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Good Friday Bentos, Rain, and a New Camera!

Since today is one of our holidays, we got to spend the day at home with the kids. Grandpa and Grandma J had my niece and nephew, so we planned an outing. Grandma J had heard about these really good bentos from Makino Chaya, so she offered to buy lunch and we ended up meeting them at a park. Figuring this would be a great chance to try out my new camera, I brought it along.

Just look at that gorgeous thing! It’s monstrous! I think it was around 9 x 13″. NOT kidding! It was full of yummy food and the most shocking part of it was the price. This bento cost a mind-boggling $5.50.

I’ve seen dinkier bentos sell for at least 7 bucks or more and this thing had salmon and katsu and shrimp. To give more detail from top left going clockwise:

Turquoise – Namasu with eggplant, lotus, taro, carrot, shiitake mushroom, and eggplant.
Pink – Mini shrimp tempura covered in delicious sauce, chikuwa with cucumber, and oden.
Blue – Salad and tomato, katsu covered in some yummy sauce, lemon slice, and curry potato.
Yellow – Yakisoba, grilled salmon, sausage, calamari, shumai, prawn, and gobo.
Orange – Furikake rice and takuan.

The tray is plastic, with each section being painted that color to resemble separate dishes in a lacquer box. I shared this with Mr. Pikko and didn’t eat the mushroom, oden, and gobo, but everything else that I ate was really, really good. The katsu soaked in sauce was so yummy, though now that I look at the bento, maybe it was lemon chicken.

The sad part about our picnic is that like 2 minutes after I snapped this picture, it started to rain. We all ate quickly as the kids ate spam musubis that Grandma J had made. This picture was taken with my new toy, which I’m still getting used to, but love nonetheless.

I grabbed my bunny garlic bread picture off the camera, but the lighting is really bad. I really need to make my new lightbox and figure out why these natural light bulbs I bought don’t really seem to give off natural light. It’s very yellow! 🙁

The garlic bread came out clearer, but yellow, while the broccoli basically has no color at all. Anyway, with the rain, we went to Grandma J’s house so the kids could play together. Being stuck in the house I didn’t have much to photograph, so I took a picture of her Easter lily.

I love how crisp it came out, woo! I later had a “goofy” photo shoot with Baby Girl and my niece and got some really scary lookin’ goofy face photos. Eyes mashed and pulled open, half-eaten cornbread mouth, and upside down piggie noses. I think the bigass camera made them excited about it.

I bought a ton of Jello at Don Quijote for eggs, so I’ll be starting on them tonight! The dumbest part is that I got totally suckered into buying this cheap Jello even though I have bags of it at home. Sometimes I’ll take inventory before I head to the store to fill in my Jello box gaps, but usually something stupid happens like I miswrite it or I lose my inventory list and I end up with another bag of mismatched Jello boxes to have for next year. I’ll be using Jenn’s smaller recipe this year though, so that we’re not eating Jello eggs into June.

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  • Erika

    You should try shooting in RAW format and get yourself a raw photo editing software. I see free ones on the web, but I don’t know how good they are.

    You must be wondering why I’m like, shoot in raw! Shoot in raw!!!1!!ONE! It’s because if the lighting is funky, and you’re shooting with the white balance set to florescent, but you’re outdoors with the sun shining brightly behind you, you can easily fix it on the computer in a photo editing software. Raw format is basically information as how the camera saw it, versus jpeg is compressed and is what the camera thinks it saw. It makes a HUGE difference.

    The downside with shooting in raw is the big fat file sizes and the amount of post processing you’d have to do. But, hey, at least you’ll get good results in the end. 🙂

  • It looks like you’ve got slightly more issue with the red in the bunny bread photo than the yellow. Tweaking a little in Adobe Photoshop I went to Adjustments -> Color Balance and put in -31 towards Cyan away from Red, +43 towards Green away from Magenta, and +19 towards Blue away from Yellow. I put up the result at . I’m not quite sure what colors it should come out to, but this seemed to be the best I could do with Photoshop. If you don’t have Photoshop and don’t want to download it with crack codes, I’ve heard that the free program GIMP can do everything Photoshop can, but it’s different enough that I couldn’t find what I was used to so I never got into it.

  • Also, I would love to try all the food in that big bento. I wish we had things like that out here. >^_^< .

  • I actually did take the picture in RAW and I did tweak the bunnies in Photoshop, LOL!

  • How do photos get taken in RAW? Do you have to have a specific kind of digital camera to do it?

  • Yeah, pretty sure only certain cameras can support that format.

  • careybear

    did that bento come from the makino chaya at westridge? if it did, i had no idea! i may have to check it out sometime.

  • Yup, Westridge! They were awesome!

  • Hi Pikko,
    I love your bentos….and that one does look yummy. I have just discovered Bentos and am hoping to entice my little one to eat more by using Bentos. I was wondering if you could tell me how you make the checkered apples? They look great!