Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bento bag lunch kit

Like my friends, you may be wondering why I need a bento bag when I don't work and, therefore, don't have to pack a lunch.  I just wanted one...that's why.  They're cool!  I pack my husband his meals for work, but because he works 24 hour shifts, a bento box just isn't practical.  I usually have to pack his meals in a shopping bag!  So, my son asked what I'm going to do with my bento bag.  "I'll pack a lunch and have a little personal picnic", I said.  I can see it now.  When the temps aren't in the 100's, I can go to the park with a good book and my bento lunch. 

I have a container that measures 8.5"L x 5.5"W x 3" H.  I figured that I wanted it a bit more than 2x taller than my container.  My pattern pieces measured 15" W x 12" H with 3" notches cut out at each corner.  You can get instructions on how to customize your bags here.  Besides making my fully lined bag, I also made a matching napkin and a sleeve for my chopsticks which ties shut at the top.  I love it.  The colors are so bright! 


The pink and blue set were my first attempts.  I don't know what I was thinking when I cut the fabric.  I only had enough for one side of each color!  Doh!  So it's unlined and half is pink print and half is blue.  It also was meant to be like the black one, taller and with a drawstring, but I didn't realize how short it was until after I cut out the corners for the boxed corner and knew I had to add height, which wound up being 4x the height measurement of my container.  I altered it to mimic another bento bag I saw online with the ties.  It's still cute, just not what I wanted.  It's all good, though.  Now I have two kits!

My friend, Steph, and I are going to a couple of Asian markets tomorrow and I'm going to keep my eyes open for more bento accessories. 

When I was a kid, going on a field trip for school meant taking a bento lunch.  They weren't the cute things you see on the blogs.  They consisted of a bed of rice sprinkled with furikake (toasted seaweed with sesame seeds), maybe ume (pickled plum), teriyaki beef, a piece of fried chicken, and a piece of Spam.  It was perfect because it didn't need to be refrigerated and would keep until lunchtime.  Add to that a can of fruit punch or passion-guava juice that I froze the night before and it was great!  Almost better than the field trip itself!  I felt so sorry for the kids who brought sandwiches!  My field trip days are over now that my youngest son is in middle school.  Boy, I wish I had thought of this earlier!  Maybe I can persuade him to take a bento for lunch?

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