Given the exam interference, Week 5 did not start off quite so well. My mother decided to wake up on Monday morning to help me out… not so great. My bento was so disappointingly aesthetically displeasing and unvaried that I didn’t bother taking a picture. It was also too much food; my mother seems to have a skewed perception of how much I need to eat <_< Not to mention I was appalled by how she was handling my meat (eeep, how can you marinate your meat in oil and then deep fry it???). It had the potential to be good though, I mean I haven’t had beef in ages, and had the potatoes had the chance to be baked properly I would’ve been very happy.
But anyway, my Tuesday bento was considerably nicer.
Grapes, banana (for the synapses, lol), kohlrabi w/ celery stir fry, rice w/ yukari, panfried chicken. The yukari star sort of fell apart by the time I got to school, but everything tasted good ^_^
On the exam front I thought I did ok. In English we had a poem to do a commentary on and everyone got a different interpretation…but I think I did ok. I fell asleep halfway through one of my biology exams but continued writing and when I woke up again about 30 seconds later my answer space had been filled with complete gibberish. Heh.
On Wednesday I had my chemistry exam so I arranged some nori on my rice in a rough representation of benzene’s structural formula (I couldn’t be bothered with the hydrogens). Yes, I am a science dork, why do you ask? The bento went better than the exams. Although French was too long. I fell asleep and when I woke up one of the invigilating teachers had jokingly hidden my stuff.
More grapes and banana, rice, same panfried chicken, cabbage w/ tomatoes underneath, and a mini sandwich of smoked salmon and cottage cheese on brown bread.
Thursday I only had one exam (French, again) so I didn’t really pack a proper bento. I had some chicken leftover, so that went into the box along with brown bread w/ cottage cheese and some grapes.
Actually I ended up eating this when I got back home ^^’ Oh and a friend of mine gave me a muffin, yum! The little gold plate is something I got from my father for Lunar New Year’s which I was gonna mention in another post, but I never got around to creating it <_<
One afternoon exam on Friday so no bento, because I woke up super late and had pancakes instead. I lost the recipe and so just winged it… In the end there was too much baking powder so my batter rose! Eep! The pancakes were incredibly fluffy though ^_^
Oh I went and badgered my teachers and found out that I got a 7 (out of a maximum 7) in Maths yay! I’m pretty sure I botched my history though. I met my teacher as she was marking paper actually, and the first thing she said to me was “What happened here?!”. But then she offered me a Creme Egg and all was fine :D Don’t know the rest of my grades though and I have to wait through a week of Winter Break before I find out >.<
The past week we’ve had a really rubbish batch of rice, so dinners were spent avoiding rice like the plague. Like for instance, with pho:
Or yummy sandwich.
Don’t you love it when a sandwich brightens up with just the simple addition of lettuce? I’m known for inspecting my friends’ sandwiches and reproaching them for lacking lettuce. I am not quite aptly named The Sandwich Lady.
As to re-assessing my bento making…
Why make bento?
• I like it ^_^ Perhaps not as a hobby like charaben artists or anything (hardly have time for that, especially now with subject changes!), but it’s just a very enjoyable way to start the day. Bento is my sole incentive to wake up in the morning. Of course it’s not like I’m going to starve, I can always buy something at school but…
• Your own bento tastes so much better.
• And it’s a lot cheaper. Now I have the money to go have coffee with my friends ^_^
• It allows me to control my snacking, in theory.
• Even if it’s only tiny steps at a time, I feel like I’m getting a little more immersed into the world of cooking. I am actually a bit of a culinary failure, which is something my mother constantly reprimands me for (heck, I still don’t know how to boil an egg) but by occasionally asking her to keep her nose out of my bentos I get more of an opportunity to learn.
• It actually makes me eat breakfast. Since I’m up and around food I must eat it. Before, I used to clamber out of bed at the latest possible moment and down a cup of tea and leave the house.
Difficulties I encountered in making bento:
• Issues with time. Somehow I drag out the bento preparation process longer than needed, regardless of how complicated or simple said bento might be. On the other hand, I really don’t want to wake up even earlier to accommodate bento making (I already wake up half an hour earlier than I used to <_<). I'm guessing this will get better with time and practice though.
• Lack of a stash is somewhat problematic, I suppose. But given that actually a lot of the time what I bring depends on what my mother has cooked the night before (unless she suddenly gives me full liberty) it’s not so bad. I actually have greater issues with the veg components of my bento.
• No planning! But I’m too lazy <_< And besides that would mean co-operation with my mother, which is just plain weird, and difficult to work with because she herself doesn’t exactly plan. Well, whatever, as long as I get something to eat.
• Not bento related, but something I had issues with during the challenge, namely my inability to exercise. Eh.
Well, regardless, I intend to continue with the bentos, because they are fun and yum :)
Overall aims will stay the same ones I’ve been trying to drum into myself these past weeks, i.e.
• 4-5 bentos a week
• Keep time to below 25-20min
• Try to make them somewhat nutritious and pretty looking
And that’s it! Of course breakfast and exercise.
But ah, starting from next week I will be doing the Challenge Week 4 for about a month, because a friend of mine is coming to live at mine while her mother goes back to Vietnam, and so bento making responsibility will be doubled. I think I’ll deal ;)
Woo! Long post! I have two more to make XD