July 17th, 2009
As I think I’ve mentioned, I subscribe to Mothering Magazine . And, to be honest, I frequently consider unsubscribing because so much of what they cover is just utterly foreign to me. I never considered not vaccinating my child, I can’t quite get my head around the idea of breastfeeding a toddler, etc. But each time I’m about to nix it, there’s an awesome article that brings me back.
This month, it was Bento Boxes. Bento (or Obento) is Japanese lunchbox art. Closely related to the tiffins I encountered in India, bento boxes are eco-friendly lunch-carrying-cases that negate the need for zillions of plastic baggies and the other environmentally disastrous packaging materials that tend to accompany American meals on the go (think “Lunchables” and shudder).
But bentos are way more than Tupperware with a fancy name. The Japanese have elevated lunch-making to an art form and the meals contained in true bentos are amazing, whimsical, artistic creations. Sausage octopi, bunnies made out of apples, rice-cake panda bears, carved-flower vegetables — all artfully arranged in a small box.
I’m totally smitten, absolutely enchanted by the concept of creating beautiful healthy lunches for my child. I recognize that at this juncture, Miss Mouse doesn’t need a special bento lunchbox. And my irritatingly pragmatic husband points out that we already have a ton of plastic containers in which I send her lunches to day care.
But I don’t care. I still want a real bento. This one, to be exact.