Thursday, August 25, 2011


It could be a bit problematic that I am a sucker for cute, little things, and that I now live in the land of cute, little things.  I am particularly a sucker for cute, little things that have to do with food.  Do you know about bento?  (Or is it o-bento?  I'm never really sure.)  Bento is the word for Japanese boxed lunch.  You can buy bento packaged at grocery stores or convenience stores, but it's the home-made bento that I am becoming obsessed with.  It reminds me of pioneer quilts.  Pioneer woman made quilts for a practical purpose, but they turned it into an outlet for creativity.  Bento boxes are an art form for Japanese woman packing lunch for their family (or themselves).  The only reason I haven't spent ridiculous amounts of money on cute, little bento accessories and pretty bento boxes is that I just can't decide which of the many adorable options I want to invest in.

How cute is this?

If you haven't noticed, I think about food a lot.  If there was one thing in my life I had pretty well under control back in the states, it was food.  Then we came to Japan, and I found myself lost and bewildered.  Several people have told me that they eat much healthier here, because they just can't get the junk food they used to get at home.  I have had the opposite problem.  I can't get the healthy food that I used to get back home.  I don't have a garden anymore, I can't grind my own wheat until I get a proper transformer, the produce section at the grocery store is full of things I don't even recognize, and the things I do recognize are shockingly expensive.  Have you ever paid $20 for a small watermelon?  I had never fed my kids Ritz crackers for lunch before moving to Japan, but in the first couple of months here, Ritz became one of our staples.  Happily, I'm beginning to feel like I see some light.  I successfully made yakisoba, successfully cooked shrimp, and discovered that both of my kids love edamame.  Hooray!  I also found some good Asian cooking blogs, and once I learn to read hirigana, I should be able to buy ingredients for some of the dishes in my Japanese cookbook.  Funny how being able to cook makes me feel so much more settled.  Also funny that I think I should feel settled when I moved to the other side of the world only four months ago.  I should give myself a break.

Google bento.  You'll love it.

1 comment:

christy said...

I also love the cute little things from Japan especially. I may have to try some Bento for my kids. They would love it. Might not be able to buy the cute little boxes here though, I'll improvise. Sorry Luke is sick. That's so contagious.