Thursday, February 5, 2009

お弁当 Obento!

Last Tuesday, Kayla and I made our own bentos to bring into Japanese class for bonus points! We prepared them right before class and were a little bit late because of it, heh! They were fun to make, but also a bit frustrating trying to figure out what to put in them.

(We got to eat them in class =D)

This is Kayla's bento! Isn't her box way cute?? I love pink! So in the top tier, she had some veggie flavored chips on the left and a daifuku (red bean filled mochi) on the right. Pink to match, so so cute!

On the bottom tier, there's a triangular onigiri with tuna filling, decorated with Hello Kitty furikake (rice seasoning--they're shapes of Hello Kitty's head made out of nori) and traditional furikake (sesame seeds, chopped seaweed, sugar and salt). There's some shrimp yakisoba up in that mix, too! Oh yes, she's got some Afternoon Milk Tea (ONLY for afternoon time hahaha) up at the right corner and the little pink package on the left is Watering KissMint gum, peach flavor. Mmmhmm!

And this is my bento! On the top tier, I have 2 panda-chan onigiris! =D I constructed their faces out of nori pieces. But I forgot to put their cheeks on... hahaha. In the middle, there are grape tomatoes and sliced sticks of carrot, and circular slices of cheese that I cut from string cheese, hehe. For garnish I put some lettuce leaves and Baby Star noodles, chow mein flavor!

On the bottom tier, there's the shrimp yakisoba and slices of carrot that I cut into flower shapes. On the container top where my chopsticks go, I stuck some pieces of Japanese candy: the pink one is a strawberry milk flavored chew, the white one is flan flavored hard candy, and the 2 silver wrapped ones are apple flavored chews. I also had a package of chocolate Pocky and a can of green tea, you can see up in the left corner. Yum yum!

I love making bento! Even if it's the first time I've ever tried, there's just so much you can do, and it's SO CUTE. Like food art! I love cute, and I loveee food! I'd like to make it a habit that at least once a week I'll prepare a bento to bring for lunch. There's so many food possibilities and characters that I wanna make! But maybe I should work on my cooking skills first... -__-

This would be such a cute activity to incorporate into the elementary school curriculum! In the health category, bentos can show kids how to prepare well-balanced meals, and they can also learn about portion control. For math, we'd generally work with proportions (traditional Japanese bentos are divided into a 4:3:2:1 ratio--4 parts rice, 3 parts protein, 2 parts vegetable, and 1 part dessert). Hmm, I'm probably stretching it a bit, but we can use the food preparation part as a science activity (mixing ingredients, cooking...maybe). Social studies, maybe a little history of bento and a look into the Japanese culture? And for language arts... let's say, whatever they decide to put in their bentos--the kind of food or characters they make--they can maybe make up a story about their characters, or write a paragraph about why they chose to use specific types of food...something like that. And of course, art! I'd love to involve art as much as I can into the curriculum...there's so much that kids can offer if they're just given the chance to tap into their imagination and freely explore their talents and abilities!

Okay, I'll stop before I keep rambling forever. I can't wait to make more bento! AND THEN EAT THEM! =D!

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