June 1, 2012

Making Bento for my Daughter/娘の弁当作り

My daughter belongs to the track and field club at junior high school, so she needs a bento when she participates in a track and field competition.

Here is one example of her bento.

Her new bento box is rather small and is not rectangular, so it's sometimes tricky to pack it with okazu.

She still does not have a pair of chopsticks for bento or a chopstick holder, and uses a pair of disposable wooden chopsticks (waribashi in Japanese).  Shown on the left is some canned white peach.

Today, I made another bento for her, because the track and field club participates in a competition.

Store-bought frozen hijiki is a favorite of hers.

Just like her brother, she likes cherry tomatoes very much, and she likes canned fruit.  She also likes spaghetti as a bento okazu (right).

Spaghetti Neapolitan.  She also likes tarako (cod roe) spaghetti.

It's been hot lately, so I have to make sure that the bento does not go bad.  What do I do to do so?  One solution is use small packs of frozen jelly.

I used three of them today.  The I-wrap bag at the upper left of the photo below contains them, together with the cherry tomatoes and canned fruit.

I also used two of these small packs of refrigerant, which came with perishable foods such as cakes.

I keep a lot of them in the freezer.

I put the bento box, packs of refrigerants, and everything in this bag.

I also had to make some onigiri for my daughter to have for breakfast on the bus.

She took three of them with her.

Needless to say, I also made a bento for my son.

I got up 4:30 this morning to make these bento and onigiri so my daughter could get to the school by 5:45.


Sissi said...

It's such a pleasure to read about the bentos you prepare and to see the detailed photos. Is the rice sprinkled with dried shiso? I have a whole bag of it and have never used it... even though I love fresh shiso.
The jellies remind me of konnyaku jellies I am simply crazy for and which unfortunately are no longer imported (they were illegal, but one of the shops managed to import some, I don't know how but now with the stricter customs control they don't take the risk any more.).
Waking up at four and making such beautiful bentos is really impressive!

CFT said...

Wow didn't realise school started so early in Japan. When does it finish?

Yangsze said...

I'm so impressed you woke up at 4am to make these lovely bentos! Your kids are very lucky. I have to pack lunch for my kids (5 and 6 years old) too and they enjoy eating bentos. Sometimes I have to figure out what will be appetizing for them, but usually it's leftovers from last night's dinner. Please keep posting more bento pictures -- it's very fun and encouraging to see what you make!

Hiroyuki said...

CFT: I should have written, "get to the school ground by 5:45". From the school ground, the club members got on a school bus to go to the athletic field.

School begins at around 8:30, I suppose, but at her school, students must be in their class by 8:15.

School ends before 4:00. I don't know the exact time.

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Yes, shiso. Product name: Yukari.

As for me, I prefer jelly and kanten to konnyaku jelly.

I feel sorry for you; it is frustrating not being able to get something you like for unreasonable reasons. It's true that there have been terrible accidents due to konnyaku jelly, but it's not fair to single out konnyaku jelly for punishment because more people die from choking on other foods like mochi.

I know that my bento are just passable or mediore, but I have already "declared" to my son that my bento will not "evolve" any better. The other day, I asked my son if he had any requests about my bento, and he replied he wanted to have more furikake on the rice. That's why you see more yukari on the rice in his bento (last photo).

Hiroyuki said...

YSC: Your kids are lucky to have a parent like you. I wonder how many children at their age have bento made by their parents.

I think I'll post some photos if I succeed in making a better-looking bento.

Fräulein Trude said...

Nice work around for cooling! Thinking about keeping the o-bento cool and fresh - here there are small bags available which are layered with isolation material. Some are made with tin foil and some sort of plastic and soft polystyrene which contains air pockets or even covered with neoprene (price range from 5 euro to 20). You just need an iced jelly-pack to keep everything cool all day long. I bought me one for my trekking tours a long time ago. Maybe they sell the same in Japan too?

Hiroyuki said...

Kiki: My son has such a bag, and even a 100-yen shop carry such bags. I'm thinking of buying one for my daughter, together with a pair of chopsticks and a chopstick holder, when it gets really hot (> 25C). In the meantime, I hope frozen okazu, frozen jelly, and some packs of refrigerant will keep the bento cool enough.