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Old 09-16-2006, 11:05 PM   #1
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Talking Hey guys... remember me?

Hi all! It seems like its been forever since I've posted. (in reality, it's been about a month and a half) Anyway, I've been so busy busy busy. I started a new job as a pre-school teacher at a Montessori school... it's amazing and I love it but it is SO draining! It is very rewarding though.. I love the children and the staff are great.

Anyhow, I've still been cooking away.. trying new recipes and such. Most recently I've been getting into "bento" and that's been fun. I bring my lunch to work with me each day and it has been interesting learning to pack bento, trying different foods, and getting neat bento accesories and boxes. If you are unfamiliar with the Art of Bento (and it really is an art) then check out this link: All About Bento What is neat is that you can make it as simple or complicated as you like... Just check out this Bento Blog for her masterpieces (its in japanese but there are lots of pics) This one has simpler (but still beautiful) foods.

Anyway, enough about that... I hope you guys are all doing well and I hope to be posting more often again. I love this forum!

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Old 09-16-2006, 11:07 PM   #2
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Welcome back Grumblebee !!!!!!
Congratulations on your new job !!
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:13 PM   #3
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Hey grumblebee! Good to see you back. I just asked someone if they had seen you and here you are!
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:48 PM   #4
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I remember, it has been awhile!!! Glad your back!
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Old 09-17-2006, 12:14 AM   #5
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Good to see you here Grumblebee..Welcome back.

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Old 09-17-2006, 12:30 AM   #6
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HI and welcome back. I checked out your link and the bento techinque is interesting. But ai think I'd be laughed out of the workplace as I'm seen as a rather odd guy for my love of the culinary arts already. And lunhc doesn't always come at a place where I can eat in an orderly fasion.

That said, it still looks like a great idea for those who could use it. And healthy lunches, well that beats the occasional micorwave burritoes from the gas station.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 09-17-2006, 01:27 AM   #7
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Hey Grumblebee! I've been wondering about you. Congrats on the new job! Teaching must be so rewarding. We thought about Montessori for our kids but it's just so expensive and a long wait list to boot.
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Old 09-17-2006, 02:08 AM   #8
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Thanks for the websites, I'm always looking for new lunch ideas, and I think your on to something with the Bento!

Nice to see you back, you have the prettiest avatar ever!!
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Old 09-17-2006, 08:09 AM   #9
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!

Hi Grumblebee! Great to see you back!
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Old 09-17-2006, 09:10 AM   #10
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Welcome back grumblebee!! I'm glad to see you back.
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Old 09-17-2006, 04:01 PM   #11
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Greetings from DC. I am new to the site - I joined the end of August.
I am sure that everyone is glad that you are back.
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Old 09-17-2006, 04:05 PM   #12
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Hi Grumblebee! Glad to see you here again! How on earth do you find time to teach and do home cooked meals? Girl, I'm about to embark in teaching a 2nd grade class and getting my family ready for microwavable food. LOL Maybe not that drastic, but pretty close. Good luck on your rewarding job!
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Old 09-17-2006, 08:12 PM   #13
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Ciao grumblebee, great to see you again!! We missed you and I was thinking of you at times, too. Nice to know that you are enjoying your new job!! What kind of bento box have you got? (I have seen anything from a real state of art beauty to an aluminum rectangle with picachu on it...) Do you eat your obento with the kids in the classroom? I hope you can share more of your bento adventure!!
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Old 09-17-2006, 11:39 PM   #14
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Thanks for the "welcome backs" :) You guys are always so nice.

To answer your question, urmaniac, I've turned into a bento hoarder. It's really become a neat hobby of mine... there are so many variaties of bento boxes and accesories. I have 6 bento boxes now. 4 of them are super cute and rather juvenile, but i think they are fun and couldnt resist. 1 is a more traditional japanese lacquered one and 1 is a spiffy, modern aluminium one. I found these pics online of the exact ones I have... (couldnt find the other 2 that I have and my digital cam is dead)

cute piggy bento box
aluminium classy tiered bento
nice blue set (mine came with chopsticks and the carrying bag)
classic lacquered japanese bento

As for how I manage to prepare the bentos while being so busy with my job - well, I actually find it relaxing and enjoyable. I get up a little earlier than I used to and while I'm SO not a morning a person, I've gotten into a routine of having some "me" time first thing in the morning to have breakfast, drink my coffee, make my bento, etc. It's really nice actually.

Anyway, its getting late and I have to be up early... but you can be sure that i'll be posting more now that I am back. (is that a good thing or a warning to you all...? hehe)
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Old 09-18-2006, 06:31 AM   #15
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Whoa, I love all of your boxes!! the first one and the third one are soooo cute they will make your lunch even more fun, it will be nice to be able to enjoy a warm lunch with the second one, and the fourth one will be perfect when you are pumped up to get REALLY artistic and creative about your lunch arrangements

Maybe you can start a thread for some new bento menu ideas, I am sure that will be a fun thread, too!!
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:50 AM   #16
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Thanks for posting the pictures of the bento boxes - they are all very nice. I am not quite sure what a bento box is. Based on urmanic's post I am thinking something to hold food in?
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelemarie
Thanks for posting the pictures of the bento boxes - they are all very nice. I am not quite sure what a bento box is. Based on urmanic's post I am thinking something to hold food in?
Yes Michele, they are basically "lunch boxes"!! "bento" or more politely "obento" is lunch in Japanese, it is like a big tradition for them. As with certain other things Japanese folks can come up with some extraordinary imaginations, from wacky, bizzare to beautiful, and bento boxes are no exception. Like you could see in some of the collection of grumblebees, there are many beauties and cuties to be found!
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Old 09-18-2006, 09:09 AM   #18
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Thanks for the clarification. They are very beautiful. Grumblebee, do you use any of them or just collect them? If you use them, do you pack a traditional japanese lunch?
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Old 09-18-2006, 02:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelemarie
Thanks for the clarification. They are very beautiful. Grumblebee, do you use any of them or just collect them? If you use them, do you pack a traditional japanese lunch?
Oh yes, I most definately use them! I wouldnt just collect them and then set them on a shelf and look at them. Hehe. What I really like about bento boxes is that everything is all comparmentalized... so you can seperate all your food items but have it all in one "lunch box." Its neat.

As for what I pack in them, I usually get inspiration from various Bento blogs online. This one always has nice photos and recipes and I also look at this one and this one too always has nice stuff.

My typical bento will contain onigiri (rice balls filled with something and covered in nori or furikaki) or sushi, some kind of vegetable mix (either stir fried, steamed or fresh, some fruit and cheese, and something with protein - either a bit of tuna/salmon steak, cottage cheese/yogurt, or tofu/tempeh/seiten. Sometimes I go very un-traditional and just pack in "north american" foods... but that's okay too! You dont need to pack japanese food in bento boxes... I just do a lot of times because I happen to LOVE japanese food.

Attached are a couple pics of some bentos I made a couple weeks ago. (managed to get a few good pics of some of my bentos before my camera died...)

1st pic: sesame rice cakes, grape halves, cucumbers/carrots/celery/basil w/ a small bottle of balsamic vinegrette, homemade spring rolls w/ tofu, clear noodles and veg.

2nd pic: chunks of cucumber and sweet red pepper, onigiri stuffed with smoked salmon and wasabi, plums and a mini chocolate bar.
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Old 09-18-2006, 04:16 PM   #20
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Wow grumblebee - your food looks as beautiful as the boxes! My lunch is typically a piece of fruit and a bagel - usually in one hand while chasing my little guy - nothing compared to your work of art! Thanks for sharing the pictures!
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