What have YOU got out of the Just Bento/Hungry sites?

Loretta
Moderator
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 17 weeks ago.

Obviously there are the recipes, but I've found that I've benefited from these sites in rather unexpected ways. Particularly now the forums are up and running. By answering others, and checking the accuracy of those answers, I've come across valuable information I didn't know.

- There was a recent post on Kimchi. When scrabbling around for some suitable links I discovered that New Malden (a small town on the outskirts of London) is the most densely populated area of Koreans outside of the Korean peninsula (over 30,000).
I feel really stupid for remaining unaware of this (although I'm comforted by the fact that this is a recent phenomenon, the Korean population there only increased significantly this century) but if I hadn't attempted to answer the question I would still be unaware.
I love Korean food, so, as soon as I receive my next paypacket, I'm going to do my shopping there. I feel nearly as excited about this as I would about going to South Korea itself!

- I found an economic supply of Nagaimo because Maki hooked me onto okonomiyaki (SeeWoo on Lisle Street, although supplies are erratic). There's more to it than this sentence probably suggests, my okonomiyaki saga was a long one, threaded with disappointment, and the Just Hungry site brought it to a very satisfying worthwhile conclusion.

- Another fond discovery through these sites was umekaka as an onigiri filling - I hadn't come across this before and it's unlikely I would have hit upon this combination by myself.

- The recommendation for Tokiko Suzuki's books have been invaluable as was the rec for Ikuko Hisamatsu's tsukemono recipes. These needed to be ordered so I would never have owned these books otherwise

But mostly, I feel like I've gained a family member to help me in the kitchen. Not only do I feel 'safe' making the recipes on these sites (so much work has gone into making them 'foolproof') but I feel much more confident about trying out new things and incorporating them into my repertoire, as well as knowing more about what those things were (like finding out that Zunda doesn't have tofu in it like I'd supposed :D ). If I'm not sure now, all I need to do is ask.

So thanks to Maki and to everyone else who has posted their comments and advice and questions in these sites and forums. I owe a lot to all of you!

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bronwyncarlisle
Moderator
Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 37 weeks ago.
Re: What have YOU got out of the Just Bento/Hungry sites?

That's wonderful. I'm so glad your morning sickness is improving. Or at least you've found something to make it appear to improve! Which is just as good.

____________________________________

Bronwyn

My blog is Food and Shoes

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 1 week ago.
Re: What have YOU got out of the Just Bento/Hungry sites?

I've learnt a lot of recipes and discovered that even i have to wake up early to prepare the bentos, i love to do it and i'm developing a taste in cooking :)

____________________________________

My bento blog: http://justbento.com/blog/1305
My art blog: http://jizaacaso.deviantart.com

Loretta
Moderator
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 17 weeks ago.
Re: What have YOU got out of the Just Bento/Hungry sites?

And here's a post I never expected to make.
In keeping with the 'help others - help yourself' outcome I often get from posting (it's easy to get into a rut by yourself), it looks like this forum has helped me avoid a hospital stay.

I'm currently suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum (excessive 'morning sickness') but am able to eat small portions and keep most of that down. The problematic part is with drinking (apparently this is a bit unusual). It's been getting so bad my Doctor warned me that I probably had to be admitted to Hospital to go on a drip.
And then I made a stab at answering this question: http://www.justbento.com/forum/recipes-avoid-spoilage . Writing out the recipe made me really want some Gazpacho, a food I don't usually think about in the winter months. As it's so easy to do, I made up a batch. I've been able to drink pints of the stuff AND keep it all down. I was getting SO worried and anxious about not being able to take in liquids, and I'm sure I'd never have considered this option by myself. I can't tell you how relieved I am right now or how good it felt to be able to gulp down a whole half pint and FINALLY sate my thirst a little without my body resisting the delivery.

BarbJ
Bento-ing from: Cupertino › California › USA
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 29 weeks ago.
Re: What have YOU got out of the Just Bento/Hungry sites?

Yes, that is fantastic news! Keeping hydrated is so important, plus that Gazpacho is full of yummy vitamins and minerals that are good for you too!

I've learned that good Japanese food is so much more than sushi! LOL! And that it's good and fun and not hard to make. I appreciate the extra tips that Maki includes, things that most cookbooks just forget to include.

