Pink Hearts Bento (445)
As you can see, I’ve officially changed the skin of the site to pink. The beauty of the theme that I’m using is that it takes maybe 5 minutes to change it all once I’ve picked the color codes. I went crazy trying to figure out how to do everything at first, but now that I have, it seems to be smooth sailing. Now that I’ve said that, watch the blog die a fiery death within a couple of hours.
With the love theme going on, I have the first of my Valentine’s Day themed bento. The box I’m using is one of the stacking onigiri boxes that Susan Yuen gave to me when we did our tv appearance for the Haiti Fundraiser. She gave me a piggie one and a tiger one and this is the piggie one. The covers are pink, but the bottoms are red, making them the perfect case for a small love bento.
I started off making the onigiri by heating up leftover rice in the microwave and then adding pink vinegar powder to color the rice pink and give it a nice ume flavor. I used an onigiri mold to make them into hearts and then used a new set of punches that Maki of Cute Obento gave to me.
Here’s a closer look at the onigiri. I wasn’t very original and made them all the same, but I think it turned out nicely anyway. I lined the boxes with green leaf lettuce to eat as a side salad. In the medium size box, there’s some fried eggplant, Grandma Mu style, a cherry tomato, and a duck sauce bottle filled with shoyu. In the smallest box there’s some cut up orange slices.
I used to stay with my grandma a lot, as our house was 25 miles from town and she lived conveniently closer, so I’d go and sleep over if I was going out on the weekend or something. As a result, I’d eat her cooking a lot. Although she doesn’t really cook at all anymore, her food still sticks in my brain and she totally instilled in me the importance of simple foods with her motto: “Simple food is the best.” Her fried eggplant is one of my favorites.
Grandma Mu’s Fried Eggplant
- 1 round eggplant
- 1 egg, beaten
- olive oil
- soy sauce
- Slice the eggplant into 1/2″ thick slices, then cut them in half to make half circles.
- Soak the slices in a bowl of water, placing a plate or bowl on top to push the slices into the water. Check back once in a while. When the water begins to turn brown, drain and refill with fresh water. Repeat 1-2 times. This helps to take out some of the bitterness.
- Dry the slices with a towel. (paper towels are used up rather quickly)
- Dust the slices in flour, then coat in egg, then in flour again.
- Heat about 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Fry eggplant slices on both sides until golden brown and crispy. Remove to drain oil.
- Serve and eat with soy sauce.
I could only fit 3/4 of a slice into this box, so I fried up one more slice and brought that along on the side so that I’d have more food.
Yesterday, Wanda Adams from the Honolulu Advertiser came over to interview me for an article about bento. The story will probably run the week after next, so if you’re local, keep an eye out on the food section! I’ll update everyone once I know a specific date. During the photo shoot, they asked me to take out and display my freakish bento box collection. They took incriminating photographs, which will surely cause my whole family to start calling and emailing and asking, “Is that for real? Do you really have that many?” I’m thinking of answering this with an awkward silence because the answer is: “No, I actually have more than that.”
Anyhoo… with my collection just out and about, I decided to start up a project wherein I document all of my bento boxes and photograph them. I’ll be using Flickr to sort my images into sets so that you can all see the lunches I’ve made with a particular box. Each day, I’ll hopefully have new sets to post and eventually, maybe in 2 months… (lol!) I’ll be done. I’ve got a Google Doc of my list and will update that as I work. This ordeal will be called Pikko’s Docubentory.
I got through 27 boxes last night, but will start with two for today. Box #001 is a pink piggies box.
View the set for Box #001.
View the set for Box #002. This set won’t actually have anything, as I still haven’t used it. You can find this Pikachu Bento Box on J-List.
Let the madness begin!!