The case of the sideways bento and the food within

BFGuru
Bento-ing from: Somewhere in momville. › Pennsylvania
Joined: 29 Jul 2010
User offline. Last seen 4 years 7 weeks ago.

What do people use to separate the small amounts of food items that may be somewhat "juicy" for lack of a better word? I drained some mandarin oranges for me and the kids yesterday and put them in silicone cups or divided sections of my boxes and still the kids bread ended up soggy in the other compartments. Are there small short (silicone cup size?) boxes that have lids out there? I haven't found anything small enough that will permit me to close the bento box after I put the little box in it.

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Just the new girl around here looking for some lunch ideas.

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maki
admin
Bento-ing from: somewhere › France
Joined: 24 Jan 2007
User offline. Last seen 1 day 19 hours ago.
Re: The case of the sideways bento and the food within

I think there are a couple of ways to tackle this problem. One is to just pack the soggy food in a separate container with a tight/waterproof lid, though that does mean multiple containers (which increases the chance that one gets forgotton) If you use a multi-tier bento box, it makes things easier.

Another is to find small containers with tight fitting lids that fit inside your main container. I've found things like this in the general kitchen storage container type areas and such, besides from bento supply sellers.

There are also boxes that have compartments, which are supposed to keep food separate - e.g. Laptop Lunches, Planet Lunchbox, etc, but they tend to be rather large and bulky.

I prefer the multi-box or multi-tier way myself, especially for fruit. See what works best for you!

____________________________________

The Big Onigiri.

- Wherever you go, there you are. -

Laura
Re: The case of the sideways bento and the food within

Check the Dollar Tree/Dollar Store for small rubbermaid-type containers. I've had luck there finding tiny containers with lids.

heidi
Bento-ing from: NYC
Joined: 30 Jul 2010
User offline. Last seen 4 years 8 weeks ago.
Re: The case of the sideways bento and the food within

I second the suggestion of Laptop Lunches, if you can find them (haven't searched it recently). It was the first sort of box I purchased, and there are different-sized lidded boxes included. Great colors, too!

First thought was, though: a twist of kitchen plastic wrap. :-)

heidi
Bento-ing from: NYC
Joined: 30 Jul 2010
User offline. Last seen 4 years 8 weeks ago.
Re: The case of the sideways bento and the food within

Addendum: BF Guru, have a look at these guys:

http://www.amazon.com/Bento-Buddies-Lidded-Containers-Berry/dp/B002K25WU...

These are the interior lidded options I was thinking of. They're sold in sets. The sizes vary, as do the colors. I have the Red and the Berry Blue sets; they are sturdy, the lids fit very securely, and they're easy to clean.

Hope this note assists you in your bento construction! :-)

RoseFaery
Joined: 10 Aug 2010
User offline. Last seen 4 years 9 weeks ago.
Re: The case of the sideways bento and the food within

I've been trying to find small containers to fit inside my 2 Urara Lube Sheep boxes (the same blue one Maki has with the dragonflies, and a red one with bunnies) and I found that the Gerber brand baby food containers 1st Foods size fits in the top container, but it has a bit of an over hang so it kind of limits the kind of foods I can pack with it and it's not water tight on it's own, but I was mainly wanting it for thick dips and tuna salad or canned smoked oysters with bread or crackers.
I sometimes have bad stomach problems where I can only eat baby food and juice, so I usually get the applesauce or peaches or other fruits.
I also found that the 'Really Useful Box" smallest size (I got it at Office Depot) fits, http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/933915/Really-Useful-Boxes-Plastic... I think mine is a little smaller than that, but it's the smallest one online, but I'm not sure if it's food safe. I got it for an oshibori case originally.

____________________________________

My Dearest Friend, If You Don't Mind, I'd Like To Join You By Your Side, So We Can Gaze Into The Stars, And Sit Together, Now And Forever, For It's As Plain As Anyone Can See, We're Simply Meant To Be.