I've enjoyed learning how to make a good bento lunch and that it can have all kinds of interesting foods in it. I make some for myself, but mostly for my 15yr old daughter. She is on the thin side, and will not eat if it takes too long to stand in the lunch line, plus the food choices there are expensive and not very nutritious. So I make her a bento lunch every morning. It's funny, her high school is about 80% Asian but hardly anyone takes lunch to school and not bentos for sure. The kids were mostly born here but most parents weren't, plus the percent of Japanese is fairly low compared to other Asians like Korean, Chinese and Indian. Actually quite amusingly, her Asian friends tell her your mom is so Asian, which is funny because I only make an Asian type bento maybe two times a week. The rest of the time it's a sandwich or stew in a thermos. But the sandwiches are in a box, mostly so they don't get squished in her backpack.
I've really improved my rice cooking so much! And I do love my rice!
I've found all kinds of links that I'd have never found before, on the sites themselves and through all the great members on the forum. I've learned about all kinds of interesting foods and recipes, that I'd have never discovered on a regular cooking site with just recipes listed. I love the discussions about various ways to cook things. Like the recent one on kidney. Who knew there were so many ways to prepare them?

So thank you Maki for bringing us all together!

____________________________________

BarbJ
http://barbsblab.blogspot.com/

Mandachan
Bento-ing from: Pensacola › Florida › USA
Joined: 28 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 15 weeks ago.
Re: What have YOU got out of the Just Bento/Hungry sites?

I agree with everything Barbj has said.

Pretty much Maki has opened my eyes to a whole side of Japanese cuisine that I had no idea how to dive into.

I've learned about Furikake (which i recently bought a bottle of, just to try as generally I can't find it around here) - and various other seasonings - Han-dashi stock, Sesame oil, Sesame seeds, and many other items I never would've even thought to try - or not that I wouldn't have tried it, i didn't know HOW to try it.

Reading this forum has even helped even more. Even short little tips (as i generally only cook for myself, my husband is a meat/pasta/potatoe only guy, and well, you know what happens to hips when that's all you eat!), they help me a ton!

So not only Maki, thank you to everyone who is a contributor to this forum, no matter how big or small.

pii_bii
Bento-ing from: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 33 weeks ago.
Re: What have YOU got out of the Just Bento/Hungry sites?

This is a great topic, long overdue! From the sites I have opened my eyes to how important cookery, and especially Japanese cuisine really is to me. It's something that I really didn't factor into my daily life until I started frequenting the sites daily (I know they don't get updated daily, but hey!) Like Lorreta, I feel like I have a trusted cookbook, a friend and a source of a wealth of information in Just Bento/Hungry. So, thank you for that Maki!

As for the forums and the Flickr pool, I think I have really gained confidence and determination. As I grew up, I was always playing to my talents, I found even in my adolescence (sp?) I would play it safe, and get frustrated with things I wasn't immediately good at! By posting in the Flickr pool, I have learned new skills, and learned to keep at things that take a little longer to bear fruit. Just looking back at my few posts so far has really helped me see my development, and I find the more you do...the more you want to do!
When it comes to posting on the forums, I feel that it has been a big part of learning to come out of my shell a bit after problems with depression. There was a time when I was too nervous to even post a Facebook message to friends, let alone answer the phone or see friends. Now I feel I can make contact with all sorts of people, which is fulfilling and fun - of course, I'm not just stuck on the 'net all day; I am trying to socialise more, too, but I think the lovely people on here have played a big part in me coming to terms with my limitations and my abilities. So, like, thanks. :) x

Franzi_89X
Bento-ing from: Böblingen › Germany
Joined: 30 May 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 51 weeks ago.
Re: What have YOU got out of the Just Bento/Hungry sites?

I am very new on this site but I am sure that I can find a lot of nice people on this site and of course I will learn more about Bento and the Japanese kitchen.

I think it is also a great idea to have a froum like this one because so you can search help when u have questions and aftre a while it is a bit like havin friends around. I like the feeling beeing a part of a community :)

____________________________________

"And so the lion felt in love with the lamb" - Twilight

anon.
Re: What have YOU got out of the Just Bento/Hungry sites?
Franzi_89X wrote:

I am very new on this site but I am sure that I can find a lot of nice people on this site and of course I will learn more about Bento and the Japanese kitchen.

I think it is also a great idea to have a froum like this one because so you can search help when u have questions and aftre a while it is a bit like havin friends around. I like the feeling beeing a part of a community :)

I'm so pleased you already feel this way. I hope this only intensifies as you become more confident in your cooking and start asking (and answering!) more questions.

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 1 week ago.
Re: What have YOU got out of the Just Bento/Hungry sites?

I'm so glad you are resisting it! :D

ruskie
Bento-ing from: Ljubljana › Slovenia
Joined: 1 Jun 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: What have YOU got out of the Just Bento/Hungry sites?

Hmmm that's easy... tons of ideas and a love affair with bentos in a short time.

pii_bii
Bento-ing from: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 33 weeks ago.
Re: What have YOU got out of the Just Bento/Hungry sites?

I'm glad you've found something to help you with this problem, it sounds horrible. I think you're right; coming on here makes you see things/recipes, even those you already knew, in a new light, which in your case has been obviously really helpful.

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