Saturday, August 28, 2010

August Bento Days (4)

This 4 tier Tiffin box was my best buy for kitchen things this year! Everytime I think of packing food into its lovely tone of colors roundish compartments, I feel happy and excited! It might sound strange to hear an affection for a container but believe me, once you are a Bento enthusiast, even a simple plastic container will attract you! I am a confessed Bento addict and would love to spread the joy and fun in this lunch or meal packing craft to all my friends. What better to do with lots of imaginations of food, a young family and a form of craft that is fun and good to eat at the end of the day? On another note, I am very happy that I have been able to inspire my good mommy friend, Li to start this picnic bento-ing and yes, I snagged the same and last tiffin box for her to start her off on this fun weekend hobby!

We were out and about again for this Saturday for more than 1 hour drive north to see an airshow of which my kids and Curry were so looking forward to! This was our third time exposing our ears to tremendous roaring engines from jet fighters and bombers but it was this time that both my kids were ready to enjoy the spectacle of the Blue Angels performance without fear. I myself also love mechanical stuffs, including locomotives and anything that moves, although most of the time I appear to people as sedentary and a very womanly person who is into kitchen and home stuffs only! But I am a very efficient person and always on the move too!

The much awaited heavy rain had fed our tomato plants with enough water and they are popping green and red so fast and plenty. The good thing about planting our own is that I can have the vines attached and choose the sizes that conform to the size of this Bento box. Broccoli is a must have in my fridge and maybe I should give the different colored Cauliflowers a try next time. Perhaps it is a psychological thing, seeing green in the Bento box gives me the assurance that I fed my kids vegetable for the day! I managed to get some Longan , which is sweet and juicy in this time of the year. The flesh is very juicy and definitely a change from the usual grapes. I sliced some black olives and scattered them on the broccoli which created another visual appeal which is my tactic to entice my kids to try it out.

I baked some sliced pork meat which was earlier marinated with scallion, sesame oil, white pepper and salt. Since the kids love the crunchy and slight crisp texture of this dish, I just alternate and substitute the marinate for the meat with different herbs and sauce everytime and bake with it with the Japanese breadcrumb panko. Chicken meat works fine too cooked this way but probably not beef for the reason that beef tends to get tough if overcooked. In Japan, deep fried pork slices is served with a special sauce which is both sweet and tangy and in this Bento, I included some in individual sauce containers. In the other box, I prepared some Onigiri rice in the triangle shape, flavored and garnished with salmon flavored Furikake mixture.

I tried making some marbled eggs out of soy sauce and they didn't turn out very patterned. Should have let them soak overnight but the taste is fine. First I boiled the eggs for about 7 mins and using a spoon, I tapped each to create random cracks and added dark soy sauce to the boiling water to continue the cooking for another 7 mins. Marbled tea and herb eggs is very popular in Asia and I think I will attempt the recipe soon. The eggs are required to be boiled and simmered in their shells for a long period of time and the addition of fragrant spices like star anise and cassia bark which resembles the warm aroma of cinnamon together with strong black tea makes the eggs very good to eat, especially on cold days. Corn is at its peak now and they just taste so sweet and very plentiful in the market at a very whopping cheap price of $1.99 for 10 ears! And what kid doesn't love corn, my kids will have it anytime of the day.

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