Monday, January 28, 2013

Bento lunches

School starts tomorrow and I'm planning my lunches. I'm not going to be teaching in one class room this year so my usual lunch of left-overs may be difficult. One of my classes is at the opposite end of the school from the staffroom and I don't want to be spending all my time walking about so cold lunches I can eat in the resource room or class room would be better. Yes, the exercise is good for me but the stress isn't! Stress = eat on the run = muffins! So I'm planning some nice healthy bento lunches.

Here's my current lunchbox scenario.

My lunchbox is the right size and has a divider. Did you know that your bento box has to be the right size for your sex and age? More info on that on Just Bento. I bought a new ice pack as my old one was an questionable number of years old. But I can't find a better cold bag that this one. It's the right size, made by the same people as the box, but it has problems. It only fits the box and ice pack but I'm not going to pack any extras so that's not a problem. The main problem is that it stands up. The box should be leakproof but if I'm made my lunch horizontal, that's the way I want my lunch to stay. Also it doesn't have a carry strap for when your hands are loaded with books etc. And, the biggest problem, it doesn't look CUTE! Sorry about the caps shouting but I want my lunch to look nice!

So I made a strap.
This part velcros so I can still get into the zip pocket. Designed to be carried over my wrist.

I've also added a long strap so that I can carry it over my shoulder. 
I've hot-glued the strap assembly to the bag and I think you'll agree, it not only looks better but is more functional. 

It was also an opportunity to improve my binding sewing skills. I watched a video of Sharon Schamber's on binding (from Monika's blog? Can't remember!) and picked up some great tips. I will now use ladder stitch and not the slower applique stitch that I've been using up to now. Maybe all tutors teach ladder stitch nowadays but I've come from a dressmaking background and I'm basically self-taught over the past 30 years. I can't believe I've been doing this for 30+ years! And there is still more to do and learn!

I picked up this great tip on another bento blog. Take any minced meat (either as it comes from the butcher or add breadcrumbs, seasoning and egg for patties as I did here), put it in a large ziplock bag, squash it flat and then score into portions. When it is frozen, the portions snap apart. Clever!

This recipe is 450g chicken mince, 450g pork mince, one egg, about 2 cups of wholemeal breadcrumbs, small bunch of chopped parsley, 2 tbsp Thai seasoning from the tubes that you find in the veg section at the supermarket, 1 tsp veg stock powder, salt, pepper. I used my quilting ruler to measure the squashed bag, divided it by 3 and then pressed down with the edge of the ruler to score it. I think the middle portion is slightly fatter than the others so maybe next time I take that into consideration and make the middle section slightly less than a third.

All set for my first day back at school!

1 comment:

  1. All sounds very scientific - are you sure you are not a science teacher?


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