated, and we agreed that after dropoff I'd go over to my mother's apartment and make him something then bring it by school before lunchtime. My mother doesn't have very good packaging so we basically made him a buttered roll, chips and assorted fruits, all in their own small zipper bags.

I called home and asked Ellen to refrigerate the lunch, except for the potato chips, so I could send it with him the next day. At least that part of it went smoothly.

On to two days later...

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That brings us up the present.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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dang diana banana, your lunches are beautiful!!

Thank you! Mr. Dianabanana has unilaterally decreed February to be Bento Month, with the goal of not eating one single lunch out. Very easy for him, all he has to do is eat them! I needed a shove, though, so I'm glad he's being such a lunch bully.

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Good stuff. Trying to get ideas for my 5-yr old son's packed lunch. He's allergic to milk which rules out cheese (chunky cheese triangles look nice). He's also turning his nose up at ham and tuna, so a bit limited.

He loves tortillas and has recently accepted humous, so I've been making humous and vegetable wraps ("crudite rolls"!). Soften tortilla wrap in microwave, spread lightly with humous of your choice. Cut thin batons of carrot, cucumber, red pepper, cherry tomato quarters. Layout in middle of tortilla and wrap up like a spring roll. Cut in half diagonally.

Pics to follow.


Best Wishes,

Chee Fai.

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what is garlic stem saute? is it just what it sounds like ?

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Good stuff. Trying to get ideas for my 5-yr old son's packed lunch. He's allergic to milk which rules out cheese (chunky cheese triangles look nice). He's also turning his nose up at ham and tuna, so a bit limited.

I have a milk allergic daughter, so maybe I can help.

My daughter likes things like little sausages, chicken wings (split into drumette sizes), Sunflower Seed Butter and Jelly sandwiches, chicken legs, cheeseless pizza, musubi/nigiri, chicken nuggets/tenders or fried rice.


Cheryl

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Today's lunch featured oyster tsukudani. This is one thing that I think benefits from a touch of sugar - I normally don't use sugar in any kind of nimono, although many recipes call for it, as I think it cloys, but here it just adds richness and keeps the tsukudani moist.

1 pack oysters well rinsed and drained

2 T each of soy sauce and mirin

1 T sake

1-2 t sugar

1/2 knob of ginger shredded or coarsely grated

Simmer together till liquid has all but evaporated, and oysters are covered in a thick, shiny glaze. Serve in or on rice, or as a side dish with egg and green snap peas.

For Japanese readers...I'm pleased with what I read in

Onna no Ko no Daisuki na Obentouby Yoshiko FUJINO. There's a companion "boy" book, but I bought this hoping to find good ideas for non-fried, lightly seasoned items for the easily-upset tummy of my very ungirly husband. The food is light but also stylish and satisfying - not pretentiously "I'm dieting harder than you are"!

Two samples:

Microwave "chinese-style" okowa rice (1 teen boy serving or two more modest servings)

1 rice-cup of sticky rice (160 ml)

rinse, soak overnight

Drain, pop into a heatproof bowl with:

1 cup (200 ml) chicken stock (use 1 t stock pdr if needed)

1 t soy sauce

30 g (1 oz) boiled bamboo shoot

50 g (2 oz) Chinese roast pork diced

1 dried shiitake mushroom, soaked and diced

5 cm (2 ") naga-negi (dividing onion/leek) shredded

Mix all together, cover with plastic food wrap, microwave around 8 mins (probably a 600W range).

Add 1 T green peas, re-cover, microwave 5 mins, stand 2-3 mins before serving.

Since I make this in a rice-cooker in a larger amount, I don't soak the shiitake but snap them into small pieces and toss in. Nothing to stop you subbing other meats or vegetables...ham, carrot, etc.

Goes well with a hardboiled egg peeled and simmered in a soy-sauce broth, the author suggests.

Yellow Pepper & Orange Salad for 1

1/4 - 1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper

1/4 orange

Blanch pepper and cut into fat strips

Cut orange free of membrane

Toss together in:

1/2 T olive oil, 1 t vinegar, little salt and pepper

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