CONTRIBUTED BY MEREDITH NOVARIO
Monday through Friday I send Eli off to school without much ceremony. Twice a week I pack a lunch for him. On a good day I’ll get a high-five before parting ways. We have been doing things like this, plus or minus, since last April. It is our routine. As comfy as a clean sheets.
And then suddenly I’m red about the cheeks. All year I had NO idea that lunch was a fine art. The esteemed bento, the O-bento, if you will. I operate on a loosely interpreted four-food group philosophy regarding meals, lunch included. Rice sprinkled with peas, corn and cheese works fine if you count cheese as a protein. Which I do. Throw in a box of raisins and the boy has a square meal on his hands. Or heat up a frozen meal and pass it off as your own. I’m not afraid to set the bar low. Go forth and judge me.
It’s not that I don’t understand the bento. It’s artistic. It’s healthy. It’s full of variety. It’s charming, patient, thoughtul. Everything you’d want in food AND love, for crying out loud. I’m not even exaggerating. It just requires a level of organization and planning and commitment that shivers me timbers. Life was a bit easier when I imagined all of us throwing sniff-approved leftovers and frozen vegetables into the bento box and marching on.
I might have seen the light though because there are kind folks out there willing to hold my hand as I cross over from the dark side. A big thanks to Jennifer for pointing out these beacons of hope.
Seriously. Get your bento on. Annya already has, that sly fox. For us mortals, there are blogs to guide the way and aggregators to store our treasures.
For more bento fun, check out our post about shopping for bento gear here on Okinawa. Or another detailing one contributor’s experience in a bento making class. What are you waiting for? Go get your bento on!