Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bento Care in Summer

In this bento are chicken karaage, fried sweet potato, cherries, asparagus tossed with ume and shoyu, shoyu egg halves and konnyaku. These days, I prefer simple karaage seasoned with only salt, black pepper and lemon juice to normal one with shoyu, garlic and ginger. Yuppi really is a big fan of karaage and always like this. *Mama, get me some karaage at konbini!* Since I'm not a fan of convenience store's karaage, I often need to make one for her. Every kid loves fried chicken, don't they? Yuppi is not a kid anymore though.

For this one, I made tompeiyaki (okonomi-styled omelet), daigakuimo, broccoli stir-fried with ume, sesame seeds and salt, and a wakame omusubi.

Asparagus and egg stirfry, pork slices tossed in shoyu and karashi, satsumaage (kamaboko) sauteed with shoyu, mirin and butter, and broiled mayo-cheese chicken tender.

Of course, I didn't forget to put ice packs on these bentos. Today I want to write what I try to do besides ice packs to keep our bentos from spoiling.

1). Not to put raw vegetable (especially greens) on bento foods without dividers.
2). To use antibacterial foods and spices.
3). To drain liquid of foods well before packing.
4). To pack foods in bento boxes after cooling.
5). To use insulated lunch bags. (On a very hot day.)

These are not new and are common, but I still tend to forget to do. I decided to write down here as a reminder for myself.
As to antibacterial items, I sometimes use wasabi, karashi, umeboshi, mustard, vinegar, honey, etc as seasoning too.
I heard that the antibacterial constituents of karashi, mustard, wasabi, horseradish are so powerful and volatile a little addition of one of them to a bento food covers the whole bento. By the way, for bento, I rarely use strong smelling stuff such as garlic.

So what are things you try to do for bento safety?

Our local Rilakkumas. Featuring the local products, ika (a squid) and marimo (a green moss ball).
Our local Rilakkuma and Korilakkuna

Adorable twins.
Okame twins

Primula juliana and lilly of the valley. From May.
Juliana and Lilly of the valley

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bento Unfriendly Season

I have lots and lots of pictures to post, but for now, only a few of them. This bento is for today. In the bento are a shumai dumpling, broccoli tossed with okaka, oil and salt, syoyu pork (which I parboiled and then cooked in shoyu, mirin and grated ginger), and broiled salmon on rice.
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It's the bento-unfriendly season right now maybe in the northern hemisphere, because of the summer heat. In Japan, plus the extreme humidity. There are some things I try to do in order to prevent bento foods from spoiling. I've never gotten any complaints from my family about their bentos spoiled. Not sure if it's just because they are insensitive or something and don't notice even if their lunches are spoiled though lol. Anyway, I think the shortest and easiest way to keep bentos safe is to use ice packs which come with cake. Keeping food cool after all. In addition to that, consuming food as soon as possible is also important. Next time, I'm going to write about some items as well that I try to use or not to use for bento to prevent bacteria from growing in bento boxes.
ちょうど今、お弁当にはちょっと大変なシーズンですね。多分北半球全域かしら。高温プラス湿度で食べ物の発酵指数が一気に上昇する様な気がします。幸いにも、今まで一度もお弁当が腐ってたっていう苦情を受けたことがありません。ただ単にあの人たちが鈍感で気付かないまんま食べてしまってるだけかも!? それでもやっぱりお弁当を安全に保つ為にいくつか注意している点はあります。一番手っ取り早いのは保冷剤を使うこと。ケーキに付いて来るやつを再利用。夏場は食べ物を涼しく保つ。作ったらなるべく早く食べる。これが優先課題。他にいくつか心がけていることは次回に!

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Thursday, May 07, 2015

Golden Week

We are just in GW (the golden week holiday) here in Japan and thankfully blessed with nice weather these days. Nobody in my family likes crowds or having to wait in line, so we tend to avoid traveling and outing around this time of year even if the holiday is long enough. I've been just comfy and cozy at home, doing nothing, haha! In the meantime, the girl and hubs went hillwalking alone which was their first dad-and-daughter trip in ages. Since Yuppi had tons of homework to do before high school, they couldn't go skiing or anything else together last winter. So this became a good event for them. Ah yeah, she is a high school girl already. How time flies! No wonder I'm no longer young lol! She took some photos on her way up and down the top of the hill. So here they go.

Picking up a blossom

Sakura on the hill

Wild anemone

Ebi wantanmen
Their fuel.

