Lunch for Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I was browsing some of the bento blogs yesterday and was just so impressed with the cuteness of most of them.  Makes me look at my bento and think it sucks.  But I know, just like with my scrapbooking/card making that the longer I have done something, the better it will be.  Most of the really cute bentos are in a single container and not divided by anything other than a silicone wrapper or baran (think fake sushi grass).  Hmmm I may have to buy me one of those next.  I am trying to contain myself and not spend too much money with my new obsession.  I think I would have already spent a fortune if I could find just one website that has everything I like all together.  Luckily I haven't.  Paying shipping makes me cringe.

Today is Children's Day in Japan.  It's a day to celebrate all children.  Formally it was Boy's day but hey... things change.  But today is also a Mexican holiday called Cinco de Mayo.  Here is a little Cinco de Mayo history I pulled from Wikipedia.

"Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a voluntarily observed holiday that commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. It is celebrated primarily in the state of Puebla and in the United States. While Cinco de Mayo has limited significance nationwide in Mexico, the date is observed in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day, the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico"

Now I am very American and I love my Mexican food so I filled my Japanese bento box with a Mexican Fiesta.  I added food coloring to the water of my rice to achieve the Mexican flag.  That meant I had to make three very small batches of rice.  I just used minute rice instead of the longer cooking rice.  The hat on the rice looked better in my mind than it did in cheese.  LOL  I did use food markers to decorate it.  The maracas were made by taking the end of a carrot and shaping it down for the handles.  Then I took a grape tomato and split it in half and added the strip of cheese and jalapeno pieces.  This box took a lot longer to prepare than my other ones and there was absolutely NO cooking involved this morning.  Just the rice the night before.  The beef strips are the ones you can find in the deli section of the grocery store.  I made the pico de gallo this morning using some jalapenos/onion mixture I keep in the frig at all times.  I just added some tomatoes.  And I cut up the rest of the avocado from our sushi the other night.  I had cut it in half and squeezed lemon juice on it, wrapped it up tight and placed it in the frig.  That lemon juice sure works to keep it fresh.  I cut up the other half this morning and I squeezed more fresh lemon juice on it.  Now the lettuce was an afterthought.  The bottom of that portion looked bare.  My son was upset that this was not his lunch.  Going to have to order his bento box very soon!

Top from left to right: fresh pico de gallo; beef fajita meat; avocado
Bottom from left to right: grape tomato maracas with carrot handles and
cheese slice hat on a bed of Mexican flag rice

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