A Bento Story from AP in New Jersey!

I’ve been on your bento blog several times checking out what you’ve done, and looking for interesting things. Thanks for the tip on cooking ramen noodles – I love them but always get them too well-done. Have tried your way x 2 and they were perfect. And I liked the tomato-mozzarella caprice on a stick – who would have thought!!.

As for my bento box….I really don’t have one, and really don’t need one. I very seldom need lunch, now that I’m retired – I only take lunch if going to a continuing ed seminar which is only 1-2 times per year, maybe. (The rest I do on line). They used to give you lunch, but now it’s just coffee, hot water, cold water, if you’re lucky, and they sometimes take that away at mid-conference. So I take lunch and your blog inspired me to create a my version of a bento box lunch without the bento box.

So I raided my container closet to see what I had that would fit into my lunch box tote purse without having to be tilted on it’s side. (It’s actually shaped like a purse – you really wouldn’t know it’s insulated). I found 2 rectangular containers that came from the prepared lunch meat section of the supermarket (like Healthy Choice, Hillshire Farms, etc.) Then I found 2 tiny containers with lids that would fit into the other 2 . Even found a very small jar that I could use – it comes with hotel room service breakfast with jam or jelly. And for holding my utensils, I found an old eyeglasses case that I had just left in a drawer – it holds a knife in a protective sleeve made from plastic canvas and wool scraps, fork, spoon. Could even wrap them in the napkins and place in the case.

As for my actual lunch – one container had ramen noodles as a base topped with diced grilled chicken (diced so I needn’t worry about a knife as I eat from my lap probably). Second container had 4 tomato-mozzarella sticks (on those little plastic colored swords) and dressing in a small lidded container that I sat in a colored paper baking cup to help keep it from moving around. Those 2 sat in my tote on top of each other, with room for an uncovered Tupperware rectangular container on top that held a store-bought mini fruit cup for dessert and a paper baking cup with 2 pieces of chocolate for PM snack. And a bottle of water fit nicely in the tote beside the stacked containers.

As for the results – I need to work on adding more flavor/moisture to the noodles; the dressing leaked some in the tomato-mozzarella sticks (lid not tight enough but leakage was confined to the paper baking cup); it was really too much food compared to my normal lunch at home. But I was over-all pleased with the results and now have my version of a bento box that works very well with my favorite lunch tote.

It was an interesting adventure to create the whole thing – I think I did well with what I had.

So that’s my long bento box story – thanks to your inspirations.

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