It was exactly seven weeks ago today that A-chan started back to school. August and September are my busiest months of the year and thus I am incredibly late putting up school bento pics. But before I talk about the bentos, let me discuss the week before school started. The planning week.
Thinking about making a bento every day was a bit daunting. Sure, every day here at home was no problem...but this new schedule was going to be like camping in the mountains or deep sea diving. I was going to have to make sure that she had absolutely everything she could possibly need with her in an easily portable form. Napkins, utensils, soy sauce, salt, etc!! If I forgot something it would not only be a failure on my part, it could possibly be a disaster of epic 5 year old proportions!
The only way to conquer it all was to become ultra organized. I spent the week before school started making lists and reorganizing my kitchen for ultimate efficiency. I made a shopping run for all the bento essentials to make sure that I had them on hand. Then I spent the weekend cooking bento-friendly foods and freezing them. A-chan helped me cook and together we made miniature Forfar Bridies, Fried Tofu, Corn Croquettes and Bento-sized Scottish Flatpies. I am just now running out of these frozen staples after seven weeks and they were incredibly helpful, especially on mornings after staying up way too late to rehearse!
These photos are a sampling from that first week. The top bento was for the very first day of school. It contained pink rice and two soy-bologna bunnies with carrot letters and an apple heart. The other side had fried tofu bites, baby tomatoes, frozen grapes on a pick, steamed broccoli, carrot flowers, steamed cauliflower and a heart full of feta crumbles.
The bento below has smiling miniature bridies, tater tots, a Babybel cheese round, steamed broccoli, frozen mango cubes and frozen blueberries. (Forfar Bridies are a type of Scottish meat pie made with ground beef, mushroom broth, onion, parlsey and ground mustard wrapped in pastry. To make mine vegetarian I replaced the beef with Morningstar Farms crumbles.)
The next bento was also from my freezer of frozen goodness. The main part was a Scottish flatpie (potato and onion filling on a biscuit crust with cheese melted over). I baked it straight out of the freezer, let it cool off a little and plopped it in the box. There are more frozen blueberries and grapes, some morningstar farms chik nuggets, an apple flower, cucumber palm fronds and carrot stars. The lion's ears were soy bologna, the face was made with mozzarella cheese and nori.
Unfortunately while I thought he looked like a lion - A-chan thought he was a bunny!