I got the Yum-Yum Bento Box book by Crystal Watanabe and Maki Ogawa for my birthday from the boys. Prior to that I had bought The Just Bento Cookbook by Makiko Itoh (see her blog here). I have been itching to try making these cute little packed lunches for myself. I am frankly amazed, however, at the lengths some Mums go to to make beautiful looking lunches for their kids. When my two go to school, they will be getting a cheese sandwich and an apple like everyone else!
You may have seen my beautiful totoro bento boxes in a previous post. We are totoro daft in this family. In fact, Kei introduced us to My Neighbour Totoro and we now have a cupboard full of Studio Ghibli films and loads of toys, T-shirts, whatever we can get our hands on!
I also got to treat myself to a few bits and pieces for making fun Bento boxes as part of my birthday present. I got a few things from J-List.
Of course, I started off with a very basic Bento box to let me dip my toe in the water. I basically just made some onigiri into the shape of fishes. Here is a great page from the basics section on Just Bento. Beware, though, I can spend days and days looking through this blog.
I simply served the onigiri with cucumber and carrot sticks and Jumbo prawns. I also included a wee bottle of soy sauce and a little tub of Marie Rose sauce. The boys definitely loved the novelty of the way the lunch was packed for them. We ate them at the kitchen table, though - ha ha - not hugely adventurous!
Now, as this post is relevant to Japan, if you want to help the people on Japan rebuild their lives following the earthquake and tsunami, have a look at Bento 4 Japan. There are auctions where you can get great items if you want to start having a go at making your own Bento boxes or for us in the UK, you can donate to Justgiving which gives you a chance of winning the raffle to win some lovely Bento stuff.