Days Off

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Right now the only bentos I’m doing are really for Emma, since she is the only one who HAS to bring lunch, but I was off of work last Thursday and Friday so I made a couple of wannabe bentos for the other kids.

I’m going through a clean-the-pantry type of thing right now, so I just tossed a bunch of things together: fruit skewers with grapes and cantaloupe stars, bowtie pasta, turkey bacon hearts, sautéed squash stars and Colby cheese cubes.

The turkey bacon hearts are probably my favorite because they were a happy accident; I cut the ends of a pound of bacon to oven fry and put in with the pasta, but they were cute enough to stand on their own, so they did! And the kids loved them.

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After an afternoon of swimming, Saturday night we came home and the kids were asking for Lunchables. I don’t buy those for a variety of reasons so I made my own.

This is really a pretty straightforward bento: Ritz crackers, deli ham, cracker cuts, one Colby lamb, broccoli trees, quartered carrot stick logs, star-shaped pasta with melted mozzarella and vanilla wafers with Nutella between them.

To add a little special touch, I wanted to put a Bible verse on a little paper and put it in the container, but the only Bible I could find was my huge family Bible at the time and I just wanted to get it over with so we could play Family Game Night on the Wii, so they just ended up with “Jaiden/Jaylen/Jenna had a little lamb …” on a sliver of paper taped to a paper straw (I cut one into thirds). My oldest, who is nine, said, “‘Jaiden had a little lamb?’ Really?” and laughed. But, you know, I thought it was adorable. They adore the paper straws, though, and went into the drawer to get one each to drink their milk. lol.

They were also a little bewildered at the lamb’s eye, which I poked out with a pen. He was precious, though.

I will say this: making bento lunches is difficult, especially times three or four. I did see some bento boxes in the new Pottery Barn Kids catalog and want to order them at some point, perhaps, but at $14 a pop I’m not sure when that will be. We might stick with the divided plastic containers for a bit.

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