These are some of bentos I made before GW.
2015-05-01 bento
A bento stash (konnyaku mushroom stirfry), saba fish tossed with wasabi shoyu, sweet potato peanut salad, and chicken tender katsu with cheese in it.

2015-04-10 bento
Asparagus salad, spinach and moyashi sprout with a mini bottle of dashi shoyu, chikuwa tempura with curry powder, amakara (sweet salty shoyu flavored) pork.

2015-04-30 bento
The bento stash (konnyaku mushroom stirfry), omelet with cheese in it, chicken tsukune burgers and simmered sanma fish.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Please Stay

How hard it's to actually carry out what you said. I said that I would blog every day if possible, but I've done nothing. Hahhh, shame on me! Okay, who cares? Anyway I'm going to try my best. In the meantime, spring arrived around here and sukura trees are in bloom right now (that's way earlier than usual!) even though I haven't even posted pictures of early spring flowers yet. I feel a bit frustrated because it seems like the sakura blossoms are ending before long, while I can't get around to going to take shots. Hey spring, don't go, please stay! Oh well, still I'm really enjoying the short spring here and hope you guys are also enjoying your season wherever you are.

Tulips and snowflakes are always cute.

They are just about to be over. They don't last very long like cherry blossoms. I will be missing these delicate and adorable flowers of early spring for sure.

Shidare zakura
I love shidare zakura (weeping sakura) too.

Shidare zakura
I couldn't take good shots, the branches were dancing in the wind. But I love how they gently, lithely sway above as if to talk to me. I am a poet right now... Lol!

2015-04-20 bento

2015-04-09 bento

2015-04-07 bento
If you are curious about what I made for these bentos, of course feel free to ask me.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

A New Beginning

2015-04-02 bento
Mushroom butter rice, herb-fried cod, fried sweet potato, ume-tossed cabbage and pickled carrot.

Java sparrow and lovebirds

Unfortunately I missed a chance to freak out you guys. It's already April 2 here haha. Speaking of April, it means a new beginning here in Japan. The new starts of things, the season that everyone is thrilled about changes of things. Lots of exciting things are coming along.

This is just today's bento, and I decided to post an entry every day as long as I could take shots. Happy spring guys!!

Friday, February 20, 2015

It Won't Be That Long

I felt like posting something, but unfortunately haven't taken bento pictures much lately. I had to rake unposted ones from the last year, lol. These ones are all bland, but anyway, some of my last bentos of 2014. It seems like I only just managed to throw foods together. Better than nothing. It's totally all right, huh?

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You know what? I'm going to reach my 300th post soon! I assumed I hadn't done all that much, so I'm even surprised that this will happen. Do you know what *The 300th post* means? Oh yeah! We're (you and me of course) going to be doing something fun. Although I don't think many people read this blog, would love to share a little thrill with you long-time readers. I came up with a few ideas for it, though, one thing I can tell for now, I want it to be more interesting and exciting than the things I've done before.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Hello 2015

Hello there! Belated belated happy 2015! It's way toooo behind gahhh. Oh well, it's good I can greet you guys before January is over. I've hibernated for a while because it's winter here, yes. I've been snowed in lol. Anyway, first of all, let me tell you my New Year's resolutions for the year as it's one of my annual rituals here. Ahem, I hope to blog as much as I can! Wait, I feel like I say the same thing every year. You are all tired of hearing that, aren't you? I AM never tired of saying it lol. Okay while many bloggers have moved to handier and easier stuff like Instagram, Facebook or something, I still stick to blogging because it's where I end up coming back, even though I also enjoy some of those SNSs. Another resolution of mine is to write in Japanese as well, along with my odd English sentences, heehee. Since I haven't written Japanese articles in forever, I'm a bit nervous wondering if I can write properly lol! Not sure whether I go with literal translation or free. Though, I think it will be kind of interesting work.

I've been packing some bentos this year, but haven't photographed them at all. So this is my very first bento shot of the year. Today I made omusubi dogs (rice rolls with sausages), chicken egg salad, renkon salad and spinach salad. Yes, salad salad salad. Tossed some pieces of steamed chicken tenders and boiled eggs with grain mustard and mayonnaise. Tossed boiled lotus root slices with shoyu and umeboshi. Tossed boiled spinach with a bit of salt, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Winter spinach is perfect for a bento dish, because it's delicious itself for sure.