Bento!!

I have to admit, I hate housework. It’s so nice to have a clean house, but frustrating that it doesn’t last long before you have to repeat the same process over and over. When I clean up these days, I try to change something, so at least it’s not so boring. It’s more and more difficult though, with the unit, and so on, to rearrange furniture.

So, I have found the one routine thing that can be changed more easily: cooking. I have a few recipes that I repeat during the week for dinner, so that doesn’t change much. It’s Yusuke and Hannah that get the benefits from my cooking mania. I say mania, because sometimes I feel that it is a bit manic and typical housewifey.

For example, the picture above is Yusuke’s lunch for today (known as Bento in Japanese). I made this at 5a.m. I say I made it then, but really all I did was take stuff out of the freezer and defrost it in the microwave. From left to right: pork in yakiniku sauce that I made last night just before cooking dinner; pork and leek meatballs which I made last week; edamame (beans); spinach in sesame dressing (that I actually used a mortar and pestle for…); chicken and onion omelette which I made at the beginning of this week. The other side is just rice (kept warm in the rice cooker) with Japanese plum, said to keep bacteria from the rice and bits of seaweed and plum.

As for Hannah, I bought Annabel Karmel’s book, but used only a few recipes from it. It has been helpful though, because as well as recipes, there is a lot of nutritional information and specifies how to cook individual items as well. I found her recipes rather fancy and time consuming. Once when I was cooking Hannah fish and spinach in cheese sauce, Yusuke said that Hannah’s meals are more fancy than ours. I thought about that, but then justified it, because she’s getting healthy meals which take a while to cook, but I usually only cook once a week for her and freeze it all. After tasting it, we both agreed it was yummy! Not like the baby jar food which tastes of nothing. She liked it too, in fact she likes all of those recipes.

Yesterday I used the book as a guide, but made my own Chicken Pasta in Tomato Sauce, with leek and carrot. Hannah loved it. So I have several more portions that I froze in the ice cube tray, which will last for about a week. I think the more food she can eat that tastes like what I usually cook, the easier it will be to get her to eat the same things as us.

So anyway, my Chinese/Malaysian friend says that the pressure is really on for children’s bentos. The teacher at her son’s school asked her to make her son’s bento cuter and more colourful…how rude! There are lots of mental mum’s who really need to keep up with the Jones’s and make bentos such as these:

http://www.cookingcute.com/gallery/gallery_083106.htm

http://www.cookingcute.com/gallery/gallery_021907.htm

http://www.cookingcute.com/gallery/gallery_021407.htm

I’m sure that I will succumb to the pressure and be buying myself heart shaped cutters and the like when it’s time for Hannah to go to school. At that point I will probably be working too and start to hate having to prepare such a work of art!

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