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Tonkatsu Bento #4,524

Somewhere between Monday and the last time I was moved to sobbing tears, my children grew hearts. Previously, whenever they saw me crying, like say, when I heard my cat had died or during one of our many house remodeling battles from last year, they’d respond with immensely compassionate comments like, “Mommy, can you go get me milk?” or “Can I watch tv?” or “Where’s my toothpaste?”

On Monday, I was watching tv with Baby Girl when I heard a loud scratching noise. I looked outside but saw nothing. Then Mr. Pikko came home. He called me outside and I went out and to my horror, Max had climbed up on a plastic bin and proceeded to dig up my planter, which contained a little, struggling alpine strawberry plant I’d been nursing for almost two months, tons of newly sprouted strawberries, and three I’d spent two weeks babying indoors but transplanted on Sunday. All that remained of all my hard work was a bunch of tiny little sprouts by the wall that he couldn’t reach in his furious digging.

I was truly and completely devastated. I’d been looking at those plants every morning since February and now they were gone. I went to look at my gardening log to see just how long ago I’d planted them and when I saw the date, the tears just came flowing out. I sobbed on the couch at the loss of all my work. I sobbed for my two boisterous zucchini plants that he ate into stumps. I sobbed for the two blueberry bushes that cost me $12 each into stubby clumps of sticks.

And then Baby Girl came to hug me. She offered to get me tissues, then kindly took them away. She came back and hugged me and promised she’d help me plant more. Buddy came by to hug me and tell me that Max was a bad boy. Their compassion helped me feel better and I’m glad I no longer have inconsiderate children of stone! A new Scarecrow is on the way and my exposed blueberry bush is covered in netting. I plan to start new strawberries tomorrow.


As I was writing up a title for today’s post, I realized that I pack a whole lot of tonkatsu bentos. Not quite 4,524 but it’s still a ton! The onigiri were three plain salted ones that I made small to fit nicely inside the box. Mr. Pikko has a ton of bolting lettuce right now and so I’ve been given permission to pick as much as I want for bentos, though it’s much too bitter to eat. Still, it’s nice to have an infinite supply of bento border without having to buy and store it in the fridge!

Next to the tonkatsu I have some garlic edamame, little carrot sticks, a radish I grew, a strawberry from the garden patch, pickles, takuan, and a bottle of Ikari Tonkatsu Sauce. Buying 15 bottles of Ikari tonkatsu sauce sounds ridiculous, but if you tasted the stuff, you might think again. Especially since it comes out to be only $4.39 a bottle, which if I remember correctly, is better than the local sale price.

The radish was freakishly spicy. After looking it up, I learned that inconsistent watering (which caused a lot of my radishes to fail to form bulbs) can cause radishes to become extremely spicy. Still, I felt like I had to eat it since I’d grown it, so down it went, throat fire and all. I have a new batch of radishes that are supposed to be ready already, but they sure don’t look it.

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  • Dizzy

    That’s so sweet of your kids. I hope the day I have children, they don’t grow up to be little inconsiderate stones. I wonder if all children are like that at some point or if there’s some who are considerate from the beginning. I’ve never had tonkatsu but I’d love to try and make it…someday n_n.

  • poor little blueberries and strawberries! i have been reading your “adventures” with max with great interest… we adopted a puppy in august and being city dwellers, the things she destroys tend to be *inside* our home, making your ingenious sprinkler solution not feasible for us. but i share your pain! i didn’t grow the couch myself, but it sure sucked when she ripped it to pieces and we had to get a new one. good thing puppies are so cute, or we’d want to throttle them! also it’s so sweet that your kids are maturing and learning to comfort you… total silver lining to the garden destruction 🙂

    anyway, this tonkatsu bento looks great… you can never have too much tonkatsu in my book (one of my husband’s faves). and do i spy a strawberry survivor in there?!

  • Oh your poor garden!! I would be upset too. I’m glad your kiddos were able to console you 🙂

    I never knew inconsistent watering would lead to spicier radishes but that explains a lot about my last radish crop :/ hehe

  • Rexy

    If you have a crop of spicy radishes, instead of eating them raw and trying to bear the spiciness, you could roast them, which mellows them and makes them sweeter. I read about it in a cookbook by Fergus Henderson, but here’s are some links which is essentially what I’m talking about:
    Hope this helps!

  • I dunno… I should ask my friends with kids, haha! “Was your son/daughter an inconsiderate brat at age 5-6?”

  • We’ve been debating letting him in the house, but I can’t bear the thought of him chewing up our inside belongings… Especially my brand new couch!

    The strawberry is from Mr. Pikko’s patch, not mine!

  • I dunno now, I watered my next batch of radishes a lot and they still singed my mouth off. 🙁

  • I would try it, but at the rate I succeed at getting a radish to bulb, I’d have to roast 3 radishes at a time. Hahaha!