BFGuru
Bento-ing from: Somewhere in momville. › Pennsylvania
Joined: 29 Jul 2010
User offline. Last seen 4 years 7 weeks ago.
Re: The case of the sideways bento and the food within

Thanks for the input guys. I settled on a trip to the tupperware lady and bought some smidges and midges or whatever they are called. I will add to things as we go I guess. Now to find a way to transport tiny amounts of salt and pepper.

heidi
Bento-ing from: NYC
Joined: 30 Jul 2010
User offline. Last seen 4 years 8 weeks ago.
Re: The case of the sideways bento and the food within

ha, your post reminded me of this handy tidbit in my files:
=======================
Instructions for carrying bitty spices in Drinking Straws! with very helpful pix:
---------
http://www.munex.net/kekawaka/straws.html

Another Use for Drinking Straws

Carrying very small amounts of things like tooth powder, salt, or chili powder can be tricky. Here's a method for packing individual servings using plain old drinking straws. If you can find paper straws, you won't even have to carry out the packaging.

If desired, use a ruler to calibrate the volume per inch for your straw. I found that a common 6mm straw filled to 2.25 inches gave me 1/2 teaspoon of seasoning.

Weight: My little finger scale is not sensitive enough to register the weight of the 4 inch straw segment I use to make a single packet!

Instructions:

1. Cut two half-inch pieces off the end of a straw

2. Fold and cap one end of the straw, sliding one of the 1/2" sections over the end to "lock" the fold as shown below

3. Dip the open end of the straw repeatedly into the substance you want to package, forcing it up into the tube to the desired depth

4. Turn the straw upside down and tap until the filling is all down at the sealed end

5. Trim, fold and cap remaining open end

6. Label with a fine Sharpie(r) or other waterproof pen An optional way to label is to fold a short piece of tape (e.g. freezer or masking tape) around the straw, and onto itself, creating a small flag that you can write on.

Tips: If you're collecting straws from fast food joints, be discriminating. Some are more flimsy than others -- flimsy is good! If you're interested in trying this with paper straws, try looking for ArtStraws(r) craft straws at your local school or craft supply.

MaybeLed
Re: The case of the sideways bento and the food within

Hi,

Just in answer to RoseFaery the 'really useful box company' boxes are made form Food grade polypropylene, I always used them for freezing portions of sauces and soup! They're microwave and dishwasher safe too.

http://www.maplin.co.uk/searchtemplate.asp?criteria=REALLY%20USEFULL%20B...

RoseFaery
Joined: 10 Aug 2010
User offline. Last seen 4 years 9 weeks ago.
Re: The case of the sideways bento and the food within

Thanks MaybeLed! I thought they were, but I just wasn't sure. The Gerber boxes fit a little better, but the 'Really Useful Box' seals a bit better.

For transporting spices, (like the vegetarian Bacon Salt, yum! http://www.baconsalt.com/ Fabulous with grilled cheese or turk'y slices)
I use a small square (or random torn piece) of plastic wrap made into a bag. First, make an "o" with your thumb and finger and place the plastic wrap over it. Then, poke the wrap down into the "o" to make a nice dip and add your spice. Then I just tie it with a twist tie, which I usually cut in half. If you have a toothpick or fork, just poke a few holes in the bag at lunch to sprinkle.

I also use a similar technique for transporting spreads like mayo or peanut butter. I get small 'snack' size zipper bags which I usually use for dry stuff a few times first, then cut the bag in half and cut the zipper off and hold the same way as the spice bag and fill with mayo or other spread and twist tie. It makes a very cute presentation, especially if you curl the ends of the twist tie with a tooth pick. Just cut or bite off the end and squeeze. The zipper bags usually work better for wet things because they are sturdier and more structured.

BFGuru
Bento-ing from: Somewhere in momville. › Pennsylvania
Joined: 29 Jul 2010
User offline. Last seen 4 years 7 weeks ago.
Re: The case of the sideways bento and the food within

Awesome idea about straws. Gonna try that. Thanks!

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