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Anniversary Bento (361)

When I was a teenager growing up in Hilo, more years ago than I care to remember, people didn’t use the Internet and cell phones were these bigass things in cars. We wrote letters on paper and folded them into hearts or triangles. We certainly didn’t have texting or IMs or MySpace and Facebook. We used “real” phones to talk to people. If your family was lucky, you had a *gasp* cordless phone.

Anyway, if you had a crush on a guy, of course you didn’t have the guts to call him up and say it. I mean, what if his stupid kid sister was listening on the line? What if his mom answered the phone? Plus, you just don’t call a guy up and tell him you like him. We leave that job to the guys, who mess that business up well enough to leave you with a great story to tell friends.

In any case, without all the communication tools of today at our disposal, all we really had was the radio dedication. This was a very simple solution because you only had to talk to the radio DJ and they did these all night, so it was no big deal to them. They’d say your little message on the air and since everyone in Hilo didn’t have anything better to do than listen to K-BIG, there was a really good chance the guy would hear it. It was also a great way to convey a love message to someone you were already “going with”.

This 5th Anniversary bento in this beautiful wood bento box from J-List, was made specially for two friends of mine who are celebrating five years of marriage today. I hope you enjoy it! A bento dedication is a first for me. The idea was just so cute that when the guy asked me to do it, there was no way I was going to say no. I hope you guys have a great day today!

I was supposed to make this last night because Mr. Pikko had to be at work an hour and a half earlier than we usually get here. You all know by now though, that I almost never do things according to plan. I fell asleep while waiting for the rice to cook and as a result, I had to get up at the asscrack of dawn (4:30 AM) to do this. Luckily, since I fell asleep before 10, this wasn’t all that bad, especially since Buddy woke up crying because he fell off his bed at 4:20.

I was planning what to do in my head all afternoon and part of the plan included pink onigiri. In the midst of brainstorming, I realized I had completely used up my red food coloring while making pickle mango the other day (will blog about that over the weekend). Lucky thing I remembered that I had one more packet of the pink vinegar powder from Marukai. This worked out really well.

If you’ve never heard of it, this is what it looks like. It’s got an ume flavor, which means I automatically love it. I think you’re supposed to use a whole lot of it to get the bright pink color in the photo, but I’m a stingy person, so I just use enough to make it pink. If you’ve ever wondered how Japanese bento moms get their rice so beautifully pink, this is how they do it.

You simply sprinkle it on the rice and mix it up. I sprinkled a little at a time and mixed it up before adding more.

The lightbox really isn’t doing much for me right now and I’ve come to appreciate RAW camera formatting. I’ll have to buy a good light on Amazon soon because all this photoshopping sucks. I ran outside to take another photo in the morning light.

I added the lettuce to the box first, then the two onigiri. I nuked three meatballs and burned them into hard meat rocks. I ate those for breakfast while I nuked three more on much less time. They went into the box next, then the two slices of imitation crab, then the sliced takuan, then the sugar snap pea pods. On the other side, there’s something very special. Can you guess what it is??

Ohhh YES! My first big tomato. I mean, it’s big for me. I’ve only grown little dime sized cherry tomatoes, so this one was a big accomplishment for me. I mentioned that I expected birds to eat it, so I figured even though it wasn’t totally red, I’d better pick it. Plus, what better bento to put it in, right? I sliced up one half, ate one slice (yummy!!), then put three into the box. Next, I added some choi sum that I’d cooked in sesame oil and soy sauce in a little foil food cup. As last touches, I added half a strawberry and three half slices of mandarin orange.

I couldn’t figure out how to fit the word ‘anniversary’ on the onigiri, so I ended up doing a flag on a toothpick. I’m ashamed to say that when I put the cover on, I crammed it down and I could hear the toothpick puncture the bottom of the box. I won’t know how bad it is until I eat it, but I know it didn’t go through to the outside, so that’s good. I’m such an idiot sometimes.

I have to admit, it’ll be a little strange eating someone else’s anniversary gift for lunch. Haha!