In 2008, we held a very successful Bento Challenge here on JustBento, which got a lot of people started with bento making. A lot has happened since then - many more people are aware of the advantages of making bentos a part of their daily lives for one thing. But after reading through all the questions posted to the previous open thread, and elsewhere, I think there is still a fair amount of confusion about what exactly is required to ‘get into bentos’. In addition, many people have gone beyond the basic things and are looking to expand their bento making skills.
Therefore, this year I’ve decided to try something new: a series of somewhat structured Bento Courses, as well as some Basic Cooking courses over on Just Hungry. Here’s how they will work:
- Each course will be around 4 to 6 weeks long, and focus on a particular aspect of bento making.
- Participation will be via the comment section of this site, as well as our Facebook page, plus photo sharing sites such as Flickr and Instagram as needed. If you have a blog, all the better. (Note: I wish the forum was working properly, but it still isn’t, so hopefully these other venues will do.)
- During each course there maybe reading and writing assignments as well as hands-on assignments.
- The objective of each course will be stated before they start. There will also be some supplies required.
- There’s be no grading or individual (1 on 1 private) instruction; your resuts and questions will be shared with the group, so that everyone can benefit for each other.
- The time required will depend on the course (I’ll try to put up an estimate of how much time you should allot beforehand.)
- It will of course, all be free!
- It is of course an informal course, so no formal credits or whatever will be earned, but you will (hopefully) be learning some very useful bento-related skills.
I am planning to have at least a couple of beginner courses, as well as more advanced level ones. (It does rather depend on the success of the first couple of courses, which I have already planned out, so we’ll see how it goes!)
So, here’s the first course, which will start in February.
Bento 101: Getting Into the Bento Habit
- Level: Intro/Beginner
- Aim: For people who have been thinking about trying out bento making, but have not tried it yet or made just a couple of stabs at it, to get to a level of making at least 1-2 bento box or packed-from-home lunches per week without too much strain.
- Course duration: 4 weeks
- Course start date: the week of February 4th
- Time required: Approximately 2-3 hours a week; 1 hour or so for reading and writing, 1 to 2 hours for hands-on projects. (The more time and effort you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.)
- Materials required: To be announced within the next few days
I’d really like to see how much interest there is in this, so if you think you would be interested in participating, let me know in the comments!