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Ikebana International Bento Demonstration

The very nice ladies of the International Ikebana Honolulu Chapter 56 invited me to do a bento demonstration at their New Year’s Luncheon today, so I spent the morning cooking a variety of things to take with me to create two bentos, one for adults and one for children.

110123-Bunnies-Bento

Here is the children’s lunch that I did, which is rabbit themed since it’s the Year of the Rabbit soon. I made the rice balls at home and did the decorating at the demo. In the background you can see some of the cute flower kamaboko that I found at Don Quijote last night. One of the ladies at the luncheon says they bring them in from Japan for New Years.

I had thought about making the bentos at home and then doing a demo of that very same lunch while there, but then realized that would mean I needed two bento boxes of the exact same size for both. That wasn’t going to work for the adult lunch, so I decided to just bring a lot of food and “create” while there.

110123-Bunny-Onigiri

Here is the front bunny up close. You can see her fish sausage ears and nose. The eyes, nose, and whiskers are made out of nori.

110123-Teriyaki-Pork-Bento

Here is the adult lunch that I made, which includes three types of onigiri (ume, Seto Fumi, Nori Komi), teriyaki pork (though I brain farted and said miso at the demo), pickles, tamagoyaki, broccoli, carrot, tomatoes, and cauliflower.

They were a wonderful audience, oohing and aahing collectively, which always helps me through a public speaking event. Nothing is worse than crickets when you’re demonstrating bentos. I’m a nervous wreck when it comes to talking publicly everything except bentos, but when you get no reaction, it can be unnerving even in your comfort zone. I want to thank them for being so nice and hospitable.

110123-Natsunoya-Bento

Here’s a photo of one of the bentos from Natsunoya Tea House that they served. I had the fish bento, which included butterfish, salmon, and tempura. Very naughty in points, but very delicious. (I calculated at least 15 points)

I signed a couple of books that people brought in and apologized profusely to the women who were so sad to find out that I wasn’t selling any. Grandma Mu came to watch and later told me I need to be more succinct. She had told me last week, “Crystal, in general, you talk very fast.” I don’t know whether it’s her hearing or whether I really do talk like I’m on fast forward, but I’ll have to try to watch that.

Hope you all are having a nice weekend. I’m off to go weed the yard again. The dang thing is almost under control and it’s time to plant more black soybeans because only 2 of the darn things sprouted up!

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