Speed bento tip: Squeeze bottles!

squeeze_honey.jpgI’m always looking for ways to shave a few minutes off bento prep time. One way to do this is to look at the containers the condiments, sauces and other ingredients that you use frequently come in.

I use honey quite a lot as a sweetener. Measuring it out of a glass jar is a sticky, messy business, that more often than not requires washing of a spoon, wiping drips around the lid and jar, and other little things that add up in terms of wasted time. So, for morning preperations I rely on the neat runny honey in a squeeze bottle. It’s not rare gourmet honey gathered from bees who suckle on rare alpine flora (I save that kind for leisurely cups of lemon-honey-water), but it sure cuts down on bento making time in the morning.

Other things I have in squeeze bottles include ketchup (store it upside down, and shake before squeezing out), mustard, and mayonnaise. I also like things in tubes. A lot of Japanese condiments like wasabi paste and pre-grated ginger comes in tubes (though I can’t stand pre-grated ginger. Wasabi paste is better.) Around this part of the world we also get things like mustard, mayonnaise, Cenovis (the Swiss equivalent of Marmite), tomato paste, tapenade (olive paste) and mystery sandwich spreads in toothpaste tube-like tubes. Take a look around the supermarket or your favorite Asian grocery store to see if your favorite condiments come in neat squeeze bottles or tubes!

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Anchovy paste etc.

Hi Maki! Hope you are feeling better. I work near a German market, and they have all sorts of interesting foods in toothpaste tubes, particularly fish paste. The pictures on the tubes show it spread over sliced hard boiled eggs on toast. I love smoked salmon and things like that, but I don’t know if I could eat fish paste egg and toastwich. I guess I should not knock it until I try it. Do you like any of those sandwich spreads? Also, I have been eating raw honey (with honeycomb bits in) with my greek yoghurt. It comes in a squat little plastic jar instead of the bear shaped squeeze tubes I am used to! It is thick and easier to clean off of spoons, and it’s very tasty. -Nico

Expat

I found your site while perusing bento pictures on flickr. As soon as I saw the Slimline yogurt I knew where you lived- I spent the summer as an au paire in Switzerland. The family I was staying with was American, as am I. Looking at your website makes me homesick backwards! One of my favorite parts of living in Zurich (we were in Zollikerberg) was shopping for groceries at the local Coop. I had to laugh reading this post because we bought that particular squeeze bottle of honey (which drove me nuts when I needed half a cup for a recipe, took forever to get it out), used the tubes of mayo and mustard, bought Slimline yogurt, all of that. To all Americans, you haven’t really eaten until you’ve spent a few months in Europe. Fresh grated parmesean…ahh… The only thing I can get here is nutella.

fish paste

Nico I sort of like the fish paste in a tube that is sold at Ikea…the Swedes know their fish paste I must say. (Though a little goes a very long way!)

I think we miss what we can’t get, especially food wise! Actually that is a big part of why I started my other food blog (justhungry.com) - I wanted to write about how to make food I couldn’t get that easily at the stores!

Eeazy-Squeezy

We get lots in squeezey bottles as well. The good thing is we recycle them. I’ll use the squeezy bottles for washing up liquid in small amounts, paints for the kids, shampoo and body wash for the swimming pool and gym bag. My daughter’s nursery also likes us to bring in our squeezy bottles for messy paint and gluing sessions where they can portion out the stuffs from the industrial sized ones they have in supply. Also, they’re great as non threatening water “pistols”. My Mom never let us water guns because she’s against guns, and I’ve carried that forward. A squeezy bottle is just as good and easier to fill from the hose.

Re: Speed bento tip: Squeeze bottles!

I feel late commenting on this. Anyway, I live in TN, and some of the grocery stores around here have a bunch of chopped herbs and herb blends in tubes, they work, but are kind of gross (I got basil in a squeeze tube once, that was a bad life decision, so nasty)

Cenovis

I love Cenovis! (I`m Swiss)
Do you use it in any recipes? We normally just spread it on Bread with Butter.
In Switzerland you can buy a lot of stuff in tubes and bottles. :) Have a great day ^^

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